Agencies clients of techie
Richter Brothers graphics studio

Jeremy Richter combines technology and graphics for agency and corporate clients

As if starting a new production company during last year’s hellish economy wasn’t nervy enough, Richter Brothers Studios goes one better. It claims the title of "most innovative multimedia firm in Chicago," at least according to their web site.

"What makes us different," explains Jeremy Richter, "is the combination of our custom programming, 3D capabilities, and absolutely pristine graphics." But brother David is quick to add: "the client’s message never gets lost in the technology."

"We want to be known as people who solve problems for clients,” says David Richter. About 65% of their business comes from ad agencies and the remaining 35% are direct clients. They’re anticipating 2003 billing "somewhere between $600,000 and a million." They hope to double their staff after moving to a larger space.

That fusion of high tech and the human touch has earned Richter Brothers Studios a slew of high-end clients like Motorola, GE Medical Systems, Ingersoll-Rand and Noble/BBDS.

Not bad for two guys from the far north suburbs who, according to their college plans, were slated to major in marketing (Jeremy, now 32 years old) and accounting (David, three years older). The dynamic duo grew up in the Zion/Antioch area and both attended the University of Wisconsin in LaCross.

While working for a construction company after college, Jeremy became a media specialist during an era when "Power Point was a big deal. Up until then, the company used paper flip charts." During a two year stretch he produced 40 training videos on shoestring budgets.

David Richter anticipates 2003 sales between $600,000 and $1 million

Meanwhile, David had landed a technical position at Motorola. In 1999 he flexed his trademark audacity by proposing a video project to a sales VP, a move that crossed well-drawn corporate lines. When the VP loved the results, David knew there was no turning back.

Five years ago the brothers teamed with Ed Grozich and formed Cosmic Consortium. When Grozich left last year to follow his muse to Croatia, David and Jeremy officially launched Richter Brothers Studios. Their current location at 30 S. Wacker Drive houses a total of six designers and programmers, and they expect to move to roomier digs in the near future.

The Studio is best known for highly customized media solutions that can include the surprising plus of an extended shelf life. For example, a CD-ROM might be programmed to dynamically change content seen by the user, depending on specific factors.

"We had a client whose product had lots of disclaimers," recalls Jeremy. "So we wrote code that would suppress a disclaimer when it was no longer necessary, like after a certain date."

David says that this approach is especially valuable with web content and database driven information. "The goal is to help control the user experience, and do it transparently."

Another powerful way in which they take control is through 3D imaging. The brothers have created animated "virtual prototypes" for clients who need to visualize something that doesn’t yet exist. "We use a lot of Lightwave and a little Maya," says Jeremy.

Even in the Studio’s techie environment, traditional video has always been an integral part of the mix as the basis for stand-alone products or as elements in CD-ROMs and web sites. The Studio owns mini-DV and DVcam gear, and edits on Final Cut Pro. When their needs call for Digi-Beta or a higher-end edit, they collaborate with strategic partner Big Shoulders.

Does their growing name recognition have anything to do with veteran commercial director Bob Richter? The brothers break into simultaneous laughter. "If we could only tell you how many times we’ve been asked that," says Jeremy. "No, we’re not related. But maybe we should get together."

In the meantime, you can find them at 312/861-9999, and– by Joan Tortorici Ruppert