Dylan Steinberg, a Drexel alumnus and founder of Dream Machine Creative.
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Drexel alumnus Dylan Steinberg built a full-service video production company, Dream Machine Creative in 2012. Since then, the company has increased in size and revenue — and its number and range of opportunities for Drexel co-ops for this year’s spring/summer 2016 co-op cycle.
For the first time ever, Dream Machine Creative is looking for business majors in addition to film and video production majors as co-ops.
Drexel students, meet Dream Machine Creative.
Dream Machine Creative has created advertisements (Levi’s Kids Fall 2015 collection), documentaries (“Dunwell Doughnuts”) and music videos, along with promos, shorts and experimental videos. Remember singer-songwriter Ingrid Michaelson’s genre-bending music video “Girls Chase Boys,” which has more than 11 million views and was highlighted by The Washington Post and The Huffington Post? Yeah, that’s Dream Machine Creative.
The company’s clients include VH1, MTV, Viacom, Comcast, NBC, Conde Nast, The Onion, Rachel Roy, Atlantic Records, Vogue, H&M and many more. Plus, Dream Machine Creative had over $1 million in revenue in this year alone, up from $200,000 three years ago.
Steinberg started Dream Machine Creative in 2012 as a way to turn his successful freelancing career into a business. He graduated from Drexel in 2009 with a bachelor’s in Studies in Media Arts & Design and a minor in film and video.
Based in New York City (with windows overlooking Broadway, actually), the Dream Machine Creative family has two producers, two editors and one director of photography. They work with dozens of freelancers from around NYC and the world, as well as apprentices (what they call interns) from around the country.
Expect a ton of different opportunities, shoots and portfolio-builders while on co-op at Dream Machine Creative.
Take it from Dan Leung, ’14, who was the first Drexel co-op hired at Dream Machine Creative: “On my very first week of co-op, Dylan brought me into a commercial shoot with high-profile actors and professional crew members, but made sure I knew proper professionalism and etiquette. Things like this can't be learned in film school — only by getting on more film sets,” he said.
Leung, who was the only other full-time member of Dream Machine during his co-op besides Steinberg, had reached out to his employer for a co-op; he had heard about the company through his neighbor, Steinberg’s aunt.
Steinberg had done his own Drexel co-op at Atlantic Records two summers in a row, first as an intern and then as a full-time hire with a salary. While he was familiar with Drexel’s co-op program, he hadn’t considered hiring a co-op before Leung contacted him.
“I had no idea what a co-op could do, but Dan was very capable of doing everything to help out. With him, I was able to ramp production up by 30 percent,” Steinberg said.
As a co-op, Leung was involved in almost everything. A production and camera assistant on set, Leung also worked in the studio as the office manager. Plus, he said, “I helped build the cameras, help the director of photography change lenses, and I even got film on larger projects, like a fashion show. I also helped edit a bunch of projects including fashion lookbooks and a music video we filmed in Philly.”
Inspired by Leung, Steinberg realized he could continue to grow his company with the help of interns and Drexel co-ops. He started hiring Drexel co-ops regularly after Leung left, even hiring a former student intern, Chelsea Killea, as his head of production two years after she did her co-op at Dream Machine Creative.
Co-op positions at Dream Machine Creative are technically unpaid, though a $50-a-day stipend is provided and extra money can be made on paid commercial projects. For business students, a competitive salary is offered for those looking to help grow a small business in a big city.
About a dozen video co-ops have already passed through Dream Machine Creative. They work on commercial shoots and edit production on projects that they’ve shot, among other duties. They’ve worked with celebrities such as Whoopi Goldberg, Paris Hilton, Nicki Minaj and more.
Previously, only film and video students looking to expand their résumé could find positions, as had been the case since 2012. This year marks the first time that a spot was provided for business students who want to help manage the finances and accounting of a small, growing company.
Four positions have been posted for A-Round for the upcoming spring/summer 2016 positions: three positions for video production, and one position for a position on the business side.
At this small company, co-op students jump right in and work closely alongside staff and the company’s owner in all sorts of ways for all sorts of projects.
For Leung, this co-op was essential to his career. After completing his co-op, Leung later partnered with a fellow Drexel film major, Max Goldberg, ’14, to create a creative video agency startup, Five Five Collective. In business for over a year, the company has created videos for local universities including Drexel, as well as student startups like Scholly, a scholarship app whose founder landed deals with two investors on ABC’s Shark Tank.
Leung hopes that his startup will one day add a co-op to their team. That way, he says, he too could inspire young film students to find and follow something they're truly passionate about.
“Dylan and Dream Machine fueled my passion for video production, which pushed me forward to make it my career,” he said. “Dream Machine and Five Five both have humble beginnings by Drexel film grads, and I hope we both can always keep moving forward.”
About the Drexel Co-op program: More than 98 percent of eligible undergraduate students at Drexel University participate in the co-op program, balancing full-time classes and up to three different internships during their time at Drexel. Students can choose from more than 1,700 employers in 33 states and 48 international locations — plus endless possibilities through self-arranged placements.