Cinecraft Productions

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Cinecraft Productions
Type Private
Industry video production and training
Founded 1939
Headquarters Cleveland, Ohio
Key people Neil McCormick, Chairman

Maria Keckan, President

Daniel Keckan, VP, Learning & Instructional Design

Number of employees 25


Cinecraft Productions is the oldest working industrial film company, located in Ohio City, a village on the Near West side of Cleveland, Ohio. The building that has housed Cinecraft since 1946, at 2515 Franklin Boulevard, designed by architect John Eisenmann and originally opened as a branch of the Cleveland Public Library - West, apart of the Carnegie library system, in 1898. It then became a German Beer Hall called Harmonie Hall run by Sachsenhein, where comedians like Joe E. Brown came to entertain.

In 1937, Ray Culley returned to his Cleveland after directing Westerns for Republic Pictures in Hollywood, CA. He directed Gene Autry and Hoot Gibson among others. While visiting his folks in Cleveland, he was asked by General Electric to produce and direct a film for them. He saw no reason why he couldn't build his own "Hollywood" studio in Cleveland, Ohio. Thus, Cinecraft Productions began as the first film studio in the Midwest in 1939 and incorporated with the State of Ohio in 1946. Many years later, Joe E. Brown was on the Cinecraft Stage acting in a film for Sohio when he remembered that this building was one of the "clubs" he used to play. Huge stage sets were built and many well known people flew in for films produced at Cinecraft, including Imogene Coca, Walter Cronkite, Brian Donlevy, Merv Griffin, Marian Hartley, Richard Nixon, Burgess Meredith, James Whitmore, Wally Cox and the Monday Night Football trio of Al Michaels, Dan Dierdorf and Frank Gifford.

In 1945, Ray's younger brother Paul Culley, fresh from World War II, joined Ray in the company. When Ray retired in 1969, Paul took it over. Paul continued the large motion picture business, but added slide/multi-image and video as the demand for these media grew. Cinecraft prospered as the only production house in Cleveland to incorporate so many media services under one roof.

The tradition continued. Neil McCormick and Maria Keckan bought Cinecraft from Paul Culley in 1986. Since taking ownership, Neil and Maria have grown the business to be three times the size it was in 1986, and have added yet more services designing and developing in custom learning solutions, and specializing in telling organizations stories through different modalities including interactive video, 3D animation, eLearning, mLearning, instructor-led training, performance support and immersive learning experiences including simulations.


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