Boston Video Production and Studio

In 2003, Charles River Media Group (CRMG) was conceived of by Don Schechter as an organization that would foster the independent film and video community of Boston and bring top-level talent together in order to attract more corporate work to the community as well as increase the overall quality of productions in the area.

CRMG’s first multi-year endeavor was the creation of hundreds of short informational videos for About.com on topics ranging from computer software to cooking. These videos have garnered millions of worldwide views and took place during the infancy of digital video on the web. It was this early contract that allowed Charles River Media Group to quickly grow. CRMG’s offices were first located in Revere, MA and later Brookline, MA. A studio was built in Newton Center where CRMG currently maintained offices along with a black-box production studio. In 2019, CRMG moved to 73 TV Place in Needham, MA

Over time, CRMG’s network matured to include a wide variety of producers, directors of photography, editors, colorists, gaffers, grips, audio and live stream engineers, makeup artists, animators, photographers, and voice artists.

CRMG has worked with agencies such as Weber Shandwick, Mullen & Co., Dixon Davis Media, and CTP Boston, as well as for political campaigns and governmental organizations including Menino for Mayor, Khazei for Senate, Congressman Delahunt’s Office, The Massachusetts School Building Authority, and Congressman Barney Frank. CRMG’s work has been seen on many television programs and network including NBC, ESPN, and NHK.

Whether it’s a corporate or non-profit profile or communication, television commercial production or placement on a network, live-streaming event, performance, music video, documentary, photography, studio rental, or crew assistance that you are looking for, please get in touch.

 

 
Undisclosed
 
Undisclosed
 
2 - 9
 Founded
2003
Show all +
Needham Heights, MA
headquarters
  • 73 TV Place
    Needham Heights, MA 02494
    United States

Portfolio

Key clients: 

NEJM Group

Ernst & Young

TEDx Cambridge

Weber Shandwick

Mobius Executive Leadership

National Media Spots

Pearson

Hasty Pudding Institute

ACP Decisions

Boston Groundwater Trust

Massachusetts Gaming Commission

Sonic Pixel Media

Seven Generations Video

 

Charles River Media Group - Who We are

Take a look behind the scenes with interviews and footage with Charles River Media Group's team. 

Reviews

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Technical Dev for Pharmaceutical Brand

"They were a steady and trustworthy hand..."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Mar. - Apr. 2020
Project summary: 

Charles River Media Group provided broadcasting support for a CBD pharmaceutical brand. They organized an online streaming session involving multiple screens on Facebook and YouTube Live. 

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Tel Aviv, Israel
Harry Ehrlich
Producer & Director - Survive & Thrive Celebrity Fundraiser
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Charles River Media Group successfully completed the fundraiser event. Their team was able to run the broadcast feed without any technical difficulties. Their team was excellent at moving quickly and accommodating any changes. 

The client submitted this review online.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your company and your position there.

I was the Technical Producer and Director of the LIVE fundraiser, hired via CBDMEDIC, a topical pharmaceutical brand that has created the first line of FDA Registered topical pain relief creams and ointments that infuse CBD along with other natural active ingredients.

ALL PRODUCTS are THC free, psychoactive. I have worked with CBDMEDIC as a producer, video director, photographer, copywriter, and voiceover artist. It is a unique relationship that has allowed me to wear many hats and demonstrate my value across multiple disciplines.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

For what projects/services did your company hire Charles River Media Group?

CBDMEDIC and the Arthritis Foundation (AF) formed an alliance shortly after the Covid-19 Pandemic became world wide in March 2020. AF had requested crisis funding in order to support the more than 54 million Americans living with arthritis. CBDMEDIC, utilizing their their current relationships, mobilized the majority of the company (now all working from home) to put together a fundraiser, a live "broadcasted" event, where celebrities would come together to challenge each other mentally, physically, and emotionally.

I called Charles River Media in need of a technical partner who would be able to help us navigate the new territory of online streaming, pre-recording, and understanding the do's and don'ts of creating content for this particular medium. We needed a technical partner who was professional, knowledgable, and flexible to help accommodate the fact that our teams were working across 10 time zones, with the run of show being adjusted up until the day of show.

