Wheelhouse’s Creative Director Joe Monahan has done it all when it comes to video operations.
Before moving to Wheelhouse Creative, he and brother Pat started Shooters Productions, where they produced videos of anything from government contracts to live events.
He’s written scripts, shot and edited video. He now manages a staff.
Yet what makes Joe’s eyes light up is the challenge of a concept.
“I love sitting, brainstorming, and saying, ‘What if?’” Monahan said with a smile.
He’s at the perfect marketing agency for that — because his department can make video magic for clients.
A resident of Martins Ferry with wife Kimberly and daughter Lena (where he also serves as a church Deacon), Joe’s love of work started early.
“My mother always complained about us watching too much TV and now I can say I was studying for my career,” he chuckled. “But where the passion really began was in college. On a whim, I bought a little TV card that captured video from VHS tape, whatever I had at the time.
“But we would play flag football. I’d grown up watching NFL Films narrated by Steve Sabol. I was a Pittsburgh Steelers fan. They were in the championship years, and I’d watch the films over and over. I always enjoyed the way they were edited to the music, with slow motion. Football kind of is opera-like. It always seemed so artful to me.
“Well, when I went to [Ohio State], I had a cousin who lived in Columbus and asked him to take a camera and shoot our intramural flag football games. I said I didn’t even know what I’ll do with it. He shot six or seven games. I’d take that film back and edit it NFL-Films style. One day, I sat down to do it at 9 o’clock in the morning. The next thing I knew, it was 10 p.m. I hadn’t eaten; I hadn’t showered. I did just that. I thought, ‘I like this.’ It took off from there.”
A love was born. Joe and Pat shot video of weddings, etc.
“Finally, one day after we moved back [to the Ohio Valley] from school, I said, ‘Why don’t we just do this?’ We started our own studio, having no idea what we were doing. Here was a computer. Here was a camera. So, we started Shooters. All we really knew was we loved it.”
The brothers continued to work on their craft for 17 years at Shooters before moving to Wheelhouse in 2016.
And now? With all the experience gained, what’s Joe’s favorite part of the job? You guessed it.
“Of course, there’s the video side,” he said. “Yet now I gravitate toward coming up with an idea and then figuring out how to execute it. Since I work with talented editors/visual effects people, it opens up all my creativity.
“If you don’t have that ability on staff, your ideas are scaled down. But because we at Wheelhouse have all this ability, I love approaching projects knowing we can go anywhere. What metaphor can I draw from this? How can we tell the story?”
Monahan said that feathers into one of his favorite projects each year: marketing Oglebay’s Festival of Lights.
“Yes, it’s about turning on the Christmas lights,” he said. “Cars drive through, and people go, ‘Oh ah!’ And we’ve shown that. We showed the lights and the people driving through. It was straight forward. But then we asked, ‘Are we just going to do that over and over again?’ We thought, ‘How can we present that in a way that’s more compelling, more fun? What tells more of a story?’”
In this case, inspiration came from a trip with daughter Lena.
“I ran into Santa Claus one day, while taking my daughter to the library to have photos with him. I looked at him and thought, ‘That really is Santa.’ He perfectly looked the part. I found out who he was and started building stories around him.
“We showed Santa going in wanting to use the 3-D glasses. Then the next year, what about him lighting up the lights? What if he’s flying through on his sleigh and turns the lights on?
“That’s what I like. Bordas & Bordas. They are attorneys. They litigate. What can we do with that? Well, their slogan is, ‘Fighting for Justice.’ Who else fights for justice? Well, superheroes. Batman sits in his cave, watches and helps people. We portrayed Jamie Bordas doing just that.”
It’s what separates Wheelhouse Creative from other agencies.
“I’ve often said, many marketing agencies have creative people and graphic designers, but what sets us apart is our ability to go beyond that. We have the ability to use a green screen. We have the ability to make a scene look real. We have the ability to make creativity come to life.
“We can match the creativity instead of being limited.”
So, if you’re interested in effectively marketing your company, open your mind to the possibilities that Joe Monahan and the rest of the Wheelhouse staff offer.
Call us today at 304-905-6005!