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Innovation & Job News

Penn Quarter video agency hires first employee

The Duke and the Duck Productions has hired "employee number one" to manage the company's explosive growth in 2013, cofounder Alex Herder says. While Herder and cofounder Dave Ellington have always worked with freelance contributors to produce their trademark animated videos, the project manager is the agency's first official hire.

The new project manager, who started about four weeks ago, is "helping us in lots of ways," keeping the explainer video agency's multiple projects on track and managing relationships with outside contractors.

The Chinatown-based company specializes in "explainer videos," typically short, 3-4 minute online videos that take a complex concept and explain it in an engaging way. In D.C., that often means public policy initiatives, scientific materials, or tech. What the clients have in common are "they're having a challenge in terms of being able to explain something."

For example, the Duke and the Duck recently worked with a medical-device company that had developed a prosthetic ankle. "They were having a lot of trouble explaining what was special about their product." The resulting two-minute video helped the company make a major sale, Herder says. The company has created about 80 such videos for a variety of clients in the past three years, but this year, so far, business is booming.

And why is 2013 the year of the Duke and the Duck?

"I have no idea," Herder says. "You put a lot of seeds out there and you wait until some turn into plants you can eat. Right now it's a bumper crop."

Read more articles by Rachel Kaufman.

Rachel is the managing editor of Elevation D.C. She also covers tech, business and science for publications nationwide. She lives in Brookland.
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