Stephen Ellestad, the President and CEO of Innervoice Media, was interviewed by Adam Torres of Mission Matters Entertainment Podcast.
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Innervoice Media is a full-service media production company offering performance, recording and production spaces and services for people both inside and out of the performing arts industry.
How did you decide to get into the media industry?
Ellestad says he entered the industry by way of music, having worked as a touring artist, session musician, and touring sideman. He slowly started getting more into the technical and business aspects of the music industry, which led to opportunities to branch out into commercial music videos, promotions, and more.
What’s the business model of Inner Voice Media?
Launched nearly six years ago, Innervoice Media offers a host of services across the performance, production and recording spectrum. Given his industry experience, Ellestad says he started off wanting to work with labels and artists, and then move into video, audio posts, licensing and music supervision as well as other offerings.
“I saw a lot of overlap there, and they’re all structured in a traditional model, but viable by being able to offer full service in-house scoring and sound design as well as recording studios,” he says. “So, it’s a lot of co-leveraged verticals. There’s a synergistic effect.”
“You have recording and music; versus audio versus commercial, video work versus working on creative narrative and doing workshops, and educational; all those have different opportunities for different revenue centers,” he adds. “However, they all share… sunk costs and the same collective pool of resources. So, Inner Voice builds both a help and a talent pool to manage and support that.”
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How does it all work?
“It’s a combination of production value, creative success, and commercial success; the project’s outcome or this process and the way a company can help people,” Ellestad says. “(We’re) dealing with like production houses in Hollywood, beginner students, people who are just learning how to shoot, or people who are just working on their first kind of media projects. And there’s something at every level that the company can supplement… with resources and education.”
The brand is building up casting crew registries, location registries, and talent across board resources for the creative communities in Northern and Central California. “There’s a lot of value where it may look like a loss leader,” he notes. “Inner voice considers it a very much investment in the bigger picture, which will create more people needing more expertise and opportunities.”
What can people expect from your facility?
Innervoice Media has almost 12,000 square feet of space offering everything from an art department and production offices to a soundstage with robotics, green screens, and control booth. Ellestad says there’s also a range of insert studios and flex spaces that can be whatever a client needs, including a “situation room” for large-scale planning sessions. The space comes complete with multiple post-production spaces, scoring suites, massive walls of synthesizers, and music equipment.
Tell us about your team
“It started six years ago with a college student who was an intern,” he says. “There are around 30 staff members, including two partners, Doug Stanley and Jamie Ross.” He notes that the team has integrated and adapted the organization “as per its natural inclinations,” evolving as time goes on and a variety of needs arise.
The road ahead for Innervoice
“In 2022, we want to focus on stabilizing the business growth by engaging in outreach and engagement,” Ellestad says. “We have started with micro-film festivals through our organizing committee, which takes care of casting and acting workshops, technical development, photography, and cinematography. In the future, we want to open up access and enhance user awareness,” he says.