August 02, 2006
91 East, A Hamptons Production
91 East, a production and editing facility in Bridgehampton, is an example of how technology erases distance, rendering location moot. With a high-end computer system the company creates, sends and receives information from clients across the country, all from the cozy confines of their Main St., Bridgehampton office.
The company, a subsidiary of the Creative Group, Inc., is the brainchild of Naomi Hogarty, its creative director and producer, who started out at as a producer at MTV in the late 1980s and has since done work for networks ranging from ESPN to PBS to Lifetime. "What we do is everything from on-air promo spots and on-air commercial spots to industrial and short films. We write, produce, direct, shoot," Hogarty explained.
Sitting in the company's meeting area with Allison Karnbard, 91 East's executive producer, on a recent morning, Hogarty explained that the company does everything from "concept to completion," writing scripts, shooting footage, choosing music, recording voiceovers and creating graphics. And whatever the project may be, from a movie promo clip to a documentary about breast cancer to a behind-the-scenes movie special, Hogarty said the core of every piece can be boiled down to one question: "What's the draw?"
Because their work touches on so many different fields, Hogarty and Karnbard rely on their extensive background in producing and their ability to adapt their skills to the different language each job requires. "It helps when you don't know that much about something. You can look at something and you can put a different twist on it," Karnbard said.
"I can produce sports really well, but I don't know a lot about sports," Hogarty added. "It's the passion and the perspective that helps."
The two said their jobs are aided by the fact that their small team, which includes the senior editor Paul Bastin, production assistant Doranne Bakiewicz, and recording engineer and producer Cynthia Daniels, recognize their roles need to be fluid. "We really all have to do everything," Hogarty said.
A good reputation helps in a field where "everyone knows everyone and everyone has worked with everyone," as Karnbard put it. "I always say you're only as good as your last job," Hogarty added.
And while their bread and butter is work from high-end cable networks, Hogarty noted that the company is happy to take on work in its own backyard. "I think we could absolutely offer so much to local companies," Hogarty said, calling 91 East "a great resource" for people seeking to do work on the East End. "We don't want it to be a big secret out here," she added.
Because whether the piece is a national promo spot for a film or a documentary about breast cancer survivors, Karnbard and Hogarty have perfected the art of the pitch. "We can sell anything," Hogarty said. "We're salesmen — no, saleswomen," Karnbard added.