Now, we didn't scope for the project to become this, but like with most projects, the best laid plans need to be adjusted on the fly, and Charles River was a champion for me and my team, as they didn't bat an eye in the face of challenges, they only offered solutions and a positive outlook. It was something that hadn't been done before, on a very condensed timeline with a hard deadline for us to go to air, and after coming out the other side, my team and I were beyond satisfied with the results and production value CRMG brought to the table. We wouldn't have been able to do it without them. Truly.

What were your goals for this project?

Our main goal was to create and present a top-level Celebrity Fundraiser that incorporated pre-recorded and live segments/challenges/conversations. That included coordination and create of a couple simple pre-record edits, graphics, as well being on the same page for the Run of Show.

Our target runtime was 2 hours. We achieved and surpassed this goal. Our fundraiser goals were separate from the production quality goals. We anticipated being able to produce and broadcast a professional production for Facebook LIVE and Youtube LIVE. This goal was met completely.

SOLUTION

How did you select this vendor?

CRMG was recommended to me by another Boston-based contact whom I have a lot of trust and respect for, and who owns their own production studio. After an initial conversation, I was sold on working with CRMG.

Describe the project in detail.

The scope and details of this project kept on changing and expanding almost on a daily basis. What started as an ask for a 4-6 person roundtable discussion hosted via Zoom conferences, turned into a 10 celebrity fundraiser event complete with ex-nfl players competing against each other in video conference challenges, interesting conversations with renowned Chef's and other celebrity personalities.

We wrote the script, and coordinated on logistics with CRMG, and we needed a partner that understood the nature of this unique event, and be a bit flexible with our team, and as those details changed, CRMG was flexible and accommodating!

What was the team composition?

Don, Jon, Mike, Ian..and ALL the other stars over at CRMG came together to help this production go off so well. When we first came in I was only working with Don, but quickly met and came to trust the others who were part of the team. Depending on what we were doing, wether it was going over the ROS or doing a pre-record session, or even on the night of the live event, CRMG built out their team to support whatever it was that was needed in the moment.

The pricing for the team expansion varied by activity, but it was always clear and concise when I needed an update from CRMG on how much of the scope was being used, and it was a quick and efficient process after the show to verify the hours and the final scope of the project.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Can you share any outcomes from the project that demonstrate progress or success?

Our entire c-level team at CBDMEDIC, as well as our friends at the Arthritis Foundation were ecstatic with the quality and the flow of our production on Wednesday April 22nd, 2020. We did such a great job of making sure we had enough pre-recorded material, that the live elements we did have included were distinct and special to the broadcast.

Money was raised, the broadcast feed never faltered or went down due to technical difficulties, any production glitches on the part of CRMG were carefully, quietly, and quickly resolved without any external members of the production or planning team feeling the pressure on the night of the event. Like I said, we were incredibly lucky to have CRMG as our technical production partner in this fundraiser event.

How effective was the workflow between your team and theirs?

I would say that given the fact that CBDMEDIC had deployed much of their day-to-day workforce to help us produce this event, our lines of communication and workflow were as clear as they possibly could be given the amount of information flowing through our pipes. If anything it was bottlenecks on our end that actually made CRMG's job a bit more difficult (from a graphics perspective) that they handled beautifully and calmly, even though our graphics weren't finalized until hours prior to going live.

We communicated and shared documents via google drive which we found to be as efficient as possible give the short timeline. I am sure both sides would have loved to have MORE time to plan, schedule, and execute, however, that was not the situation, and we made the best of the time we did have to work.

What did you find most impressive about this company?

I was really impressed with their fearless and accommodating nature in the face of a project that wasn't ideal. It was a beast, it was a challenge, I personally was concerned about a number of possible outcomes or technical snags that CRMG helped us circumvent and plan for.

They were a steady and trustworthy hand, and I knew that whenever I was on a call with Don or Jon or Mike, etc I would feel supported, on the same team, and reassured that no matter what was being asked or thrown at us, we had the team to see it through in a successful manner. Never a moment of panic! Despite many opportunities for such moments... : )

Are there any areas for improvement?

I couldn't have asked for more from this team. They gave it everything they had, they were flexible enough to understand the unique client and circumstances, and they did it all while safely physically distancing, keeping everyone in their studio clean and healthy, and they helped CBDMEDIC and myself look GREAT after this was all said in done. I hope we get another project like this JUST so that i can work with Don and the team again.

