Andy McEntire is a tech-savvy, widely traveled filmmaker who co-owns a trendy coffee shop. But don’t pigeonhole him as just another Millennial creative. Some of his biggest cheerleaders are button-down business people decades his senior. We talk with Andy about his work style and his wishes for more collaboration in Lakeland.
Name: Andy McEntire
Define what you do in 25 words or less: I run a film production company full time; I spend a lot of time visioning for the future and trying to make this community a better place. And I chase my 1-year-old around a lot.
What kind of workplace is it? This is not typical because we give so much freedom to our employees. We’re creatives; we work insanely hard but we also play really hard. There’s a LEGO wall; there’s a pinball machine. Our hours are crazy. We shoot overnight sometimes; we’ll shoot for 24 hours straight some days. But we also have a lot of flexibility. It’s a safe place for people to work and to play and for their ideas to be heard.
Where do you spend most of your worktime? I spend a lot of time on location. 25 percent of my time in the office. 25 percent is involved in the community. 30 percent involved in meetings and on shoots on location, 10 percent interrupted and 10 percent at Concord.
What in your workplace shows off your passions? When people walk into my office, they see a lot of sentimental things, everything from photos to places I’ve traveled from Bulgaria to Budapest to South Korea. The dolls up there were sent to me as a wedding president from a lady who’s known as the Mother Teresa of Korea. I met her through a giving-back program through the Methodist Church. That Buddha is from Thailand; it was my dad’s. A gondola from when I was in Venice filming. This is an autographed Cal Ripkin poster from when he broke the record. I’m a huge baseball fan.
What’s your favorite team? I used to be a huge Atlanta Braves fan, and I still am, but I love the Tigers. I’ve fallen in love with them being here.
What project are you excited about? One of my favorite recent projects is the Visit Central Florida film (see below) because it shows off our backyard. Red Bull has been a lot of fun. We just did a huge video called Tricking that went viral (also below) about an event from all around the world. We have a giving-back program: We’re working with Top Buttons; they’re a non-profit. We do two to three films for free each year for smaller nonprofits that just don’t have the budget.
What’s your most important work tool? My phone and watch are the two biggest thing. My Apple Watch reminds me of things all the time. More important is all the employees here because they do so much to make us succeed.
Mac or PC? Definitely a Mac. That’s not even a question.
Apple or Android? We don’t touch anything by Android. I’ve got an iPhone and three iPads. I keep one at work; I keep one in my bag; and I keep one at home.
Favorite productivity tools: Dapperdesk. It’s more for organization: everything from ledgers to calendars. For the company, we use Asana as our project management software. We use all the Google products other than Android. We live in Google Drive.
Tip for keeping organized: Having a wife who’s very organized — and our team, especially Jess Stevens, Matt Wiatt and Katie Wiatt.
What do you usually wear to work? If I have a meeting, it’s khakis and a button-up and maybe I do my hair. If I don’t have a meeting, I have my flat-bill hat on and I’m a lot more casual. I like to be comfortable. It’s rare you’ll see me in a suit.
How did you prepare for what you do? You prepare by making it your passion. And if it’s your passion, then everything will fall into place. You work your tail off and then you work a little more. I’ve been doing this since middle school. It’s my lifestyle, so to me it’s not necessarily work. I feel I’m so lucky that I get to do this.
What book, TV show, movie or music has captured your imagination lately? I have a 13-month old, so The Wiggles are really good right now — anything Mickey Mouse related. I do watch the Today Show almost every morning for about 30 minutes for the news cycle. I enjoyed Star Wars. That was really good.
What’s your favorite leisure activity? It’s all changed since Crosley was born, If you asked me a year ago, it would be anything sports related. I love playing Frisbee, Putt-Putt.
Is there something you’re working on that makes Lakeland a more livable community? Concord Coffee was started so that people would have a place to meet and collaborate and all people feel welcome that opens early in the morning and stays open late. We created the meeting room as a place for people to collaborate. And we put it in Dixieland. A lot of people wanted us downtown, but we saw the potential with Dixieland early on.
What about Lakeland makes you excited? The people. The ability to support entrepreneurs. The education system is growing. Lakeland has been trying to make this turn for years and we’re finally making that turn. I’m tired of people saying we’re on the cusp of something great because we are great. It’s just whether we’re going to own it.
What about Lakeland has you worried? People not understanding that competition is healthy. It’s OK to have another restaurant in town.
So is it OK that I went to Black & Brew this morning? Definitely. Black & Brew does something I can’t do. I eat there with my wife. But to the broader question: It’s not just competition; we need to cooperate together. That’s the big missing thing. Stop complaining about people and do something. That’s why Concord exists — because I was tired of people complaining that there was nothing to do, so we gave them a spot to hang out. There can be more than one college. There can be more than one coffee shop. There can be more than one phone company. Just talk and cooperate. It’s not an age thing at all. The older good old boy Lakeland crowd has been one of the most welcoming to me, and they pushed for me to be here. It wasn’t young hip guys saying come to Lakeland. It was an older crowd. David Bunch was the one who said move your video company here and you will double your business, and he was right.
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