About Us
Sheldon RichmanReprinted from an article appearing on NJ.com.
“Fifteen years ago it would have been difficult to produce commercials in Westfield, NJ. But now, because so much is done digitally and online, it’s very do-able,” said TV Director Sheldon Richman. Richman Films moved from Manhattan seven years ago.

“In Manhattan, we mostly produced commercials and corporate films for mid-sized and larger companies. But we didn’t start that way. In the beginning we worked for very small companies... a lot of startups,” Sheldon explains. “We became the masters at turning out high-end looking productions with minuscule budgets. This formula worked really well for our clients. So well, that quite a few of them became famous for their marketing successes.”

In the late eighties, Richman Films started making commercials for a tiny mortgage company which grew to become the largest in the industry, number 1 in a field of about 10,000 competitors. The company was Champion Mortgage. “We developed a concept for them that just caught fire. In fact, in 2001 when they were taken over by a large bank and switched to a big agency, even though they doubled their media exposure they stopped using our programs and their sales plummeted.”

“We developed campaigns for a tiny fashion company that became a major department store brand," said Richman. "We took a start-up food product and got it onto supermarket shelves nationwide.” Richman Films successes began to attract the attention of larger advertisers. Richman explains, “In the late nineties we had become one of the most prolific production companies in New York. The high point had to be one night when I was home alone watching a primetime sitcom and they broke for a commercial island. Most breaks on the network affiliates are comprised of a mix of national and local advertisers. This break had two national spots and two local. All four of the commercials were spots I had directed. Unfortunately no one else was there to witness it and it loses quite a bit of impact in the retelling."

A confluence of events including a few untimely deaths and changes in the industry led to a downsizing around 2007. “It’s disheartening and it knocks the wind out of you, but it happens and you have to overcome it,” said Sheldon. “On the positive side, we expanded into website design and still photography. Not to mention, we moved to Westfield.” This led to close friendships with local businesses.

Sheldon relates a story about a Westfield kitchen design company. “They approached us with a dilemma. Most people associated them with only high-end kitchens. The economy being what it is, they were being passed over by homeowners looking to save money. I said ‘what a great problem to have. People think you are unaffordable because you’re too good.’ We developed a cute concept that addressed that issue. They used the concept in a local newspaper ad and it worked. I recently got a call from them telling us that they’ve had a phenomenal response to the campaign.”

Sheldon talks about the future for Richman Films, “We’re going back to what worked before. We’re showing people that they should expect much more from their video productions. And just like our kitchen design client, we’re working on getting the message out that just because our productions look expensive, it doesn’t mean that they were expensive.”