At Work: Vital Film Works – Independent Audio and Video Studio

Welcome to a new series on The Metropreneur. “At Work” will follow the same approach as Columbus Underground’s “At Home” series. We will visit creative spaces around Columbus and have candid talks with the owners and their employees about their workspace, business philosophies, and how their space works for them.

Our first business is Vital Film Works, an independent audio and video company located in the Grandview area. About three years ago, friends Fred Blitzer, Jason Clayton and John Daugherty decided to bring their passions together− Fred (music and audio construction), Jason (singer, songwriting) and John (DJ and design)− and form Vital Film Works. They have since hired employees to become an artistic team of about ten people and have already won numerous awards, including an Emmy Award for “Editor-Program” for the music video “Visitor” by The Receiver.

They searched quite a few areas of town for their workspace, finally settling on a warehouse in the Grandview area off Third Avenue. They love the proximity to Grandview and downtown Columbus. It was an old sprinkler factory that the landlord had divided into nine offices at about 1,000 sq. ft. each.

Vital started with two spaces and has since taken over nearly the entire building. Being able to grow as they have needed space has been a wonderful aspect of being in this building. The flexibility allowed them to grow slowly and thoughtfully. They started with a couple of audio recording rooms and have since added more recording rooms, editing rooms, breakout space, space to meet clients, and a kitchenette.

When you walk through the door of their quiet, unassuming warehouse, you know Vital is a great place to work. It has an open, super-creative vibe, musicians are going in and out, people stop to chat, hang out and collaborate on projects. The oversize prints on the wall and rotating fine art pieces from 83 Gallery add to the creative vibe.

Blitzer is the visionary behind the spaces. He works on the initial designs, they all provide input and then get to work, doing much of the build-outs themselves. They have put a lot of love into their work environment! They have been doing much of it on a shoestring budget and have used Craigslist and shopped their own personal belongings for furnishings. For the office furniture, they worked with UrbanOffice.

John Daugherty (left) and Jason Clayton discuss an upcoming project

Part of Vital’s business philosophy includes keeping active in, and doing things for, its community. The company recently hosted a Yelp event featuring non-profits and have also hosted events for the Grandview Chamber of Commerce. It also partnered with the Columbus Metropolitan Library on a screenwriting contest for teens. The winner was a 14-year-old from Westerville.


Solar Imaging for the large art prints

83 Gallery for fine art

UrbanOffice for office furniture

All photography by Adam Slane.

Do you have, or work in, a creative workspace and would like to be featured in this series? If so, please contact Anne Evans.