Robert Hanley is an American Producer/Director/Editor /Inventor & Entrepreneur who has turned his love for film and video into a cottage industry of companies serving customers from all over America. Hanley, founder and president of Home Video Studio, learned how to succeed in business at very young age - age ten to be exact - running his own popcorn and snow cone business at the city park! He now owns and operates the most successful video services business in the country - Home Video Studio (HVS) - with studio owners across America participating in the Home Video Studio Network (HVSN), following Robert's plan, and enjoying what he calls "an exciting and fun 'lifestyle' business." Robert's vision for running a video business from home was born from experience in film and video production.
He has been involved in every aspect of the industry as a writer, producer, director, gaffer, soundman, technician, cinematographer, and editor.
He has shot on both coasts in every format including, 35mm, 16mm, Betacam and more. He has also paid his dues logging thousands of hours in editing suites. He has written, produced, and directed a feature film, Good Cop, Bad Cop and is currently working on his second feature film, a documentary: The Great American Home Movie. Yes, Robert Hanley has been in the trenches, and now he shares his experience and knowledge with HVSN owners and others who want to open their own video production studios.
Before founding Home Video Studio Robert was best known as a film and video Producer/Director/Editor. Hanley's interest in filmmaking goes back to his college days. His lifelong passion for movies and film began when he took a class on the great movie directors like Stanley Kubrick, Orson Wells and John Ford. Then one night in 1977, he went out with some friends and shared an experience many film enthusiasts remember: he saw George Lucas's Star Wars. Sitting in that packed theatre changed his life and he decided that night that he wanted to make movies and films.
Graduating with a degree in Liberal Arts Hanley enrolled and attended Southern Illinois University film school, but the lure of "Hollywood" and the dream of starting his own business was too much to ignore so he dropped out, returned to his small town and began pursuing creative and business endeavors. Coincidentally, Robert also found and later married the love of his life, a beautiful Purdue coed - Denise Fitzgerald.
Robert dabbled in the fast food business for a short time - owning and running a 50's American Graffiti style drive-in restaurant (possibly another Lucas inspiration?) while he sought opportunities as a movie producer and director. In 1982 Hanley got his first major project a sixteen 16mm film - a twenty-three minute documentary for the Indiana Lions Club Eye Bank titled Our Goal Is In Sight with a $23,000.00 budget!
Armed with the success of this first major project, Robert started his own film production company and moved from his small hometown to Indianapolis in 1982. As a full-time professional, Robert produced local and national TV commercials, corporate image films and videos, training tapes, and a host of other similar projects for large companies, such as: General Motors, General Foods, Jayco RVs, and Airstream, as well as dozens of advertising agencies, and local and state government organizations.
Even with this lengthy list of successful projects in both the industrial and the commercial film industry Robert faced the hard problem that all independent film and video producers face: how to "monetize" what is essentially a creative business. Robert did wonderful work but the peaks and valleys of the business had rendered him the quintessential "starving artist." In 1989, he took two years off to pursue his dream of writing, shooting, editing, producing and directing a feature film. Out of the frying pan... by early 1991, his feature was done but his financial affairs were in shambles. He had a wife and two small children. Denise, who is an RN, was working full-time and bringing home the bacon. Robert was a stay-at-home Dad and was pretty much washed up, so to speak. What do you do when you're 35 years old and out of work?
Call it luck, synchronicity, timing, fate, or the hand of God (and factor in the power of prayer) but the summer of 1991 proved to be Hanley's renaissance. On June 14, 1991 Robert decided to do what so many successful entrepreneurs do: he reinvented himself. Denise and he were determined to do whatever it took to rebuild their lives and recover their financial health. On that day he decided to start focusing on making money in the video business - only money. He would not make blockbuster movies or world changing documentaries. He would focus on making money.
Taking the knowledge and experience he had gained he retooled his production business into a video production services business. This new company would focus on offering video services that other production companies couldn't or wouldn't offer but that were definitely needed. Soon Hanley had created a cottage industry by focusing on transferring old 8mm, Super 8mm and 16mm films and tapes, as well as Photo Video Keepsake montages, editing, and duplication.
