Native Films Brings Type To Life in Wynwood
Native Films, a Wynwood based full service film production agency, is led by President and Film veteran, Craig Whitaker. Whitaker, a multifaceted entrepreneur, functions as Executive Producer for the firm with almost thirty years under his belt. He considers himself the “mastermind” as he puts it, “bringing type to life.”
In the age of digital media, Native Films works with major enterprises such as KFC, YUM Brands, and Encore, to maximize their product’s reach, producing quality content ready for any and every available multimedia platform, from pay per view to webisodes.
Miami, well known as a gateway for the Latin markets with its proximity to the Caribbean, Central and South America, Native Films acts as a conduit between European and Latin American clients while simultaneously utilizing the diverse Miami backdrop.
Having held offices in Fort Lauderdale, South Beach, Midtown, and even Caracas, Venezuela, Native Films calls Wynwood home, having maintained a residency on thoroughfare, 29th Street for almost two years. Situated across from the Rubell Family Collection, it’s evident to Whitaker that his location is on the cutting edge of Miami. “We’re very fortunate that the location we ended up getting is right across from the Rubells, right next to an advertising agency, O Cinema is a few doors down, which is really cool for our independent films.” He describes the local business support model as one of the benefits of operating within the Wynwood community. “Down the lot, there’s Buddy DeVingo who’s the food guy we use on a lot of our productions. He feeds our crews. There’s a lot of internal stuff that’s cross synergizing and we believe in supporting our community.”
Wynwood’s climate and landscape also serves as an incentive for Whitaker’s operations. Whitaker continues, “the cool hip people are starting to hang here and we’re bringing the business in here. Miami has a lot to offer for production. Great vendors, studios, people are investing into the production community itself.” Cesar Peralta, Director of Sales and Marketing for Native Films, adds, “It’s definitely a creative hub. This is the spot to be for all the creative minds. We notice that agencies are moving in, casting people are moving to the area, more production.”
The unique aspect of Wynwood’s outdoor murals and urban feel, provide a new lure for production scouts to shoot in the Magic City. Craig explains, “We just shot a Starz Encore episode all through Art Walk. We brought an interviewer in and went to the food trucks and all around. It’s a great backdrop.”
With such a high demand for inventory in Wynwood, it was a no brainer for Craig to work with David Lombardi of Lombardi Properties, with whom he had been acquainted with for years. “David Lombardi is the top dog in the market,” Craig says. “He’s one of the best real estate guys and he’s a very nice guy. This location had the best vibe and we worked out a great deal. He knows his market well and he invested a lot down here to make this happen.”
Very satisfied with his space, Whitaker’s company continues to grow. However, he is starting to keep an eye out for even bigger spaces in Wynwood. “It’s just become the real hot area and we believe it’s going to be a cool production community. We’ve decided to headquarter here and be a part of it and build our brand.”