Film school grads’ company committed to working here

New Pink Hippo Productions  is possibly the first company formed in Chicago by film school grads, who say they are serious about living and working here and growing their business, in spot production and ultimately features.


The three equal partners are DP Nicholas Puetz, 24 and director/producer John Xyis, 25, Columbia College grads and friends from school, and post supervisor/editor Dallas McGee, 25, a DePaul Cinema School alum.


They also have two older, non-industry partners who helped them launch their company and set them firmly on a business track.


“The partners are all passionate about working in the film industry,” says Michael Walker, 25, Pink Hippo’s account executive, a DePaul marketing grad, who was Puetz’ roommate when they were in college.


“They are very entrepreneurial in spirit, coming from families that own their own businesses and can help advise us as we grow.”


While they aspire to commercial work, the partners have largely been engaged in corporate communications for such firms as Custom Stoneworks, Micron transformers and E3 VIP luxury tailgate parties.


The partners also own their own equipment that’s available for rental.  They invested in an Arri Alexa XT camera package and a 24-ft. crane with a remote camera head, purchased, says Puetz, company president, “because it’s one of those pieces of specialty equipment that help you stand out from the rest of the cinema world.”


They shoot out of Cinespace, where president Alex Pissios has been welcoming indie companies like Pink Hippo into its complex. “One of our goals is to create a hub of production companies and services as another good reason to shoot in Chicago,” he says.


Walker can be reached at 630/605-3083.