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Drop Drop Studios, Dripping with Pathos

Cassidy Bisher of DropDrop Studios.

Cassidy Bisher of DropDrop Studios.

Cassidy Bisher of DropDrop Studios.

Cassidy Bisher of Drop Drop Studios.

"I'm married, have kids, and it's cool to be at this and not at a desk in a cubicle," beams Cassidy Bisher, from Drop Drop Studios.
 
Bisher, 35, moved to Rockford six years ago. Setting up his own production studio with a "supercharged Mac with all the goodies," Bisher recruited professional local talent for corporate films and commercials. They were able to land AT&T.
 
"I want to have a high production value and try to tell a story or make an impact. That's one of the most important things to me," states Bisher about the characteristics of Drop Drop Studios' films. Each one focuses on a human element and drips with pathos. Several years later, Drop Drop Studios has handled Microsoft Windows 8, HP, and Audi among many other impressive corporate clients.
 
But what separates Bisher from other filmmakers with similar resumes sporting highly-coveted clients is his lack of formal training and schooling. Although many creative entrepreneurs in the film industry point to unschooled auteurs like Quentin Tarantino and Sir Ridley Scott as influences and proof that baccalaureate degrees are inconsequential, the reality is a majority of self-taught filmmakers languish in local television spots and YouTube clips.
 
"I went to Lansing Community College for computer networking and immediately knew it was not for me," laughs Bisher. "I knew I needed either a computer or to pay for my education. I dropped out, opted for the computer, and worked freelance."
 
With his computer, Bisher tutored himself and became highly skilled with motion graphics, logos, and animations. By 2006, he was a partner with Grand Rapids-based Motivity Pictures. He started a family and traveled the world, visiting Africa and Europe. In 2007, he took a leap and founded Drop Drop Studios.
 
"In a creative field, it is hard to get a job or work. You have to keep pushing and learning. Many think they can just go to school and finish class and are not engaged in their field. I read. I watch tutorials in bed. There's a lot that you can do if you don't have the money to go to school," claims Bisher. "It's a learning experience. You can't just jump in and make a film. A class won't even show you that. That's how I got into motion graphics design. I had no one to do it for me."
 
Much like an ad agency, Drop Drop Studios offers post production, 3D modeling and animation, short films, commercials, animation, and music. At its core, the studio is a group of talented professionals called upon for a project-by-project basis with Bisher as an anchor. Cinematographer Kris Bargen, screenwriter Jesse Low, and 3D modeler Breyon Bradford are usual collaborators, and the loose-knit structure allows the work process to flow smoothly. This keeps the overhead low as Drop Drop Studios bucks the current trend of wooing clients with 21st century architectural glitz and glam by putting the emphasis on production.
 
Instead, the glitz and glam is in their technology and production skills. At the forefront of what Bisher and company can offer is the latest technological innovation in filmmaking: the Red Epic camera, a distinct piece of equipment that captures immediate attention, recently making headlines for being used in Peter Jackson's The Hobbit. Packaged deals on a Red Epic can cost relatively close to an Ivy League degree.
 
When asked about how revolutionary the Red Epic is, Bisher's breath shortens and his pace quickens.
 
"The ability to make your work look like film at 400fps in HD -- you can't describe it. It adds a cinemeatic quality you can't do. The latitude, color, and revolution…  It's an incredible piece of equipment."
 
Between projects, Bisher has been gearing up to shoot a short film this summer to raise funding for a feature-length.  
 
"What I'm most excited about is producing my own film. I'm writing a few treatments and a few screenplays. We have the experience and equipment and we really want to tap local Michigan talent. My wishlist would be to produce film fulltime and say, 'sorry, we're not doing commercials anymore, we're doing films.' Telling unforgettable stories that change people's lives. Now that would be an amazing feat."
 
Asked whether or not the decline of the Michigan film industry based upon incentives has impacted business, Bisher states, "It's a bummer," but it doesn't slow him down.
 
"I'm interested in creating," he continues. "If there is an incentive to do that, fine, if not, I'm still going to try and do that. In my experience, you can pull things off if you put your mind to it. If you know the right people, you can tap into a resource and do a lot. It might not be Transformers 4, but it could still be a solid film."
 
That's not to say Transformers 4 could be a solid film.
 
To view many of Drop Drop Studios' vibrant films, visit dropdropstudios.com.
 
Matt Simpson Siegel is a Michigan-based writer whose work has appeared in print, film, radio, and television. He is also a contributing writer for REVUE Magazine.

Photography by Adam Bird
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