Incredibly talented and innovative Director Shane Valdez with long-time Producer Norm Reiss has launched a new commercial production company Realm Films. In collaboration with visual effects and postproduction partner Jake Maymudes at Rebellion VFX. The trio has also unveiled their “Studio 8558”: a new store-front, production, postproduction & gallery space on Washington Blvd. in the heart of Culver City’s historic Arts District.

“Norm and I want to do something different with Realm,” explains Valdez. “To partner with clients on their brands and collaborate very closely with them to promote them over time. Not just be hired for their latest commercial project, but to work together to really understand what they are trying to do and shoot not just one piece but fifty.”

“When Shane is on-set, something magical happens,” says Executive Producer Norm Reiss. “I have worked with a lot of Directors throughout my career, some very well-known, but no one comes close to Shane in terms of his talent and his collaboration with clients. Everyone just loves him.”

Shane Valdez is an award-winning film, documentary, music video, and commercial Director. Since first setting his sights on this highly competitive creative industry with a Writer-Director debut, that went on to win countless accolades, he’s traveled all over the globe, working with some of the world’s most influential brands and celebrities across a wide range of products and categories including Bud Light, Corona, KFC, EGO/Skil, Chuck-E-Cheese’s and Five Below. With a rich history in documentary, music video, and full celeb access network promo work, Shane has developed an inherently collaborative ability to develop and problem solve in the moment. This sensibility allows him to easily and comfortably collaborate with agency and client and high-end celebrity talent alike, making production days fuller and big ideas bigger. Shane also directs promos exclusively through the award-winning content studio, Black Label Content, where he has directed content for “American Idol,” “The Oscars,” “Dancing with the Stars,” “American Music Award,” “The Espys,” and most recently “Live in Front of a Studio Audience” and “Jeopardy.”

For the past 25 years, Producer Norm Reiss has been producing movies, commercials, promos, and music videos. Norm has produced for the top Directors in the entertainment business and the top advertising agencies all over the world. Now partnered with Valdez in Realm Films, the duo is currently in the midst of several commercial projects for Ego, Skil and several other projects.

Valdez began his industry career collaborating closely with Director Jesse Dylan at creative agency and production company Wondros. He was mentored there by Anne-Marie Mackay, former CCO for Wondros. “I first met Shane as a favor to a young colleague I liked and trusted,” she details. “It was to be a brief meet-and-greet and I was certainly not looking to sign another Director at that time. Shane proved to be that breath of fresh air that he still is to this day. He was positive, enthusiastic, inspired and inspiring. Based on that first impression, I urged him to come by the office and hang out whenever he liked. I wanted to get to know him better — he was infectious.”

According to Mackay, their long-term collaboration, which continues today, began there: “I have spent a professional lifetime discovering, nurturing and launching great talent into the Industry,” she adds. “I recognized Shane as one of the destined few. A fantastic collaborator, his creative problem solving and huge imagination made him an almost instant success. It took no time before everyone who mattered recognized his incredible talent and his work ethic was second to none — that and his strong engineering background gave him a full heads start over any other newcomer. Today, Shane is the true success he was always destined to be — to know him is to love him.”

Clients tout the collaborative formula devised by Realm Films. Comments Agency Producer Kent Kwiatt: “Shane and Norm have developed a uniquely effective balance of creative inventiveness and executional effectiveness,” he says. “Shane’s unflagging energy and unflappability in the executional trenches is a force of nature worthy of a documentary. The builds, the solves, the impeccable juggling of the inevitable curve balls thrown is simply a feat to behold, and this of course seamlessly interwoven on top of the management of the filmic shared vision in casting and setting, capability and performance. Shane is enabled in all this by his wildly experience production Partner/EP Norm Reiss. Norm is an industry veteran likely familiar to many and equally at home wizarding together crew and equipment for exotic offshore production as he is on an L.A. back lot or Chicago stage. Norm is amazingly adept at stretching dollars to suit creative vision and does so with a warmth of partnership that has one wonder why it’s not always so. These guys are creative problem solvers.”

Kwiatt notes the necessity of this new way of working, devised by Realm: “Our industry is changing daily, agency teams are more stretched then ever, brand managers are often more involved then ever,” he points out. “The resulting topography demands that our production partners now have to work not only as stewards of the creative vision but also as an extension of the agency creative team and increasingly as extension of the agency’s account management chops. That range of capabilities seldom resides in a single package. Realm Films delivers!”

Joe Turoff, Chief Marketing Officer at Chervon agrees, having collaborated with Shane and Norm on a series of projects this year and planning for more collaborations next year in 2020. “They are the perfect yin and yang,” he says. “They make the best team on any production. Shane is just amazing to work with, and incredibly flexible, always offering different ideas and solutions. They produce extremely high-quality results, and they work with you on every detail to make each project the best that it can be.”

Senior Producer Austen Williams of “AdAge 2019 A-List Agency Standout” O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul in Chicago adds: “Working with Shane and Norm was a completely collaborative process from day one,” she explains. “There were several moments throughout pre-production and production where it felt like we were all one team and not silo-ed by agency and production company titles. As is the case for most productions, there were last-minute requests and additions — all of which were handled with enthusiasm and professionalism. Norm is a true problem solver. He never once let his calm demeanor slip and was always able to provide timely solutions. Shane is the perfect counterpart to Norm. Shane is truly the most enthusiastic and energetic person I’ve ever met and he brought that genuine enthusiasm and energy to every single call, meeting and shoot day. He made it very easy to love what we do.”

Matt Reinhard, Creative Founder of O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul concurs: “Shane is blessed with optimistically positive energy and a can-do spirit, both of which are critical when, as a new agency, we’re expected to over-deliver,” he points out. “More importantly, Shane creates an environment where anything is possible. If you can think it, he can make it happen. If Norm says so, of course!”

Realm Film’s partnership with Rebellion VFX & Post, not only on projects, but in their new space in Culver City is essential to the company’s new model and way of working. “I started collaborating with Shane on projects several years ago,” explains Rebellion Founder Jake Maymudes, “and we hit it off immediately. If they were shooting something and needed visual effects and post, we were able to step in. And if we needed production on a project, they were the perfect partners. We are able to package projects for clients and provide whatever is needed at any given time.” Rebellion VFX created visual effects for the feature film “Terminator: Dark Fate,” and is in the midst of the new “Dune” film due out in 2020. 

Realm Films and Rebellion VFX have also partnered on the launch of Studio 8558, its new, store-front, production, postproduction and gallery space on Washington Blvd. in the heart of the historic Arts District of Culver City. The private launch event in October featured artwork from JM Art Management’s diverse and celebrated artists John Paul Fauves and Chad Muska. The new space features production area for Realm and postproduction area for Rebellion VFX, and also a gallery space, where they will be showcasing and rotating new and up-and-coming fine artists quarterly. “This is our way of giving back to the community,” concludes Realm Films’ Director and Founder Shane Valdez. “Culver City has such deep roots in the arts, both fine art and film. We are beyond thrilled to bring these two worlds of art and film lovers together in one place, joined by our incredible passions for both.”

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