The walls do talk at Atlantic Coast Productions in Northfield — or at least tell a lot of the story of the company’s 25-plus years of creating videos, TV shows, TV ads, social-media marketing and a lot more.
The hallway that links the cramped offices of partners David Pashuck and Jake Glassey Jr. is lined with pictures of stars they’ve worked with, among them pro basketball heroes Charles Barkley and Allen Iverson and TV sex therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer. On the way to their studio, there’s an old-school clapper board from spots they did with Dom DeLuise.
The back wall in the front office holds the local Emmy Awards the pair won for producing “Curtain Call with David Spatz,” the TV interview show hosted by the Atlantic City entertainment guru.
Behind their studio’s green screen, the back wall is lined with racks of videos — more than 8,000 of them, by the count of the guys who started Atlantic Coast Productions in 1985 and keep it alive today in a radically different media world than the one they entered.
But it would take walls the size of IMAX movie screens to list all the details and coincidences that led this “video survivor,” in Glassey’s phrase, to last for almost three decades that include travels from South Jersey to Northern Ireland, Shanghai, Tokyo and Bratislava, among other exotic shooting locations.
The quick outline goes like this: Pashuck, now of Ocean City, was a cameraman for a Philadelphia TV station in the 1980s, but he shot jobs on the side. When his TV bosses gave him a choice — shoot for the station or do his private jobs — he gave up the steady paycheck for a freelance life.
Glassey was production manager at the old Sammons Cable Channel 2 when they met. Their first real business dealing came when Glassey needed a video camera to shoot the first Spatz show — and asked to rent Pashuck’s camera.
But maybe the key meeting in ACP history was with Dave Coskey, a young marketing executive at Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino in the 1980s. Coskey was on his way to being partner in an advertising/PR agency, called MediaWorks, and from there to marketing wizard for the National Basketball Association’s Philadelphia 76ers.
“When I was at Trump Plaza ... Dave was my contract cameraman,” Coskey said. “That’s how we first met, and we’ve kind of worked together ever since.”
Pashuck followed Coskey to Linwood and subleased space from MediaWorks, a landlord that came with a fringe benefit.
“We were like their in-house video crew,” Pashuck said. “And when (Coskey) left to go to the 76ers, we did all their work for seven or eight years. We had a nice, big roll going there.”
Coskey kept them busy.
“All my TV spots that changed every week, I did them all with those guys,” said Coskey, adding that back in those lower-tech times, he “probably had seven or eight messengers a week going back and forth” between ACP’s office and his in Philadelphia.
“Also, all the in-arena videos we got a lot of attention for in the playoffs were created by Dave and Jake,” as was “Sixers Jam,” a half-hour TV show that ran weekly in Philadelphia, said Coskey, who still uses ACP today to make ads for Longport Media’s radio stations, where he’s president.
“The word ‘no’ never existed with them. ... They’re the best-kept secret in Atlantic City,” he added. “These guys have been local for 30 years, and they’re as good as or better than some of the big production houses in Philadelphia and New York.”
But Atlantic Coast Productions also had a steady account near the Pacific Coast, in Spokane, Washington, where an old Atlantic City casino boss hired them to do ads and more video work for an Indian-owned casino there.
They say the key to their success is flexibility, with each other and their clients.
“We don’t have one person doing the lighting, one doing sound, one shooting. We do everything,” said Glassey, because the company is just the two owners, who hire help as needed.
They lost the 76ers work when Comcast, the cable company, bought the team and went to in-house production.
“And with these four casinos closing,” Glassey said, meaning Atlantic City’s upheaval this year, “we lost four clients.”
But they stayed flexible and found new clients, making videos that aren’t for TV and producing their own line of food-focused media content. A wide selection of their work may be seen at atlanticcoastproductions.com.
“Our world has changed dramatically,” Glassey said. “We’re producing a lot less for TV and a lot more for the Web. But we survived, and companies that were six times as big as us are dead now.”
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