Two Hispanic media pros join Kinzie Street Studios

Production veterans and director/DPs David Moravec and Mike Torchia of full-service Kinzie Street Studios has brought aboard a pair of similarly experienced Hispanic visual media pros.

Producer Edgar Vargas, previously with ABC/7 and earlier creative services director for Univision, and agency consultant and director Paul Corso are helping Kinzie Street expand its production expertise to meet the needs of the fast-growing but underserved Hispanic market.

“We’ve been successful with Spanish language projects to date, and having Vargas and Corzo on the team –- both with proven track records in Spanish and general market media — means we can approach clients with confidence and consistency,” says Torchia.

Producer Edgar VargasVargas and Corzo originally worked together to launch Univision’s first O&O station in Chicago in 1995. While Corzo was working for Hispanic ad agencies, Univision hired him as a consultant on how to market and sell to Chicago’s growing Hispanic market.

With the Hispanic media and marketing experts, Kinzie Street Studios has tremendous potential as one of a handful of known local Hispanic-targeted production companies.

According to the U.S. Census, Hispanics number 29% of Chicago’s population and A.C. Nielson forecasts the market will reach $1.5 trillion in buying power by 2015.  Total ad spend on Spanish advertising was $5.7 billion in 2011.

Serving as ‘cultural translators’

One of their greatest strengths, Vargas feels, is offering more than bi-lingual creative services.  “Our strength is as cultural translators, meaning our creative goes beyond language.”

Director/consultant Paul CorzoAs an example, Corzo tells of directing a commercial for a wireless phone performed by hip-swinging Cuban dancers in a spot aimed at a Mexican audience, who rhythmically shake their shoulders, not hips, when dancing. 

Recognizing the cultural difference that would have invalidated the spot, Corzo stopped the shoot to bring in Mexican dancers to show the Cubans how to perform the culturally correct moves.

A recent Hispanic project Vargas and Corzo directed were a trio awareness/marketing videos for Pfizer Pharmaceuticals aimed at Spanish-speaking dairy workers.

“It had to be entertaining, so we spun the videos off ‘Sabado Gigant,’ the TV show popular with Mexican families,” Vargas says.

Still in the Near West Side

Kinzie Street Studios operates out of the Absolute Production Services building at 2142 W. Walnut, a few blocks west of Moravec and Torchia’s Pixel Brothers’ 12,000-sq. ft. facility they built out and outfitted for daily editing and post of “The Jerry Springer Show.”  

They had the show for six years until syndicator NBC Universal in 2009 abruptly moved Springer and “The Steve Wilcos Show” to Hartford, Conn.

Rebounding from the loss, Moravec and Torchia set up EZ3 Productions to produce 22 episodes of “The Treasure Hunters Roadshow.” When the series ended, they formed Kinzie Street Studios two-and-a-half years ago.