With more than 40 years in the business, Film Connection mentor Sebastian Triscari represents the consummate professional when it comes to production. His experience ranges from working for New York’s CBS affiliate station atop the World Trade Center to launching a new TV station in Juneau, Alaska, and in his time he’s produced more than 4000 television commercials alone. Since settling in central Pennsylvania in 1993, Sebastian has built his production company Triscari into the region’s leading go-to company for film and video production.
Needless to say, Sebastian brings a wealth of wisdom to the Film Connection students he teaches, so it should come as no surprise that during a recent conversation with RRFC, he shared some key insights as to his own success, and what he tries to impart to others—including the acronym PLACES he coined to help his team recall the core values of his company. The best nuggets of that conversation have been mined for you below.
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ON WHY HE CHOSE TO SET UP HIS FILM PRODUCTION COMPANY IN CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA INSTEAD OF NEW YORK OR LOS ANGELES:
“I decided early on what was important to me was family. And I at that point could have gone to New York or L.A. or a lot of different places, but I was smart enough, and because my roots are in technology and engineering, I understood that in the very near future, it wouldn’t matter where you are in the world—that you would be able to, if you’re talented and you have the right goals and the right skill set, you could work anywhere in the country and develop programs and things that people would pay you for, and you’d be able to have a good living…I settled on a piece of property here in Central Pennsylvania, and I must be successful because I bought the building next to me there, so I own the block right now.”
ON WHAT HIS COMPANY OFFERS TO CLIENTS:
“It’s all about helping people tell their stories…My main passion is in video production, telling stories, creating emotions. We’re visual, kinesthetic, or auditory learners, and I happened to be dyslexic and have ADD, so the visual medium is one I really love because I learn and I process information that way…As visual creatures, this is a very powerful way to help people.”
ON THE IMPORTANCE OF SURROUNDING YOURSELF WITH A GOOD TEAM:
“The success, I think, in building any company, particularly in this industry, is finding the right people. I’m very fortunate, my wife, Dr. Jacqueline Triscari, has a Ph.D. in Adult Education. So what we do is we hire the right people. We surround ourselves with people who complement my skill set in particular and don’t have a lot of redundancy. In a small company, you can’t afford to have too much redundancy, you really need different skill sets. But that’s the secret sauce, find the right people, be passionate about what you’re doing.
ON THE ADVANTAGES OF MENTORING:
“The idea of working with a mentor…I wish when I started my career, I would have been able to access somebody like myself who has 40 years of experience in the industry and who could help me to navigate through ‘Don’t waste your time on this’ or ‘This is really important.’ You don’t know what you don’t know, and you think with what you know. So…the Film Connection certainly is a great framework to learn.”
BRAGGING ON MICHELINA FRISS, ONE OF HIS APPRENTICES:
“She’s doing a fantastic job. I’m really proud…we’re working on her project right now. She came up with an idea which is around boardwalk communities and the communities that stand there on a year round basis…