Make It in Brooklyn: Ark Media
Field: Documentary TV + film production
HQ: 325 Gold Street
The award-winning work of Ark Media’s Downtown Brooklyn team has been reaching audiences far beyond the borough for the past two decades. From its eclectic space in the Clocktower Building, the 30-person production house creates documentaries and TV specials on topics ranging from Woodstock to former President George W. Bush that screen at international film festivals, theaters across the country, and on Netflix, Hulu, and PBS.
The Right Fit
Early in the company’s history, Rachel Dretzin and her husband and cofounder Barak Goodman moved from Manhattan to Park Slope for a better work-life balance and space to raise a family. Ark Media’s first office was the ground floor of the couple’s home, and as the team expanded, the firm rented space in several nearby brownstones before selecting a more permanent office on Gold Street. Brooklyn has proven convenient for hiring talent and connecting with business partners – as Dretzin notes, the borough “has become a major hub for our industry” – and the central location and transit access helps the firm recruit interns from journalism programs at Columbia University and NYU.
Staffing at production houses varies by project, so companies need commercial space that can accommodate frequent changes in team size. Ark Media found this ideal flexibility at the Clocktower Building, where they’ve been able to expand and contract across several floors to meet their business needs over the past eight years. The team of writers, directors, and cinematographers value that Clocktower’s office suites each have a unique design character, ranging from decorative wooden moldings to a raw industrial feel.
Ark Media’s productions have been honored with every major industry award since 1996, including five Emmys, three DuPont Columbia batons, three George H. Foster Peabody Awards, and an Academy Award nomination. The firm’s recent film Slay the Dragon, a documentary on gerrymandering that premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival last spring, was heralded as “the most important political film of the year” by Variety magazine.
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