5.0
Overall Score Can I put 6 stars?
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They were available at almost any and all times we required of them (given teams coordinating across various international timezones)
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    To me, the cost was incredibly effective, as were the presentation of the a-la-carte items we ended up utilizing (editing, pre-records, etc)
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They helped us to produce and stream a pro-level 3+ hour show.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    HIGHLY likely!

Video Production for Online School

"Their team is full of great people who are very talented."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
May - June 2019
Project summary: 

Charles River Media Group provided full-scale production support, creating numerous videos for an online school. They handled the entire process, including scouting locations and implementing visual features.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Saraota, Florida
Joey Korenman
Founder / CEO, School of Motion, Inc.
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The videos were successfully completed much quicker than anticipated, fulfilling expectations and resulting in a smooth engagement. Bringing energy and expertise to the collaboration, Charles River Media Group was a capable, easy-to-work-with partner.  

The client submitted this review online.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your company and your position there.

My company, School of Motion, is an online school for Motion Designers. I am the founder and CEO.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

For what projects/services did your company hire Charles River Media Group?

We hired CRM to produce a 4-day shoot for us. We needed to capture a huge range of visual-effects and heavy shots, covering the gamut from green-screen elements to on-location narrative scenes.

What were your goals for this project?

We wanted to get a ton of production value from the shoot, and to get footage that was very specifically engineered to work for our visual effects goals.

SOLUTION

How did you select this vendor?

CRM was recommended to us by a friend of mine in the Boston production industry. She told us that Don and his company would be perfect for our needs.

Describe the video(s) and the process in detail.

CRM was involved in pre-production and production on the videos. We ended up shooting 6–7 completely unique setups and used multiple locations. They built sets, found locations, and made everything seamless.

What was your vendors' project management or feedback process?

They were unbelievably great to work with. Everything was kept on schedule and on budget.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Can you share any outcomes from the project that demonstrate progress or success?

We managed to shoot a very ambitious production in just 4 days. I'm not sure many production companies could have pulled this off.

How effective was the workflow between your team and theirs?

The workflow was smooth and easy. Don and his team are very responsive, and total pros.

What did you find most impressive about this company?

The team was a blast to work with. At the end of the shoot, it felt like we'd been at summer camp and were sad to say goodbye. Their team is full of great people who are very talented.

Are there any areas for improvement?

Honestly, no. In this case, the production was 10/10.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Video Production for Groundwater Trust

“They were extremely knowledgeable and had a wonderful disposition.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Aug. 2017 - June 2018
Project summary: 

After interviewing key stakeholders and subject matter experts, Charles River Media Group developed a series of videos to promote a groundwater monitoring group. The footage focused on on-site building repairs.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Boston, Massachusetts
Christian Simonelli
Executive Director, Boston Groundwater Trust
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Although the videos had a limited release, they generated a strong positive response. Charles River Media Group proved capable of navigating complex filming conditions to capture the necessary footage. They adapted well to changing project requirements, turning an initial video into three parts.

The client submitted this review online.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your company and your position there.

I’m the executive director of the Boston Groundwater Trust. We’re responsible for monitoring groundwater levels around woodpile-supported structures.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

For what projects/services did your company hire Charles River Media Group?

We needed resources to produce a video that explained what we did and why it was important.

What were your goals for this project?

Our objectives were twofold: first, we wanted the video to serve as an informational piece to educate the public about our service and the importance of monitoring groundwater levels; second, we wanted to illustrate the lengthy, expensive process of repairing a structure’s foundation if its woodpile becomes compromised.

SOLUTION

How did you select this vendor?

I found them online and was impressed by their website and portfolio. After I reached out, they responded immediately.

Describe the video(s) and the process in detail.

What started out as an 11-minute video became three shorter pieces. Initially, they interviewed me and an engineer who specializes in repair work to gather background information. They then deployed a two-person team to capture the woodpile repair process for a building in Boston. It was a tough environment to work in, but they performed well and captured wonderful footage.

What was your vendors' project management or feedback process?

