The first glimpse you get of a DVD is its jacket. And you might be surprised to know a St. Catharines company has started creating some of those covers.
Symetric Productions, located downtown in a King Street suite, has been working with faith-based film companies, creating an array of marketing products to accompany each release.
Symetric vice-president Joe Jones, who was named the 2007 entrepreneur of the year by the St. Catharines-Thorold Chamber of Commerce, and Ryan Trinder, graphic director, founded the company on a part-time basis in 2001.
The pair met at the World Impact Bible Institute in St. Catharines (located in the Niagara Celebration Church on Scott Street). Jones was studying for his pastoral degree, while Trinder worked there part time as a graphic designer.
"We have totally different traits," Jones said. "I can't do his job and he can't do my job. It's a really good working relationship."
Jones, who grew up in North Bay, moved to the Garden City in 2001, after spending more than five years with his family in Haiti doing missionary work. That organization, Haiti Missions, is run by Jones' mother, Joy, out of the King Street suite.
Since 2001, work at Symetric has been doubling annually, and what began as a website design company is now a multi-media entity that includes web and graphic design, printing, software development and PowerPoint presentations.
In 2005, Symetric became a full-time venture for Jones and Trinder, who also employ two full-time employees and one part-time employee and are looking to hire another graphic designer.
And with such growth has come new ventures.
Jones' father, Byron Jones, is vice-president of sales and marketing of Pure Flix Entertainment, a U.S.-based company that manufactures, sells and globally distributes big budget family and faith-based films. Byron Jones has offices in California and Phoenix - and the King Street suite.
In October 2007, Byron Jones, Randy and Liz Travis and three others founded Outreach Cinema (www.outreachcinema.ca), a company that offers churches an easy and complete way to host a film.
Symetric has been hired to create all the marketing materials for these companies, including posters, tickets and DVD jackets, and has created their websites. And their work on these projects is getting them interest from other film companies, said Jones, who is married to Anneke and father to five-month-old daughter Jael.
Last year, Symetric worked on five films, including Hidden Secrets, which was released on Feb. 9 and stars John Schneider (Dukes of Hazzard) and Tracy Melchior (Bold and the Beautiful), and The Wager, which will be released on April 25. It stars Randy Travis and Candice Cameron Bure (Full House), as well as Nancy Stafford (Matlock) and Jude Ciccolella (24). They also recently worked with a South African-based film company on their film Once Upon a Stable.
"I like the fact that we can be really creative and you know it's going to the masses," Jones said. "It's not 50 people who are going to see this. We have exposure across the world. ... Every time someone has a DVD in their house you think, gee I did that."
Jones said Symetric also owns and operates the website 411niagara.com, and have just partnered with GetGames.ca, a Canadawide online video game rental service for all types of consoles, including Wii, Playstation and Xbox 360.