From 1991 through 1995, Robert perfected this business model. His passion for film and video would soon develop into a passion for helping others to start and run their own studios. Naturally, people started asking how he started his business and how they too could start their own home-based video business. Hanley began to realize that he had developed a unique and extraordinary business system that could be duplicated. He had a system that worked very well. In the fall of 1995 and he began to develop a plan that others could follow.
It took a while but by 1998 Robert was ready. He sold his first studio in 1999. Then he sold another, and another. From that humble spare bedroom the business grew and grew. In 2006, long out of the spare bedroom, Robert franchised HVS. Home Video Studio as a franchise seemed to offer some strategic advantages. As in all his endeavors Hanley jumped into the franchisor role with both feet and within a few years Home Video Studio was the envy of its peers, winning Entrepreneur magazine's coveted "Number One Franchise for Photography and Video Services" award, as well as landing in Entrepreneur magazine's Franchise 500.
While the national spotlight and exposure was wonderful for Home Video Studio, Hanley started to notice a national internet trend that was sparked by Google, Bing and Facebook. Basically local businesses with individual brands were becoming very popular and easy to find. Local was hot. So in 2014 Hanley decided to once again offer Home Video Studio as an independent business, with studios having a local face and name, but supported by a network of success and expertise. Home Video Studio has come full circle. With a proven system, an established method of success, and a winning plan HVS puts you into your own local business. It is the best of both worlds. Today, new studios can use their own name or license the Home Video Studio brand - either way they are independent businesses. Your in business for yourself but not by yourself.
"I can truly say I'm living the American Dream! I love my business and the people I serve. I can't wait to get into my studio each and every day. When your work is your passion and your passion is your work - well, it just isn't work. I have other interests; I love cooking and fix most of our meals at home; I collect classic sheet music, especially from movies and TV shows; I'm also an avid reader and, of course, a film buff. I am an expert blackjack player. Denise and I enjoy perusing antique malls and exploring wineries. Most of our vacations usually involve a winery, a casino and an antique mall. I have a theory that wine always tastes better in the winery!" - Robert Hanley.
Robert has two grown children. Nicole Lewis is an artist, art teacher and an entrepreneur as well as a stay-at-home mom. Aaron Hanley is a graduate of Full Sail University with a filmmaking degree. Denise continues to work as an RN and still brings home her share of the bacon.
"The American Dream is alive and well at Home Video Studio. I truly believe that this is the perfect business. If you think our business and lifestyle might fit you, I urge you to call me at 1-866-714-1956. Let's make making movies your business as well as ours. I look forward to hearing from you." - Robert Hanley.
Robert Hanley is truly living the American Dream.
Meet our Staff
Robert Hanley, Founder and CEO of Home Video Studio, is an American Entrepreneur and Filmmaker. Borrowing from a spectrum of life's experiences - from selling snow cones at the city park as a teen to owning a 50's style drive-in restaurant to making a feature film - Hanley has learned how to take a passion and turn it into a business. Home Video Studio began in a spare bedroom of Robert's Indianapolis home more than twenty years ago.
Hanley's vision for Home Video Studio was born out of his love of film and video production. In the 1980's Hanley honed his core production skills. He has worked in every aspect of the industry; as a technician, writer, gaffer, sound recorder, producer, director, cinematographer, DP and editor. During the 1990's he defined and redefined what Home Video Studio was and would become. Robert's knack for continually reinventing himself and his companies blossomed again in the 2000's. His entrepreneurial vision for creating something wonderful is evident in today's Home Video Studio landscape. With 60+ studios across America, Canada and Sweden, Home Video Studio is the largest video production services network in the world. Hanley also owns and manages the original Home Video Studio in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Robert lives with wife, Denise, in Indianapolis Indiana. They have two grown children. He also enjoys cooking, reading and, of course film. He is a wine enthusiast, an avid collector of antique sheet music, a Bass player and has variety of other interests. Currently, in addition to his CEO duties, Robert is producing and directing his second feature film: The Great American Home Movie.
