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Local video company finds niche

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Published on: Thursday, December 06, 2012

By Daryl Buchanan

ROCKVILLE-After three decades in Rockville a small production company has entrenched itself as the go to firm for all video service needs and prides itself on helping people communicate.

Video Labs has been in business since 1978 and have seen many changes in the video production business. From the early days of betamax and VHS tapes to the rise of digital media and mobile technology Video Labs has mastered it and done so in a cost effective manner that has allowed them to survive the ups and downs.

Mike Weiss is the Chief Executive Officer at Video Labs. Weiss is a Journalist major and previously spent 10 years at ABC News before landing at Video Labs in 2000. Weiss went on to buy the company in 2007 and has a staff of 14.

“We are a complete video services firm. We can handle everything from production, editing, and distribution. Our clients are people that have a message and want to get that message out to their employees or the public. We work with a lot of CEOs, government agencies, restaurants, and ad agencies,” said Weiss.

While the metropolitan area is not widely known for video production as New York or Los Angeles Weiss says there is a lot of opportunity in the area and business can be very competitive. Discovery Channel and National Geographic are two major companies in the area, along with the major news outlets having a presence in the area.

Weiss says most of his competitors are located in downtown D.C., which he says allowed Video Labs to lay a foundation and build a reputation in Montgomery County as well as D.C. “We can take care of everything needed for a project. The niche for us is not necessarily video only. There’s nobody in this area that can do it all like we can,” said Weiss.

In an industry where change occurs often and can become expensive with advancements in technology Weiss says Video Labs has managed to stay above water through methodical planning and a slow growth process.

“It’s tough. We’ve had to build ourselves up over time; adding on equipment and resources here and there to deal with the changes. It also helps prices have gotten cheaper for equipment than they were years ago,” said Weiss.

“The economy has a done a number on us. But we’ve been able to adjust and move into the new tech areas to survive. But it takes planning and adding here and there. We also sometimes work with our competitors and partners. They may have certain equipment we need. So building relationships within the industry is helpful. Of course having a really good staff helps a lot.”

Video Labs has expanded its reach into Virginia, D.C., New York, and Connecticut Weiss admits he would like to work more with local people within Montgomery County.  In order to reach out to the smaller businesses Weiss says there is a plan in place to work with them at an affordable rate.

“It’s a great industry to work in; getting to see early video from the Discovery Channel, the Terrapins, and the Wizards is very nice. But we are looking for more business in Montgomery County. We think smaller businesses would be better served by other smaller businesses. Working with a business in Montgomery County we think we can optimize their needs and provide a better product since we are in a position to understand their needs and who they are trying to reach better,” said Weiss.

“Before we offer a price we like to look at the big picture so to speak. We want to know everything the business wants and hopes to achieve. This way we can work out the best and most cost effective way to achieve what the business wants. We also understand the economy and being a small business ourselves we know spending a lot of money can be tough. We think our rates are affordable and are capable of working out a price.”

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