There was a time not that long ago when James Domroe's "office" was the nearest Panera Bread Company. When Domroe and Deven Coleman, the first two employees of 325 Productions, weren't shooting videos, they were editing them in a Panera and using their wifi to send videos to their clients. "I could tell you the ins and outs of all of the Panera's. I knew their internet speeds and which was the best to go to depending what we needed to do that day," said Domroe.
Today 325 Productions is flourishing in a new home, a spacious 4,000 square foot studio located in the former Dietz Lantern Factory on Wilkinson Street in Syracuse. The centerpiece of their headquarters is a 25-foot seamless white backdrop which is surrounded by video equipment and cubicles. "We use this space for editing, filming, graphic design, web site development, and social media management. We want to be the one-stop shop for great content and a great marketing plan. Great content plus great marketing equals results," said Domroe.
Domroe is a member of Liverpool High School's class of 2000 whose love of making videos brought him to Onondaga Community College and its Electronic Media Communications degree program. He earned his degree in two years and transferred to SUNY Fredonia. As he began taking classes there he quickly realized his hands-on experience at OCC had put him well ahead of his new classmates. So he decided to start a film club. The club was awarded $325 by the Student Activities board which Domroe and club members used to make an hour-long movie. That dollar amount would eventually become the inspiration for his company's name.
In between the countless hours spent in local Panera's and their beautiful new work space in the Dietz Buidling, 325 Productions had a temporary home in Commonspace at 201 East Jefferson Street. While based there they hired their third employee, Jimi DeLine, a 2016 grad of OCC's Electronic Media Communications degree program. All three brought a similar skill set to work. "Myself, Jimi, and Deven all had experience working on hundreds of music videos. As companies we work with embraced a more exciting vibe, we implemented that in our videos. The finished product really stands out because of it. We're creating things that are exciting and memorable." Their exciting and memorable way of crafting videos is evident in a series of new commercials 325 Productions recently created for Onondaga Community College.
In the last year-and-a-half 325 Productions has continued to grow and now has 10 employees, four of whom are former OCC students. "I talk to so many people who say they like to hire OCC students because of their hands-on experience," said DeLine. "I'm here because of the networking I did at OCC. My professors told me about job opportunities which led me to three part-time jobs and eventually to 325 Productions."
By the end of this summer 325 Productions will open a new office in Rochester where there client list is growing. But Syracuse is and will always be where everything started. Their commitment to Syracuse is so strong Domroe and his Team Members are working on a video project titled "325 Presents Community Stories." They're interviewing leaders in both the public and private sectors about surviving and ultimately thriving during the pandemic. "We think it's so important to have these stories out there. We have a duty to tell them correctly. We love Syracuse and we're so lucky to have all of the great companies we work with. We've been building these relationships over the course of the last 10 years."
OCC's Electronic Media Communications degree program is now known as Broadcast Media Communications. You can learn more about it at OCC's website.