Craig Peterson joined Home Video Studio in 2005 and has served in nearly every capacity at Home Video Studio including his latest position of "Studio Owner"! Craig began his career at HVS as the retail manager of Home Video Studio's flagship studio located at the home of HVS' founder and CEO Robert Hanley. He then headed up Studio Services, coordinating HVS' support staff and acting as liaison between support and the HVS studio owners. Craig then became manager of the Film Transfer Department, overseeing the processing of over 2.5 million feet of film per year. He now runs his own studio in Mansfield, Texas and continues to help out HVS by doing new studio installs as well being our head writer for the newsletter.
Craig is also an accomplished musician, playing saxophone, flute and clarinet. He is married to his wife of nearly thirty years and is the father of three children.
Cheryl started out as a customer of our flagship Home Video Studio and liked us so much she asked to come aboard! We're sure glad we let her. Cheryl has a degree in accounting and most recently was a technology instructor at Indian Creek Elementary School in Indianapolis. Cheryl handles all of the business admin for HVS.
Jeremy joined us in 2004 as webmaster and is responsible for Home Video Studio Network's website and oversees all the studio websites. He majored in computer visualization technology at ITT Technical College in Indianapolis IN and graduated with highest honors. Besides tending to the daily oversight of the website Jeremy is constantly developing applications to streamline your web experience.
Jeremy's creative talents don't stop at his computer keyboard. He also plays guitar, writes and performs music, creates cartoons and performs as a standup comedian.
Gary began applying his unique graphic design talent at Home Video Studio in 2004. As Art Director Gary handles HVS' corporate graphics design needs as well as the studio owners' requests for advertising and marketing items like posters, flyers, brochures, direct mail pieces, car wraps and banners. Gary graduated from Ball State University with a degree in Art and a minor in Motion Pictures. He is also highly skilled in video production, a talent that makes him all the more valuable to the Home Video Studio family. In addition he has done 3-D modeling and animation, multi-media, editing, photography and website design.
Gary's latest pastime is being part of a model rocketry club. He enjoys the outdoors and likes to camp and go spelunking. Gary has been married nearly thirty years to his wife Mary. They have two children, Jeremy and Lisa.
Heath Schlatter is the Studio Manager of Home Video Studioâ€™s flagship location in Indianapolis, Indiana. Like any studio owner Heath oversees meeting customers, evaluating their projects, handling the paperwork, getting the work done, and following up to make sure there is total satisfaction. Heath is also well-versed in all aspects of Digital Video Archive and heads up support for our ever-growing DVA community.
Schlatter is a graduate of Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana where he majored in Telecommunications and Video Production. He started at Home Video Studio in the Film Transfer Department and advanced to his present position in August of 2015.
When not involved in the studio Heath spends time to perfecting his trumpet chops and performing publicly in the ska and soul band The Circle City Deacons.
"I went to school to learn the technical aspect of video and video production," says Heath, "but working at Home Video Studio I have found I really like the human element as well...using my skills to help customers and make them happy."
Bill has been a friend and supporter of Home Video Studio for many years. He spent much of his career in his own filmmaking and video production company and has seen the industry from the inside for fifty years.
Al and Robert have worked together since 1984. You have probably already heard Al's distinctive voice on HVS's "Turning Video into Gold." Al provides assistance in all audio matters for HVS and consults with HVS owners on audio transfer.
Lucy Wallace, whom everyone calls "Aunt Lucy", is Robert's actual aunt and is going strong every day as she begins the second half of her nineties! Lucy was in charge of HVS' packet mail outs for many years and still helps out where she can. Most notably she serves as the inspiration for Robert and many others in HVS as a demonstration of our core values of hard work, family and faith.
The number one priority of Home Video Studio (HVS) is to support all studio owners consistently, so that they enjoy personal, professional, and financial wealth.
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