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Parliament Studios

1032 N Crooks Road
Studio G-H
Clawson, MI 48017

David London

What educational, entrepreneurial or business development programs, if any, have you taken advantage of?
None. We've been entirely self-made with no outside consulting, development, or even networking.

Who was your first customer and where did you find them?
Flagstar Bank. We were introduced to a marketing executive in need of video and web services.

Where did you find your first employee?
The primaries all met at an event in May of 2009 at TechNow 09 completely by accident. I had been running Zazen Digital Studios for a few years and I met the founders of Filming In Detroit, a casting agency, at the event and realized we were a good fit and could move into video and film production and take advantage of the new climate here in Michigan.

Have you promoted an intern to employee status, and if so how many times have you done it?
My first two interns have each been brought back for independent work in their respective disciplines. I brought one back as assistant director for a TV pilot that we shot in Pontiac called The Creators. Another intern was brought back several times as a freelancer working on web projects.

Where have you turned to find capital to grow your company and which institutions have provided it?
No capital. We bootstrapped the entire operation. Every project feeds the next investment. This is also part of the downside of starting a film company in the middle of a recession.

It's often said that Metro Detroit and Michigan need to reinvent their economies to be competitive. Are we making those changes, and if so are we making enough of them or doing it fast enough?
I don't believe either Michigan or Detroit need reinvention the way most people mean it. Just reallocation of existing resources and talents. We've never had a lack of great creative talent here, but it's so mismanaged by the existing power base (automotive) that we have just grown into this idea that large, multi-national corporations and their subsidiaries are the only option for advancement. I also believe Lansing is more interested in appeasing political bases than actually affecting real change in business. Cooperation and some unpopular decisions are going to have to occur, and neither will. If business will succeed here, it'll be without political help.

What could local leaders do to help attract and retain more entrepreneurial young people to Metro Detroit?
I think they're here already. Wayne State and the other state universities are already thriving, creative and entrepreneurial hubs and we're losing talent when students and young professionals begin to believe there's no future here. As for retaining talent, I think a program that helps pay for schooling and training in exchange for fixed term employment or service in the area (either public or private). Streamlined business loans for start-ups, backed by the Small Business Administration. And in the film industry, what we need most is security. A consistent message from Lansing that the tax incentive is here to stay. Otherwise, Hollywood isn't going to invest long term.

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