YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Mad Media is the company behind a viral video about off-road sports driving. The company is now using the Mahoning Valley as their backdrop and pumping about $225,000 into the local economy over a two-week period.
Mad Media CEO Matt Martelli said a lot of their budget goes to staff.
“We have about 60 people on our crews. Over twenty of them have been hired locally, so the staff is a big cost to us,” Martelli said.
Martelli and his brother Josh are partners in the production company that specializes in the viral videos. After the last shoot in Washington, they went looking for a more industrial setting.
“We were looking for mining pits and big warehouses and old brick buildings, and a staff that really looked different,” Josh Martelli said.
The old Republic Hose plant on Youngstown’s east side fit the bill. It is one of a half dozen locations around the area the Martelli brothers are using.
“It sets the seed for more productions to come to Ohio and to come to Youngstown and use it as a location,” Martelli said.
The project will be released on the internet in about one month.
While the brothers have hired local trades members as well as students from YSU and the area’s Career and Technical Centers, Youngstown Regional Film Commission Director Fred D’Amico is working to build a data base of potential employees.
“When these guys say, ‘Hey Fred, do you have any local grips?’ ‘Do you have any local electricians?’ ‘What do you have?’ And I can just plug it in, and we start popping up names,” D’Amico said.
The Martelli brothers believe additional productions in the area could bring millions of dollars in economic activity.