New Beat Studios provides agencies
with creative production services

John Aitken heads the new Beat Studios for advertising production services.

Once he decided he didn’t want to work for a large corporate entity any longer, it took John Aitken only six weeks to go into business as Beat Studios, a new advertising production service in the Aon (Amoco) Building.

Beat Studios offers agencies 20 different categories of services, including storyboards and comps, illustration and retouching, digital keylining and prepress.

Of these, said Aitken, former managing director at Vertis Advertising Production Service, storyboards/comps represent 25% of their business, illustration and retouching another 25%.

Animation is primarily Flash animation to spice up their agency clients’ new business presentations.

Opening Beat Studios was “our chance to do something different,” said Aitken who’d been with Vertis 11 years throughout its many incarnations.

“I know ?being different’ sounds trite, everyone says it, but we want to have an environment where creativity is allowed to flourish. We are totally digitized, so we don’t have investments in solutions that we have to go out and sell.”

Something different also included taking 5,500-sq. ft. offices on the 34th floor of the Aon building. “We wanted to be as close as possible to our clients (FCB, DDB, Element 79, Noble & Associates) with a downtown office so we can provide better service,” Aitken said.

Furthermore, he added, “We have no intention of being a large player. We are neatly positioned to help clients.”

Pricing is “pegged a hair below industry standards,” he added.

Aitken’s “partners in the concept and two key players” are storyboard/comp artist Alex Page, from DDB, Clay Skougard, Web designer and retoucher from Alchemy studios.

Other staff members are Doug Stanely, an illustrator/retoucher from Bang Studios; rep Lisa Graessle from Vertis; producer Brook Mullikin and T.J. Corman, director of operations, who held the same position at Vertis.

Beat Studio’s phone is 312/818-9900.

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