The set for a TV commercial is readied on Monday.
The Steinhafels video crew built a living room set,
complete with lighting to simulate sunlight
streaming in the windows.
CITY OF PEWAUKEE
- Beyond the showroom of furniture arrangements and the
clearance room filled with a mismatch of home decorating
items is a studio tucked behind a wall created for
Steinhafels' in-house video crew to create television
advertisements and training videos.
On Monday, Video
Production Manager Ira Klusendorf and Video Producer
Mike Geraci were busy directing the creation of a living
room set in which to film the Steinhafels' 81st
anniversary commercial. Studio assistants Luis Dominguez
Pablo affixed temporary woodwork along the top of the
living room walls while Austin Neumann worked on the
While many people
may recognize the signature Steinhafels ads, few
probably know that the commercials are filmed in the
company's City of Pewaukee headquarters by its staff.
Director Dirk Stallmann started at Steinhafels almost
nine years ago, he said, the family-owned furniture
company was working with an ad agency for its video
production. And while that company did a great job
helping to create brand recognition for Steinhafels,
Stallmann said it made sense to use staff who "live and
breathe the company every day" to make the commercials.
The Steinhafels crew prepares the set for a new
Steinhafels creates hundreds of TV spots and videos,
"A lot goes into
that, but the bottom line is we are a department of
about 12 people. We are very lean and I like to keep it
that way," Stallmann said.
By having its own
staff film the videos, Stallmann said, the company was
able to save money, but more importantly, Steinhafels
would have control.
"The fun part is
to continue to expand the types of things we do to make
this company better," he said.
Three years ago,
Steinhafels brought full video capability in-house,
Stallmann said. Upstairs in the City of Pewaukee store
there is a larger studio where on Monday a living room
was created, as well as a white space for filming a
mattress commercial. Downstairs is a smaller studio with
an audio recording studio attached and a video editing
A camera displays the set as the crew sets up the
lighting and furniture the day before shooting a
commercial in the Steinhafels studio. For shooting,
the camera will be replaced with a rented RED camera
for professional quality HD video.
Soon, the video
production department will have a larger studio space in
which to work once an expansion of the warehouse space
is completed. The current studio spaces are not very
efficient, Stallmann said, explaining equipment and
lighting need to be ported back and forth.
"We are anxious
to get ahold of our new space and the efficiencies that
we'll gain," he said.
Klusendorf agreed it's nice to have control over filming
the commercials because the crew can react faster if any
need for change arises.
invested. When working with an outside group, they can't
be as invested as the employees can be," Geraci said.
The footage shot
will be divided up into multiple TV spots. Actors are
hired to appear in the commercials and people may be
hired to be extra grips or for other supporting roles.
Stallmann said he
is not aware of many companies that have the same level
of filming capabilities Steinhafels has, although some
do still photography and printing in-house. But even
then, much of the production is geared toward internal
The set creates the illusion of an idyllic living
When not filming
commercials that are broadcasted across the region,
Steinhafels' video production crew makes videos to
educate employees at the company's different locations.
Videos are also created for display in the showroom, to
educate both the buyers and employees on the features of
pieces of furniture.
Sarah Utech takes still photos of everything to be used
on the company's website and other promotional
materials. She also helped decorate the set Monday and
was helping to set up the lighting.
said the crew is given creative license with the video
incredible reward to watch it fall into place,"
Stallmann said. "We keep improving the more we keep