"We want to create an atmosphere of fun, creativity, and professionalism, and then go from there.“
When you have a vision, sometimes the path to achieving it can be unpredictable. You don’t know where you’ll go or what you’ll see. You only know that it’s your dream, and you’ll do what’s required to see it through. Just ask studio visionary, Randall Heer.
Randall recently opened an independent production facility called Vista Studios. It’s comprised of four multi-camera sound stages and spans 30,000 square-feet in Playa Vista. “It’s the first 4K, greenfield build of a studio, backed by private money, ever done in LA,” says Heer.
But well before big-time media companies like Disney and Facebook were knocking on his front door, Heer got his start in production at Metro Media Television, which would later be acquired by FOX. He spent the next 12 years directing live television events across Southern California for Fox Networks Group, including the infamous O.J. Simpson trial and LA Riots.
After establishing himself as a formidable Director in broadcasting, Randall accepted the position as Engineer in Charge at FOX Network. With this promotion came more responsibilities, as he would oversee a group of cable networks that included FX, National Geographic, and more. He would go on to win three Technology & Engineering Emmy® Awards, including one for his brilliant work on Fox NFL Sunday.
“We accomplished a lot of great things, and a lot of people in the nation watched our work on Sundays,” he told us. “Winning that Emmy was a proud moment for me.”
So, where do you go after winning one the most prestigious awards in Hollywood? Well, for Heer, you go High-Def. Randall managed Discovery Networks’ expansion into HD content and helped CBS build the first file-based cellular phone video delivery system.
He then traveled the globe, lending his talents to the world of horse racing as the Director of Operations at TVG. He covered events in cities across Europe and North America, including the historic Breeder’s Cup at Churchill Downs in Louisville.
“I kept saying to my bosses, ‘We’re turning away a lot of business. If you guys can give me the funding, we’re going to build a big studio,” said Heer.
Despite his valid proposal, his request was denied. His company saw tennis as their core business, not studios. But that didn’t stop Heer. With the help of contacts he’d made while working at the Tennis Channel, he began the work of raising money to fund the building of Vista Studios. “It was an irresistible opportunity to try to put something new together and to take a chance on building something unique,” says Randall.
- National Geographic
- Fox NFL Sunday
- TVG Network
- Showtime Boxing
- CBS Television
- Tennis Channel
- Discovery Networks
Today, he’s helping companies from all over the world realize their vision, including Facebook, which recently produced a multi-camera show with a live audience in 4K resolution.
When Randall became Vice President and General Manager at Hayden Studios, home of the Tennis Channel, he knew he was one step closer to achieving his ultimate dream of opening his own studio.
So, what’s the magic behind Randall’s success in the highly competitive Los Angeles landscape?
“If you focus on the process, you’ll achieve all your end results. So, we’re focusing on the process. We’re process-centric, and we want to create an atmosphere of fun, creativity, and professionalism, and then go from there.”
Regardless of all the ups and downs and twists and turns throughout Randall’s journey, there’s one thing that’s been consistent: his relationship with First Entertainment. Since 1984, Randall has relied on First Entertainment as his trusted credit union, watching as the institution grew right along with him.
“It’s nice to see you took your business to a small institution that’s just grown with you over the years.”
And that’s a process we both can be proud of, Randall.