This is a company profile for US radio imaging company Longtrain Productions. This company is based in the town of Charlotte, North Corolina and has been in business for 21 years.
Company name: Longtrain Productions
Launch date: Flickered to life in 1995. Became fulltime employment in 2005.
Discount code: Mention us (radio-directory.me) for a 10% discount on all orders.
Please tell us about who you are and what your company does?
My name is Andy Safnauer. I started off as an intern/weekend jock in Syracuse NY. Went to college at Ohio University and got my first full time radio job as the Production Assistant at WMJI in Cleveland. Followed that with Production Director gigs in Akron, Greenville, SC and Atlanta. I had always freelanced when I worked in stations, but in 2005 I decided that I was ready to do that fulltime from home. Today I am a voice actor and produce radio imaging and commercials for clients around the world.
What were your company’s formative years like?
I was fortunate that I had some people believe in what I could do early on and that really helped. I was totally unprepared for my first Production Director job, and that fear of being lost motivated me to spend a lot of time in the studio learning all I could thru trial and error. The first freelance imaging job I did was for a station in Boise. Terrible deal for me. Unlimited production for 150 a month. They killed me with work. I think I lasted 6 months and said No Mas. Early lesson in understanding the value of what I do is.
Have you seen radio imaging change over the years and if so how?
The biggest change for me is the incredibly short time frames for turnaround. When I started, you would fax (!) the voice guy before 2pm and then get a reel to reel the next day. You had to plan ahead. With mp3 and email, people don’t plan anymore. I was doing New Years sweeps on New Year’s Eve. Not kidding. How does that happen?
In your mind what makes your company different from the competition?
I have quite a few long term clients. And those clients refer me to others, which means they trust what I do. I try to be a resource beyond a guy throwing noises together in a different city. I spend time with clients brainstorming ideas. My clients allow me to put my twist on things (usually with my voice doing something stupid) which helps make their stuff pop. Every producer is different – how I hear things in my head and how that conveys to a final product seems to resonate.
What insights into radio imaging would you like to share with us?
I try to focus on who the message is ultimately for – I’m not trying to put everything I can into a promo to impress other radio people. Does the promo convey the excitement of winning money to a 40 year old woman? Does that sweeper connect to a Van Halen fan? Thinking about that drives a lot of what I do.
What direction do you see your company taking in future?
We are doing more internet radio and work for clients overseas. Many emerging markets in Africa and India want an American radio sound. The world is opening up for a ton of opportunities. I see me doing what I am doing now on an even bigger scale. Pretty exciting stuff.
What makes you passionate about radio imaging?
I still get a thrill out of taking something linear on a piece of paper and crafting it into something that is alive with depth and power and feeling.
Any further comments?
Embrace the opportunities to do work for podcasts, streaming and whatever else that pops up. If you are creative, you are going to do fine. I am not a format specialist – in fact, that is probably one of the keys to my career. I am not a ‘rock guy’ or a ‘pop guy’. I am a producer. Don’t limit yourself. Be the best ‘you’ you can be. You are the only one that has your unique point of view. Let that come thru in your work.