As I’ve mentioned, they interviewed us to educate themselves about the repair process and discuss our requirements. Once they captured the footage, they provided links for us to view the content and make comments.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Can you share any outcomes from the project that demonstrate progress or success?

While we’ve yet to publish the videos, we’ve shown them to a limited audience and received enthusiastic feedback. We’re encouraged by the response and look forward to releasing the final videos in the coming weeks.

How effective was the workflow between your team and theirs?

They were very effective and maintained excellent communication throughout. Even when we decided to split the video into three parts, the team did a masterful job of rearranging the content. The new format flowed well and highlighted the importance of our work.

What did you find most impressive about this company?

They were extremely knowledgeable and had a wonderful disposition. Additionally, they met all of our requests. Overall, it was a wonderful experience to work with such a skilled team.

Are there any areas for improvement?

No, nothing comes to mind. They’re a top-notch company all around.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They were able to accommodate our schedule easily.
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Their prices were competitive.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They delivered a superb, professionally-done final product.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    We’re extremely willing to recommend them.

Video Production for Annual Leadership Event

“They were able to handle unexpected changes and situations in a professional yet personable way.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
May - June 2017
Project summary: 

CRMG provided production services for an annual leadership event. They filmed key speakers, interviews, and training materials before editing them.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Newton, Massachusetts
Program Manager, Leadership Development Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

CRMG executed the production seamlessly, creating the videos as requested. They were responsive to feedback and adapted well to unforeseen changes. In the end, the team’s friendly approach and professionalism helped secure further engagement.

The client submitted this review online.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your company and your position there.

I’m a program manager at a coaching and leadership development company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

For what projects/services did your company hire Charles River Media Group?

We hired them to produce high-quality recordings of our annual executive leadership event, including all dialogue between keynote speakers and our organization leaders.

What were your goals for this project?

We wanted to have a video of our event.

SOLUTION

How did you select this vendor?

I found them by searching through local vendors.

Describe the video(s) and the process in detail.

They recorded several keynote talks and interviews as well as track learning and b-reel footage. The edited the video in post-production and delivered the final product to us.

What was your vendors' project management or feedback process?

They held open, honest communication and considered our needs and vision.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Can you share any outcomes from the project that demonstrate progress or success?

The entire experience, from project planning to execution, was flawless. The crew was highly skilled and good-natured. It was such a pleasure to work with them that we’ve hired them for this year’s event.

How effective was the workflow between your team and theirs?

Their workflow was seamless, and we’re looking forward to working with them again.

What did you find most impressive about this company?

I appreciated their ability to communicate. They were able to handle unexpected changes and situations in a professional yet personable way.

Are there any areas for improvement?

No, nothing comes to mind. They were always on top of things and responsive to our inquiries.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Ad Development for Publishing Company

"CRMG offers high-end film production and consulting without the bloat and pretentiousness of working with an agency."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Dec. 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

CRMG is shooting a web ad. They're providing guidance on ideas, translating them into visualizations, and developing a script.

The Reviewer
 
10,001+ Employees
 
Chicago Metro Area, Illinois
Multimedia Manager, Publishing Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

CRMG takes a proactive approach to address issues and thoroughly explains their thought-process. Their team is cost-efficient, minimizing unnecessary personnel. Organized yet flexible, their project management ensures a smooth engagement.

The client submitted this review online.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your company and your position there.

I am the multimedia manager for a global publisher of academic and research content. I overseeing marketing projects in video and other formats.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

For what projects/services did your company hire Charles River Media Group?

We needed to shoot a web ad that would promote a new service we are offering.

What were your goals for this project?

We wanted to raise awareness about our new service. We wanted to display it on our main services page and promote it through our social channels. We also wanted our customers to think about our company in a new way.

SOLUTION

How did you select this vendor?

I have already worked with CRMG for over four years. They are one of my main go-to companies for sophisticated motion graphics and live-filming projects.

Describe the video(s) and the process in detail.

We provide CRMG with a basic concept and initial messages. They guide our ideas and show us how to translate them into a visual story. They're developing a script, which is going through many iterations to perfect our message. One of our biggest challenges is addressing our two different audiences in the same video. Their team asks the right questions to effectively manage this task. 

What was your vendors' project management or feedback process?

