Founder Jimmy Derner on Starting WolfPak Films, Expanding Core Team, and Making Waves Beyond Hollywood
As the world transitions to the “new normal” post-COVID-19 restrictions, Hollywood regains its momentum. The film industry is brimming with new production companies, all vying to take advantage of the rising demand for new content. One of them is WolfPak Films.
WolfPak is a flexible and story-driven production company in San Diego, founded in 2021 by cinematographer Jimmy Derner. In the last few years, it has grown rapidly from a one-man show into a larger team of highly-skilled cinematographers, producers, writers, directors, sound designers, VFX artists, and other creative individuals. During their short lifespan, the company has already served many renowned clients such as Blenders Eyewear, Meta, Motortrend, Guess, Michelob Ultra, and more.
Jimmy sat down to discuss how he started WolfPak Films, the company’s expansion and growth, and how they’re making waves in Los Angeles and beyond.
How would you describe the company to someone who has never heard of it?
WolfPak Films is a full-service video production company that makes short social ads, TV commercials, and documentaries, among other types of videos. From the earliest stages of pre-production to the cutting room floor, we carefully craft each of our pieces with a balance of creative inspiration and acute market strategy. When companies and brands hire us to create video content for them, we generate revenue. For them and for us.
What makes WolfPak unique among the slew of commercial video production companies today?
We are a young, lean, and agile team that pivots easily. Our company’s vision is precise and fresh, and we’ve accomplished an incredible amount in a short period of time. Despite its relatively small size, our team is driven, hungry, passionate, and comprised of highly experienced, talented, and committed creatives and business strategists.
Our work is not genre-bound and defies categorization. We’ve created successful video content for a wide range of brands including automotive, fashion, technology, social media, beer companies, sports drinks, outdoor, action sports, sunglasses, goggles, and many others. We are creatively adaptable and can work with diverse clients and industries.
Can you elaborate on the things you offer differently from the rest?
We have offices in San Diego, Los Angeles, and Mammoth Lakes, California, which gives us a vast array of awesome places in which to create – from the city to the studio, the beach, the desert, and the high mountains. The wide, beautiful world is our canvas.
We are comfortable in many environments and have experience working in any given venue. We can shoot on a pre-built set or on the side of some snowy peak while filming professional athletes. Because we are small, we are nimble… and so we can travel quickly and efficiently.
We are transparent with new clients about pricing and the process. Production budgets are hard to predict because they are influenced by many factors. While we advertise three fixed packages, we can easily scale up and down production costs based on project demands.
We value fluid collaboration, consistent communication, intuitive risk-taking, and building meaningful relationships. We strive for artistic excellence, and we work tirelessly to ensure that every dollar our clients spend returns with limitless value.
What are some of your notable projects and achievements so far?
The last few years have been incredible. We’ve had the pleasure of working on large productions with big clients, many of whom have returned to us with new projects.
We were especially ecstatic when Liteboxer approached us to showcase the new Liteboxer VR workout game. Since completing that project, Meta X Liteboxer has reached out to us multiple times to create and deliver a number of additional assets.
Blenders Eyewear hired us to create their first-ever television commercial, which was a huge success. Following that, we’ve developed a slew of other campaigns for Blenders.
WolfPak also debuted one of Guess’s new collection lineups alongside Stagecoach, the country music equivalent of Coachella held in the same venue.
We are excited to see where all these promising collaborations will go in the future.
What can people expect from WolfPak Films moving forward?
While commercial work is our mainstay, we’ve recently branched out into documentary and experimental work to push our creative limits.
We just finished filming the pilot episode of a docu-series called “Diablo’s Diaries.” This anthology of short stories aims to get to the bottom of that which drives extraordinary people. In the first installment, we highlighted Alec Merlino, a talented Southern Californian triathlete, actor, and musician. Our first episode of Diablo’s Diaries took home two awards at the Toronto Film Magazine Film Festival: Best Experimental and Best Cinematographer. It also won Best Short Documentary at the Vegas Shorts Movie Awards.
Nothing but success and unhinged creativity in 2023 and beyond
Derner and his team at WolfPak Films have established themselves as a company with extensive experience in video production, particularly commercial video production, in just a few years. Despite the company’s progress, Derner believes there is still plenty of room for growth. WolfPak Films’ primary goal is to establish itself as a household name capable of continuously managing significant projects for prestigious clients with larger budgets. The team also aims to broaden its scope of work to include more documentary and even narrative projects.