Joe Buscemi of INLINE Productions: Your Questions Answered

INLINE Productions is a Columbus-based, family-owned business that develops strategic solutions in video, CD-ROM, DVD authoring, e-media, and film. INLINE contends that video-based new media is one of the most powerful ways to connect with prospects, reach out for new business, and keep a company’s objectives clear− both internally and externally.

Herewith, INLINE Founder and President Joe Buscemi, a Columbus Business First Forty Under 40 alum, shares the questions he is asked most about his company and career path− and his answers, of course.

1. How did you get started in video production?

I was always interested in the field. I graduated from Ohio University with a BA in video and audio production, then was lucky enough to become a production assistant in Miami, Florida for a company that was small and growing and really allowed me to learn a lot in a short period of time. It was a real trial-by-fire experience. I collaborated with some very talented people on some high-profile projects that gave me the ground-level experience and production training I still use today.

After seven years I decided to move back home with an impressive demo reel and the confidence to enter the Columbus production market. That was 15 years ago.

2. How did you come to own your own video production business?

The most common question I get asked is about starting my own business. I’ve been interviewed by young entrepreneurs and students, and they expect a story with a big moment where I had an epiphany. They think I just woke up one day and said, “I’m going to start a video production business! That sounds fun.”

I can confirm part of that story: it is fun. But the truth is, starting the business was more of an evolution than a specific decision.

What happened was, as I became more involved in the Columbus production market, I was acting as the director and producer on a specific shoot and clients wanted a point person to handle all the details of putting together their video. They knew I understood what they were looking for and started trusting me to act on their behalf.

Essentially, those customers “asked” me to start my own video production. So I did. And as I grew my skills, I began taking on more of the production process. I acquired an edit system and started editing, then shooting. Now INLINE Productions is a complete turn-key facility that can handle any size project completely in-house.

3. What is your approach to video production?

It sounds cliché but it’s still the number one rule: it’s all about story. The advancements in technology and the drop in equipment and software prices have made video production more accessible to everyone. YouTube, Vimeo, Google Video and others are giving advertisers, producers and hobbyists a direct line to customers and fans.

Hollywood-style effects are within nearly any budget. You can create and distribute a video for less money and with better production than at any time in history– but just because you can doesn’t mean you should!

We start with a holistic view of the project by analyzing message, audience, purpose and goals, and then applying the best technology and talent to achieve the desired results.

4. What’s the most significant change you’ve seen in video production over your career?

Obviously the advance in technology is a big one. Clients can get so much more for so much less in terms of quality and technology. The cameras in use today in internal and external corporate communications are better than the state-of-the-art broadcast TV cameras in use just a couple decades ago. Advancements in computer hardware and software have given video editors and graphic artists nearly unlimited creative freedom.

It’s exciting to be working in media production when anything is possible. Communicators are not limited in what they can create and distribute to both internal and external customers. As this digital revolution keeps evolving, communication professionals face challenges and unparalleled opportunities to harness better and smarter relationships with stakeholders.

5. What’s the most interesting video project you’ve been a part of?

One of the most incredible projects we’ve been a part of has to be the national cable TV show we produce called “Stowaways” for the Wealth TV Network. The show is a reality based travelogue style adventure that explores life aboard the most expensive mega-yachts ever built. Needless to say, shooting the episodes is a lot of fun. We’ve filmed on yachts ranging from 120 to 170 feet long in exotic locations from the Caribbean to the French Rivera.

Here’s another one that created a once-in-a-lifetime experience. To keep our storytelling skills sharp, we often participate in short film contests. In 2010, INLINE helped produce the winning film of 48 Hour Film Project here in Columbus. The film went on to place in the top 10 internationally out of more than 3,000 short films, good enough to earn a screening at the Cannes Film Festival. The team at INLINE went to France that year for the festival. It was truly an amazing experience.

6. What’s next for INLINE Productions and the industry?

Over the past 15 years, we’ve carved out a reputation as a video boutique, and have helped some of the world’s most powerful brands reach their goals and maintain their leading status through creative, innovative and effective brand communications. These world-leading brands, many located right here in Central Ohio, have called on us to elevate their brands with media creations that hook, inspire, and drive demand.

There are some exciting things on the horizon in the field of video production. Cameras continue to exceed expectations with ever increasing quality. Editing software and hardware continues to give storytellers more creative options and flexibility. The web and mobile devices create an ever-growing platform to reach audiences with better more engaging content.

To say we’re excited about the future of the video production industry and INLINE’s position in it is an understatement.  We’re happy with the culture we’ve built here that embraces advances in technology while never forgetting that it always begins with a great story. Story is the foundation– everything else must flow from and support it. And that’s what we’ll keep doing –getting better and faster, using the best technology and talent– for many years to come.

To learn more about INLINE Productions, visit