LOS ANGELES – Destro, a boutique live-action and post-production studio, has been launched in Los Angeles by industry veterans Drew Neujahr, Sean McAllen, and Shane McAllen. The studio has already developed and produced an original documentary series, SEED, which profiles artists and innovators across a range of disciplines. The team has also recently worked on projects for Google, Nintendo, and Michelin Tires.
Destro’s mission is to form strategic alliances with agencies, studios, and brands offering clients more exclusivity as a production partner with an intimate ability to focus on a project’s creative needs.
“We love hands-on creation and taking a project from ideation to execution,” commented studio partner, Neujahr. “Every project deserves a personal touch with the same level of passion and attention to detail – whether it’s a big studio film, a Super Bowl spot, or a Snapchat campaign.”
The studio’s founders say they are entering the market in response to the changing tides of the media and production landscape. As agencies are increasingly implementing robust in-house production teams, Destro believes its business model will be an asset in this new paradigm by supplementing what’s already working.
“We want to mesh and harmonize with our clients’ creative structures,” explained co-founder, Shane McAllen. “We’ve grown accustomed to confronting the ‘new’ in our industry — new studios, new agencies, and new media — and the ones who always come out on top are those who can quickly adapt to their strengths.”
Destro will offer clients a creative culture built around integrity and agility with its experienced team of creators.
“Our core team offers a broad set of complementary skills, so we can accomplish a lot with a small footprint or scale up when the project needs Shaq’s size 22,” added Sean McAllen.
Destro’s primary focus will be producing, directing, and post on live-action projects; however, with the partners’ background in motion and VFX, the team is adept at executing mixed-media pipelines when the occasion calls.
“It’s been a great testing ground for concepts that will inform our work over the coming year,” remarked Neujahr.
With the launch of the original studio project SEED, the studio is showcasing its own unique voice while forging relationships with brands who have real stories to share about their own teams, products, users, and core values. Regardless of storytelling medium, Destro will lean on its understanding of the business and the logistics involved in a production.
“Great ideas don’t always happen at conception,” remarked Neujahr. “When the weather changes during production, or the client rethinks the concept in post, being able to improvise and adjust brings about the best work.”
The studio founders bring a combined 45 years of experience spanning commercial and film production, post-production, and entertainment branding/marketing. Neujahr’s broad experience includes features and marketing as both a producer and a creative. He has directed short films, commercials, and the documentary series, Western State. As a producer, head of production, and executive producer at motion graphics and visual effects studios in LA, he oversaw spots for Ford, Burger King, Walmart, Nickelodeon, FX, and History.
Sean McAllen is a seasoned film and commercial editor who got his start co-founding a Tokyo/Los Angeles based production company, where he directed commercials, broadcast documentaries, and entertainment marketing content. He has crafted both short-form and long-form work for Ford, Chevy, Nissan, Toyota, Red Bull, Google, and Samsung as well as co-writing and editing the Emmy-nominated documentary feature Houston We Have a Problem.
Shane McAllen is a veteran of the film and commercial industry with feature credits including contributions to Iron Man 3 and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. On the commercial side, he has worked on campaigns for BMW, Apple, and Nintendo. He is also a writer, producer, and director who has worked on a bevy of projects for Google AR and two product reveals for the Nintendo Switch.
“We all got into this crazy world because we love telling stories,” concluded Sean McAllen. “And we share a mutual respect for each other’s craft. Ultimately, our strength is our approachability. We’re the ones who pick up the phone, answer the emails, make the coffee, and do the work.”