Three years ago, when I moved from NY to CA, I met the guys that make up Action Studios. Back then they were a rag tag group working out of their living room trying to build a company. Now, they still work out of their living room but they understand more of what they want and where they’re going. The company has become successful as well.
Action Studios is run by Jace Hardwick – a short guy with a huge personality and a brain that never stops shoveling out creativity. Andrew Baer – he’s quiet and steady, kind and compassionate and has a drive to finish what he started. And Oliver Smith – a Brit without the accent (sad I know) who’s always ready with a new bit or a fun idea to spice up any situation.
These three men all got their start in the film industry the same way – making videos at home for fun.
Jace and Oliver have been friends since middle school and have been making content for about that long. They would post YouTube videos to, well, as they put it…
J: “I wanted to make stuff like the guys I was inspired by on YouTube.”
O: “We just had fun and the more I did them the more I wanted a career that was less a job and more of a passion.”
When it comes to film both Jace and Oliver can be found in front and behind the camera. They both have a passion for acting as well as creating.
Over the years, Jace has leaned more into directing – developing those skills and gaining experience by working with big names like Zach King.
Oliver has found a love for writing, delving into comedy and looking for ways to make things big and outrageous.
Andrew has a similar background to Jace and Oliver – he started shooting film on a camcorder with his sister. It wasn’t until college that he found his place as a producer.
A: “I was the last one to pick a role so I got put down as producer. I over prepared for that class and everyone was so impressed, that’s all I’ve done since. I just fell into it but it’s fun. I enjoy it.”
These three men came together to create Action Studios. Their purpose…
J: “We want to make big movies but don’t want to go through all the gate keepers of LA. We’ve seen a lot of people who have done it. At Action Studios we want to make films that inspire people and bring truth. We want to attach ourselves with brands that we believe in. Everything is already an ad but we want to bring a story to it.”
And so they have.
Action Studios has three categories they delve into – film (short and soon to be feature films), portrait photography, and commercial ads.
A: “We’re trying to do three things – make money off of Tik Tok, which I think is the most fun, wild thing ever. We want to have a sustainable video company and we want to make feature films. All of us are the most excited about creating features. So far, we’ve been able to practice and prove concepts.”
They do this by joining their unique personalities together.
J: “I want to make things that bring truth while creating epic stuff. Really, I want to bring a light, bless someone’s day by bringing a smile to their face. I will act like an idiot all day if I can make someone smile.”
O: “My mind has always been what if ___ happened? And my interpretation [to fill the blank] has always been a stupid or outrageous one. I will always pitch a comedic commercial over the epic, cinematic one. I relate to comedy the most and will push it for the audience.”
A: “In general, I’m responsible for everything until it’s delegated. I’m constantly thinking of, what’s the purpose, how’s it going to be seen, and how’s it going to be made.”
Quickly browsing through their work, it’s easy to see how they three of them are a match. They work well together and the quality of their work shines.
As they look to the future, Action Studios has a few goals.
J: “As a whole, we’re zoning in on the realms we want to do and are creating a plan for it. We’re trying to grow as a business so that we can do what we want to do, make movies.”
Separately these three men have their own goals.
J: “I’ve been studying the Bible more as well as social media. I’m also trying to be a better boyfriend.”
O: “I’m always in a creative mindset but I’m not inherently that way. So everyday I’ve been looking for ways to always be ready. By making jokes with friends and riffing with one another – trying to entice those moments as much as possible.”
A: “I’m finishing up my movie called Space Waves. We’re in post production and I’m excited that we’re going to release it soon. I’ve been learning how to create more balance in life and am pushing into relationships that aren’t in the film industry. It’s so refreshing to go home to people who are so unimpressed by what I’m doing. I do want to run a marathon again. It’s been so long.”
And the advice they have for new filmmakers…
J: “Do it all for Jesus because if you don’t it’s pointless, and understand it’s a business first. If you can sell it then you can continue doing it.”
O: “Be patient and keep practicing. It’s a muscle. You’ll look back on it and you’ll see how much you’ve learned. It’s a slow process and I don’t think anyone likes that but you will learn.”
A: “Working too hard is overrated. It’s better to take your time and enjoy it. Figuring out when you make it is good, too. People will associate making it when you make a big budget movie but, I’m paying the bills with filmmaking and I think I made it. Define success early.”
You can find more information about Action Studios here and all the projects that they have coming up.