Two companies combine with a Mighty good idea

Backyard president Blair Stibley and Optimus president Tom Duff in new venture

Backyard Productions and Optimus are sharing their mighty resources in a newly formed “creative production home,” operating autonomously out of Backyard’s Venice, California office.  

Backyard president Blair Stribley and Optimus president Tom Duff and his partners on Feb. 1 launched Mighty Film Co., as a separate new venture.  The two companies will share some overhead.

Around the New Year, Stribley says he approached Duff about a possible new venture.  “He got interested in it quickly and we decided to partner,” Stribley says.

Stribley and Duff have worked together since Duff’s days at Leo Burnett, and their two companies have often collaborated on commercials, usually paired by agencies.

“We have talked on and off for years now about how cool it would be to do something together,” Duff says.  “Our two companies have similar cultures and Backyard directors and our Optimus editors and artists have worked on many projects together over the years so there is a ton of familiarity and mutual admiration.”

“We’ve got an opportunity to create a new flavor” at Mighty, Stribley says.  “We’ll also be looking to bring on a new type of writer/director or writer/director/producer to go after more digital media and branded entertainment, more long-form things.  We are talking to some directors who play in that world.”

Initially Mighty will rep four spot directors: Phil Brown, Jesper Ericstam, Rob Pritts, and Rob Sanders, all of whom have a history with Backyard.

“We hope to see projects from our clients that call for Mighty/Backyard directors and Optimus’ breadth of services just like we have now with our One directors,” Duff says, referring to Optimus’ in-house production arm.

Citing confidentiality, Stribley couldn’t give details about the car campaign Mighty is currently working on, although he did say they’re considering Chicago for a possible upcoming shoot.

Them Reps handle Mighty Films’ Midwest sales; The Family reps it on the East Coast, and Brad & Mark on the West Coast.

Backyard was co-founded by veteran sales rep Roy Skillicorn and Stribley   in 1988.   Skillicorn left Backyard earlier this year and is now focused on his branded entertainment studio Seed, also in Venice.

Mighty Film Co. is at 248 Main St., Venice, Calif.  Call 310/452-0101 or see