A Film Entrepreneur’s Balancing Act

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A thriving wedding film company launched by Weston High School graduate Zander Colman — now an Emerson College junior — has won awards and earned such a reputation that its schedule for the year is already booked.

It all started as Mr. Colman was completing his senior year at WHS and the school’s robust videography program. A neighbor’s wedding was being memorialized by one of New England’s top filmmaking groups, which produced such a dazzling video story of the event that Mr. Colman reached out and asked to be taken on as an intern, which he was.

Later, with his brother Nate — who recently with classmate Jonah Rothlein won a national C-SPAN competition, Mr. Colman founded Crystal Lake Creatives.

The company has already won two awards from The Knot Worldwide, a site that connects couples with wedding professionals and provides planning tools for the big event.

Mr. Colman said Crystal Lake has steadily broadened its production and editing team, mostly by drawing on the talent pool at Emerson where, he estimates, half of the student body majors in visual arts.

He credits much of the successful launch of Crystal Lake to the videography program at Weston High School, and in particular its instructor, Geoffrey Brencher. “Weston’s videography program is amazing,” said Mr. Colman. “Mr. Brencher is a great teacher, and the technology and gear available to students is first class.”

Mr. Colman said there have been challenges juggling his studies and the demands of running a business. It helps, he said, that Emerson’s curriculum is balanced and involves practical workshops on film techniques, lighting, and other fundamentals. It also includes a range of real-world assignments.

The business challenges Mr. Colman describes are typical of entrepreneurs everywhere: deciding which jobs to take and when to pass, staying as focused and local as possible, and efficiently distributing work among the team members.

Most important, he said, “is being willing to work lots of late nights.”

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