Project management and feedback are handled by their founder. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Can you share any outcomes from the project that demonstrate progress or success?

We do not yet have metrics and the project is still ongoing.

How effective was the workflow between your team and theirs?

Our communication is good.  Their organization and management is top-notch but doesn't feel rigid and stressful. They maintain a nice balance that makes me feel good about choosing to work with them. All our communication is through emails and phone calls.

What did you find most impressive about this company?

CRMG offers high-end film production and consulting without the bloat and pretentiousness of working with an agency. They keep costs low by only bringing in the experts that are needed. I can always do a quick call with them to get my concerns addressed. Their founder takes a proactive approach with us; He takes the time to explain his reasoning and address our concerns.

Are there any areas for improvement?

I would prefer to work in a tool like Slack or Basecamp instead of just phone and email. However, I have already brought this point up with their founder.

4.0
Overall Score A great company to work with. With a little more organization on their end they would definitely be a 5 star.
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Well managed and good at meeting deadlines.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Great value and extremely helpful with accommodating different budget sizes
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Consistent quality, impressive creativity, and easy to work with.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Video Production Consultation for Large Event

"CRMG has unparalleled video production expertise that positively impacts the quality of our events." 

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Jan. - June 2018
Project summary: 

CRMG is an ongoing production partner that consults on everything from pre-production camera placement to post-production integration of audience reaction shots. They also offer on-site advice.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Dmitri Gunn
Director, TEDxCambridge
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Video quality is excellent and turnaround time from recording to publishing is highly impressive. CRMG works quickly without sacrificing professionalism or creativity, which speaks to their passion for their work. Their comprehensive event services utilize industry best-practices.

The client submitted this review online.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your company and your position there.

I am the Executive Director of TEDxCambridge. We produce an annual event for 2,500 guests that showcases the innovation, creativity, and inspiration found in Boston and beyond. We curate one of the largest independently organized TED events in the world.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

For what projects/services did your company hire Charles River Media Group?

We focused on incorporating additional camera shots and locations into our event. We hired Charles River Media Group to consult on the video pre-production and conduct video post-production.

What were your goals for this project?

We were aiming to capture more compelling and dramatic video footage of the TEDxCambridge speakers on stage, as well as the 2,500 guests seated in the audience.

SOLUTION

Describe the video(s) and the process in detail.

CRMG participated in several site tours, production meetings, and conference calls to evaluate video camera platform options and the optimal venue camera locations. They also worked with our team to review speaker scripts, ensuring that key moments were captured from all angles. Furthermore, they worked with our lighting design vendor to light the house properly so we could capture audience reaction shots. Finally, they provided on-site advice during the two-day event, as well as post-production services.

What was your vendors' project management or feedback process?

We worked closely with CRMG in all phases of the pre-production process, in collaboration with our audiovisual and lighting vendors, as well as the venue’s production director.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Can you share any outcomes from the project that demonstrate progress or success?

We captured and incorporated excellent audience reaction shots into the speaker videos. The quality of the video footage and the diversity of options we had during post-production were a direct result of CRMG's input. Their quick post-production enabled us to publish the videos the week after the event.

How effective was the workflow between your team and theirs?

Our communication and workflow experience was outstanding. From participation in pre-production meetings and on-site consultations to sharing proactive feedback and insightful best-practices, which collectively saved us time and money, CRMG flat out delivers.

What did you find most impressive about this company?

CRMG has unparalleled video production expertise that positively impacts the quality of our events. We enthusiastically endorse their technical and creative capabilities in support of TED's mission: “Ideas Worth Spreading.” It's a pleasure working with such a talented group of video production professionals who share our passion for excellence.

Are there any areas for improvement?

We’re thrilled with our collaborative longstanding CRMG relationship. We highly encourage organizations to use their video production services.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Media Production Services for Consulting Company

“They save us a ton of time… [and have] replaced our in-house production facility.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
2007 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Through a decade-long relationship, Charles River Media Group collaborates as the production arm of an advertising consultancy firm. They work directly with shared clients to meet their needs.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Massachusetts
Richard Gold
CEO, National Media Spots
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The team produces high-quality media at a reasonable cost, beating other companies in the industry. They make adjustments to mitigate any issues that arise, and have evolved to match market standards.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

National Media Spots buys and sells media to our clients. We handle production and all aspects of media placement for TV, radio, digital, and mobile. I am the President, CEO, and owner.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Charles River Media Group?

