Neumann’s 20 years of capturing destinations

It’s been 20 years since Michael Neumann opened full-service live action, editing and animation house One World Productions out of a single room he rented from another production company on Dayton Street. 

“We now own a beautiful large loft near Chicago Avenue and Halsted with stunning views, multiple balconies, several edit bays and an amazing vibe,” Neumann says.

“The anniversary reminds me that we must be doing something right.  After our projects people often tell us how easy we make things for them.”

Neumann grew up on the Northwest Side, went to undergrad at UW Madison, and grad school at Northwestern.  The owner of his favorite hot dog stand, Maurie’s, introduced him to his first industry contact, Michael Hirsch, a documentary producer for Ch. 11.

Director/cameraman Michael NeumannHirsch “told me to ‘forget about this business,’” Neumann recalls.  “Sadly, I walked away when he yelled ‘hey kid, call my friend at NBC.’”  Neumann made that call, got a job there, then moved over to CBS.

He launched One World after seven years producing at now-defunct agency DMB&B for clients including American Dairy Association, Crest, Budweiser and Amoco.

One World’s work lent itself well to tourism

Starting out with small local projects, One World quickly began courting agencies in New York and San Francisco as well as Chicago shops, with an emphasis on travel and tabletop shoots. 

“The beauty of our work lent itself well to tourism,” Neumann says.  “We found ourselves traveling much of the planet to shoot cruise ships and gorgeous destinations.” 

“We traveled on Cunard Cruise Lines’ Queen Elizabeth 2, through the Panama Canal around South America and then eventually to South Africa, St. Helena, all of the Caribbean and Bahamas, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Thailand, with various cruise lines and tourism destinations.  Showcasing that work helped us grow and grow,” he notes.

“It looks like we are shooting a tourism campaign for Sicily as well this summer,”

Their client roster includes clients of DDB, Leo Burnett, Saatchi & Saatchi, Spike Lee, Ogilvy & Mather, JWT, and Radical Media NY/Iconoclasts.

“Our collaboration with Radical Media NY/Iconoclasts has been fantastic,” Neumann says.  “Meeting amazing A-List folks like Metallica, Ron Howard, Bill Maher and others has been really solid.”

Florida Keys Tourism a major client

With producer Katie Williamson and core team of a three-to-four staff, supplemented by freelancers, many of them long term, Neumann is currently at work on spots in Florida and Texas for Verizon, City Furniture, Presto Corporation, and the Florida Keys Tourism Council.

“All of the Florida Keys shoots have been incredibly rewarding,” Neumann says.  “The people in the Keys treat us like old friends.”

Director/DP Neumann shoots with an ever-evolving arsenal of cameras that includes the Arri Alexa, Can C500, and RED Epic and Scarlet. 

“The adoption of these cameras has been one of my greatest joys,” Neumann says.  “I am still shooting with specialty PL mount lenses that I purchased 15 years ago and making the most gorgeous images of my life with them.”

Contact Ed Koziarski at edmdoz@hotmail.com.

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