Chris Zander, one of the most respected voices on the New York commercial production scene, is joining Backyard as a partner. Zander has a strong and lengthy history with Backyard, having spent nearly 20 years establishing the company as one of the industry’s most consistent and well regarded via his independent repping firm, The Family, and before that, Zander Reps. Zander has sold his interest in The Family to partner Diane Patrone, who will continue to represent Backyard.
“This is truly one of the most exciting developments that has happened for our company in many, many years,” emphasized Backyard Owner Blair Stribley. “Chris and I have worked together since Backyard’s earliest days, and in many ways I have always considered him a partner. He has played a very important and positive role in the growth and direction of our company. Over the years, we’ve had lots of successes, developed a common business philosophy, and become good friends. Having Chris focus all of his energy and experience from the inside as a partner is going to be a very powerful force for Backyard as we guide the company together into the future.”
In the early days, Zander worked to help establish Backyard as one of the go-to comedy shops. Parlaying this success into a more diversified offering, the company eventually expanded its roster to include storytellers, car directors, and VFX experts.
“I’ve been lucky enough to work with some great companies over the years, but my name is probably most synonymous with Backyard’s,” stated Zander. “It’s been the professional love of my life: the highlight of my repping career has been helping to grow and nurture this company. It’s a collaborative, talented, positive group of people, and I couldn’t be more excited to be jumping in full time.”
With the move, Backyard has expanded to New York, establishing an East Coast office to complement its Venice, Calif. location. With far-reaching responsibilities that include director management and recruitment, overseeing international and national sales and marketing, client relations, creative strategies for growth, and new business development, Zander will split his time between the two offices.
“Blair and I have been talking about this evolution for years,” continued Zander. “Now is the perfect time. The directors have been delivering very exciting creative work this year, and the company is primed for greater success right now. I know my 100% commitment to Backyard will add jet fuel to this momentum.”