Who Can Produce a Cool Tribute Video?

By Mimi O'Connor September 8, 2008, 9:00 AM EDT

Stills from a variety of tribute videos.

Photo: Courtesy of Lifefilm (top), Courtesy of Madprops(middle), Courtesy of Raw Films (bottom)

Honoring a retiring exec or an award winner with a video about their life’s work is a great idea, but only if the piece doesn’t move guests to check their BlackBerries or sneak off to the restroom. Here are three companies that specialize in these types of films and, if asked, will travel to make it happen.

With more than 20 years of combined film and television industry experience, Lifefilm Productions co-founders Peilin Chou and John Brancaccio use the same production professionals they worked with at companies such as Walt Disney Studios, MTV Networks, ESPN, and Bravo to craft their celebratory docs. The firm prides itself on delivering broadcast-quality, story-driven films that are truly entertaining. Past clients include C-level execs from Hasbro and real estate developer S.R. Weiner. Rates start at $5,000, with longer and more intensive projects ranging from $10,000 to $20,000.

Husband-and-wife team Christy and Jonny Sheehan started Mad Props Productions when a tribute video they made for fun for a friend suddenly found them fielding requests for more of the same. With resumes that include broadcast work for companies such as VH1, A&E, NBC, and E!, the pair produces television-ready videos featuring top 10 lists with a fast-cutting style and artistic flair, or, if desired, more sedate pieces. Previous work includes 40th birthday party tributes for executives at Miramax Films and an investment bank. Fees start at $5,000.

Video production and corporate media development company Raw Media Network’s portfolio ranges from quirky and irreverent (a rockumentary parody complete with Mick Jagger and Bono look-alikes for a C.E.O. tribute) to weighty and reflective (videos for the Clinton Global Initiative and Amnesty International). Raw Media president Johnny Boston states that regardless of the topic or the tone, the foundation of the firm’s work is crafting compelling stories. The company enlists top industry talent, from broadcast cinematographers to writers with credits including Saturday Night Live and the Academy Awards. Prices begin at $5,000.

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