Delaware / Marketing / Media / Startups

Zach Phillips is cooking up quality videos — at the Wilmington train station

Literally. The Kitchen, a video production company, is housed in a former storage space.

Zach Phillips watches an Amtrak train pass by his Wilmington office. (Photo by Melissa DiPento)

Zach Phillips loves to cook. Years ago, at his first job, he worked as a dishwasher in a restaurant. But for Phillips, it was less about the prep and cleanup and more about the creativity that goes into a dish.
That same creativity has boiled over into other outlets for Phillips, now 32. In March 2012, he started the Kitchen, a film and video production house in Wilmington.
“The concept of the Kitchen: some of the most satisfying moments creatively were when I made a meal and served it to people,” Phillips said. “I was playing basketball with Wes [Garnett] and we were walking back, brainstorming the name. He said why not call it the Kitchen.”

It's an inspiring and fun place to work. When the trains go by, they're not too loud and I quite like the feeling when the trains go by.

Phillips started the Kitchen on Market Street in Wilmington in 2012, after deciding to move to Delaware to be with his fiancé (now wife). He said he had always been a computer guy, working with HTML, CSS, design and development. But his first love was filmmaking, so he decided to make that happen in Wilmington.
At first, Phillips said he thought the company would be a do-it-all agency that would provide video, animation, coding and development. But after too many sleepless nights, Phillips said he decided the Kitchen’s mission would be to create personal, emotional videos for a wide-range of clients.
In January, the Kitchen’s Market Street location was damaged from flooding and the company needed a new home. The organization now has a unique location to go along with its kitschy moniker — the bright office is located on the Amtrak/SEPTA platform at the Wilmington train station. Previously, uniforms were stored in the space, and every few minutes, an Amtrak train whizzes by.
“This is the kind of place where I know I can work here for the rest of my life and be happy with it. This is exactly the office I’ve always wanted. It’s unique. It has visibility. It’s public and private at the same time,” Phillips said. “It’s an inspiring and fun place to work. When the trains go by, they’re not too loud and I quite like the feeling when the trains go by.”

Inside the Kitchen’s Wilmington space. (Photo by Melissa DiPento)

The space, which the company is finally getting settled in to, is warm and inviting and features various old filmmaking pieces from the early 1900s. Large windows give workers a bright view of the passing trains, while modern furniture provides comfortable seating and desk areas. One of Phillips’s favorite additions is a wall of specialty storage that houses heavy-duty film equipment and accessories.
The Kitchen — which employs Phillips; Jason Prezant, director of photography; Greg Truono, post-production manager; and Rachel Laubach, office manager — produces various types and styles of video for its clients.
One style of video the Kitchen provides are corporate branding pieces, which help viewers get to know a company or organization.
“We try to boil down the essence of who you are to something short and emotional. It’s about who you are and what you care about,” Phillips said.
The agency also provides documentary and interview style pieces for clients. Phillips said the interviews are never scripted, because, often times, the piece that comes out of an interview is not directly connected to what the company itself would have said. It’s even better that way.
“One interview we did said so much more by itself. We made a beautiful piece about a kid who got a love of swimming. It says so much about the YMCA. It was a perfect piece for them. But all it is is a kid talking about swimming for a minute,” Phillips said.
[vimeo 68254086 w=500 h=281]
The Kitchen also produces commercials and various 30- and 15-second spots.
The company owns most of its equipment and rarely, if ever, needs to rent additional equipment for shoots. This, Phillips hopes, will help them gain more traction in Delaware.
“There’s a pretty big market in both Philly and Delaware that sends business outside of the market,” Phillips said. “We find that we can get work that used to leave Delaware and we make our clients just as happy while being right down the street.”
Phillips said he would like to start working more with startups and local organizations in the region. Many, he said, could benefit from having a video tell their story.
“Here, we really start with a passion for filmmaking and the filmmaking process and we want to carry the power of cinema, the emotional power — we want to be able to offer that to our clients,” Phillips said.
Kitchen Wilmington

Inside Kitchen HQ. (Photo courtesy of Zach Phillips)

Kitchen Wilmington

(Photo courtesy of Zach Phillips)

Companies: The Kitchen

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