We needed a company to work directly with our clients to produce TV spots, videos, and other forms of media in national, regional, and local networks.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We created a rate card that lists specifics for potential packages our clients can jump into. Once we determine what the client needs, CRMG looks over their existing media and decides whether to use that content or make recommendations for new commercials. Once we establish a budget and timeframe, they work with the client directly to produce whatever content they need. They’ve done a ton of videos and TV spots for us.

What is the team composition?

Don [Founder, Charles River Media Group] is the through-line in our relationship, but we work with everyone from producers to directors to editors, based on the needs of our clients. He provides whatever staff we need to get the job done.

How did you come to work with Charles River Media Group?

I either found them online or through a recommendation from a colleague. I’ve worked with them so long that I don’t remember anymore, but I’m so glad we found them.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together about ten years ago, and we continue to use them for our projects.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Our clients determine the quality, so it is subjective to each project. Generally speaking, CRMG produces a higher quality for lower cost, based on what we have seen. When we compare other scenarios from other production companies, we’re usually able to beat them. They’ve helped us work with some difficult personalities and rules with various clients, and are excellent at navigating their way through tough campaigns.

How did Charles River Media Group perform from a project management standpoint?

They do really well and are independent. We get a lot of challenging clients, and they’re very good at handling situations and satisfying the customers’ needs. Ten years is a long time in this industry, and they’ve done a great job managing the workflow throughout that time.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They save us a ton of time, eliminating most of our need to interact with the client on the production side. They’ve replaced our in-house production facility, and they’re good at working with our clients to meet their needs. They stay on schedule and within budget.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No. We always talk about issues that crop up, and they make adjustments. The industry has changed a lot since we started working together, and they’re constantly able to come up with better rate programs and ways to market them. We have no major concerns or issues.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

It’s always important to know your needs and the client’s needs ahead of the process. Know the major points of the client’s products and services, and find out about their competition. Understanding the basic ins and outs of the industry will help determine the best media solutions for a given project. Preparation is key.

5.0
Overall Score Everything is well thought out, and under budget. The media industry has a lot of demanding clients, and Don and his crew are really good at dealing with them.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Timelines are almost never a problem. They’re almost always ahead of schedule and under budget.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Production prices have been going down over time, and they try to keep track with that. There is bound to be a cheaper option out there, but they’re not going to be better than Charles River.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They’re always ahead of the curve.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    We recommend them all the time.

Video Production & Editing for Theater Organization

"They're straightforward, upfront, and honest about the cost."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
2009 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

CRMG produced and edited videos of live performances, digitized the DVD and VHS recordings from the back catalog, created trailers, and built Vimeo/YouTube channels.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Executive Director, Hasty Pudding Institute
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

They deliver videos of exceptional quality, which is consistently improving. The public event with the press that they initiated got publicity around the world. Their innovative ideas have opened up new possibilities, while the online/social media engagement helps reach more viewers. 

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm the Executive General Manager at Hasty Pudding Institute, which is an umbrella organization for several theatrical and historic organizations at Harvard. We also do arts philanthropy.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Charles River Media Group?

We had been filming our yearly student musical and celebrity events for a while, but our previous vendor was delivering a low-quality product. We were looking for a video production company to radically up the production value of our recordings and make them look more professional.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Our old videos were simplistic, shot with a single camera at the back of the theater. Charles River Media Group [CRMG] brought multiple cameras and came ahead of time to make sure the sound was working. When shot from different angles, our show looks much better. They edited the videos and within a week gave us the final version.

They've also made supercut videos of our award ceremonies, trailers, and commercials using the footage they had. They're skilled at finding compelling material and putting it together.

In addition, they digitized our back catalog, some of which was on DVD or VHS. They uploaded it on a Vimeo channel, which they also built for us, enabling quick access to the last 40-45 years of shows. We didn't realize that was even possible. 

Last year, on their initiative, we did a Q&A with celebrities – a public forum with the press– and had it live-streamed around the world. They gave us specific ideas about creating and managing our YouTube channel and other social media accounts.

