Team / Our Story

Corduroy Media opened its doors in 2003. The door happened to be a bedroom door… Carl’s bedroom door. He was sharing a flat with two other folks in San Francisco and had just dropped out of graduate program in architecture. Suddenly, there he was with a borrowed PC and a bunch of free time on his hands.

So it was a Bedroom – not a Garage

Photography and film had been an interest of Carl’s since he was a kid – and being 25 without a plan in San Francisco was the perfect breading ground to start a production company. It didn’t matter that he didn’t know the first thing about video and film production. He thought if he could just get one project, with one client, it would snowball and quickly grow into a full-fledged production company. Well that didn’t exactly happen – what happened is that he became a frustrated artist. Although his first clients were happy, Carl didn’t quite have the chops to create the kind of stories and imagery he could see in his mind.

“Carl’s work for the MTV Street Team was some of the most thoughtful, interesting, and well-produced journalism that came out of the project. From surfers fighting to save their break in San Diego to young people in Oakland organizing to elect Barack Obama, Carl found great stories that weren’t being told any place else.”

Ocean MacAdams

VP of News and Docs, MTV


From San Francisco to Oakland…

Over the next several years, Carl worked on film and video projects; finished his first feature length documentary, 2nd Verse: The rebirth of Poetry; interned at the Film Arts Foundation; and attended a 16mm summer workshop at New York’s University’s Tisch School of the Arts. During this time, the vision for his work began to get closer to the reality of the projects he produced. By then he had a few consistent clients and moved the company from his San Francisco bedroom to a West Oakland loft. Oh, and Carl also managed to get himself engaged to an amazing woman. Things were looking up, but the energetic and collaborative company he had envisioned had not yet been fully realized…


A Production Company of 3…

Not long after they married, Carl’s new wife introduced him to his other life partner, Sean Donnelly. He had just moved Corduroy Media into it’s first tiny office in West Berkeley and though he couldn’t afford to hire Sean full time he was able to give him enough work to keep him close at hand. Carl shared with Sean his vision of a small production company and creative firm that produced impactful work for clients whose mission they could believe in. Sean wanted in. Carl was thrilled and a bit nervous – his second huge relationship commitment in as many years. He hired Sean full-time with the promise of sweat equity ownership in Corduroy. At the same time, he made an offer to his freelance editor to also join full-time. We were now a production company of three.


A Dream Actualized…

Today Corduroy Media is the real deal. After over a decade of hard work and a lot of help from clients, mentors, family, and friends, we have put together a great team in our small but impressive Emeryville studio. The vast majority of our client relationships are long-term. Some go as far back as a decade – to Corduroy’s earliest days. We deeply value the connections we make along the way and the intimate familiarity that builds over time as we get to know each client – their story and the goals of their company or non-profit. We appreciate every opportunity to grow, to learn, to receive feedback from our clients, employees and partners. It’s an honor to be a part of a team of caring and considerate creative professionals. We all feel blessed to be able to do this work!