What is the team dynamic? 

We worked closely with Don [Owner & Director, CRMG].

How did you come to work with them?

They worked with some other groups around Harvard and were looking for more clients. Since we wanted to leave our previous vendor, we reached out to CRMG.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent at least $50,000.

What is the status of this engagement? 

We started working with them in 2009, and it's an ongoing collaboration.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

The quality of our videos went up dramatically since we hired them. Bringing the videos online helped us reach a much wider audience.

How did they perform from a project management standpoint?

We work collaboratively to make sure we get the best product. They're always on time and start planning things early. Don is available for phone calls when we need him and is good at responding to our emails. If there are any micro problems, Don calls me for clarification. They're straightforward, upfront, and honest about the cost - they discuss all of this prior to the event.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Our relationship is very casual and friendly, encouraging an open dialogue. They're invested and come up with new ideas that they think might work for us.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Come to them with an idea of what you want and some examples of videos that you've liked. They will explain what you can do on your budget and offer you the best thing. Have an open mind and you might get a better product and experience that you've anticipated.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I'd give them 6 if I could.

Content & Video Production for Nonprofit Foundation

"CRMG is a top-rate movie crew, and their output is Hollywood-quality."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
2012 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

To help patients better navigate the healthcare system, CRMG storyboarded, produced, and helped market video technology and digital offerings in 17 different languages, with attention to cultural understanding.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Boston Metro Area, Massachusetts
Angelo Volandes
President, ACP Decisions
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Well-organized and possessing a broad range of capabilities, CRMG recognizes needs quickly and has insight into viewer perspective that rivals that of field experts. They are innovative thinkers who work quickly and efficiently.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We are a non-profit foundation that leverages video technology to empower patients and their families. Our physicians believe in aligning patients with the types of care they want and deserve. I am the president and co-founder.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Charles River Media Group?

We needed an innovative production company to use video technology and digital arts to help patients navigate an increasingly complicated healthcare system.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They started by conceptualizing videos from a patient’s perspective, identifying the best imagery to help navigate the healthcare system. They storyboarded dialogue content, produced it, and have been instrumental in our ability to adapt our work into 17 different languages. Not only do they enable us to do the translations, but they also utilize the cultural frameworks that make sense to the patients and families from the countries where those languages are spoken. A decade ago, we could only reach our patients in English. Now, we’re able to engage with a much wider base.

What is the team dynamic?

They have a creative artist who helps storyboard, then I always work with the cameraman, as well as the audio technician. In post-production, they have really talented line editors and graphic designers.  

We initially had a project manager on our side, but now CRMG acts collectively as an independent management team.

How did you come to work with Charles River Media Group?

They are a leading film group in the greater Boston area and are well-known in medical circles. Their clients include some of the area’s top hospitals and the New England Journal of Medicine. We knew they could provide what we needed.

How much have you invested with them?

Our spending so far is in the $300,000–$500,000 range. They’re very reasonably priced.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them around 2012, and the relationship is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

We’ve had 20 clinical trials published in peer-reviewed journals that show the benefit of the work they’ve provided us. They offered us the talent to think outside the box and come up with really innovative videos and technologies, all aimed at patient empowerment. We have an incredible partnership with them.

How did Charles River Media Group perform from a project management standpoint?

They are incredibly organized and use online tools. Our project manager on their side has been with us long enough to know our needs before we’ve even conceptualized them. They do a wonderful job, and they’re efficient and fast. CRMG is a top-rate movie crew, and their output is Hollywood-quality.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They aren’t clinicians, but they helped me formulate a product that really met the needs of patients, even beyond my vision as a doctor. They provide uncanny insight into viewer experience, and I’m so impressed with how well they understand my patients, sometimes better than I do. We’re thrilled with them and their work.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

At the beginning, we weren’t aware of all the facets of production they provide. They are a sophisticated shop, and they helped us from the project’s conception through to post-production and marketing. If I could start again with them, I would explore all the services they provide right away.

5.0
Overall Score I can’t imagine a better experience.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They are extremely flexible, especially under crunch time.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They’ve frequently gone below estimates. They could easily charge more.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They provide Hollywood-level production value.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’ve recommended them numerous times.