Max Zug & TC Motion – “Anywhere Pictures Move”

By: Lisa Budwig

The company description of TC Motion is “a motion communications content provider serving advertising agencies, broadcasters, and corporate communicators.” But their tagline, “Anywhere Pictures Move,” really does say it all… about the company and the man who runs it. For Max Zug, the love of film was and remains inspired by the technical magic of “frame plus frame equals motion.”

It was at Temple University Ambler on the first day of his college class, “Film – Light and Shadows,” that Max’s love of film manifested into a career choice. After graduation, the goal was to direct, but while all his college friends headed to NYC or L.A., Max returned to Berks County, dedicated to helping his family and determined to work in film in whatever ways he could find locally. From volunteering at BCTV where he ran a camera, to a small CBS affiliate where he learned to make low budget commercials, to WGALTV’s PM Magazine, where he was hired as a videographer, Max took advantage of every opportunity that came his way. At WGAL, he added editing and field producing to his resume and quickly rose to the position of senior producer, working on national stories.

Ever eager to learn, he moved on to Ford New Holland’s internal production company, and when that division went independent, as VMI Communications, Max negotiated an equity stake. During his time with VMI, he did what he says is perhaps the most important thing anyone pursuing this business can do – he “shot a lot of film” – more than 55,000 feet of film one summer. Eventually Max parlayed that ownership stake, along with his experience, knowledge, skills, and the strong relationships he’d built over the previous decade, into starting his own company, MaxFilms, which would become the premier regional film and commercial production house between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

By 2010, the economy, MaxFilms, and Max himself had gone through changes, and he was approached by former colleagues with an opportunity to run the business with full creative control, but without sole ownership responsibility, and TC Motion, the in-house video production division of TC Studios, was born.

TC Motion offers “script to screen” services for national advertisers and corporations, including Pergo, Armstrong, Chicco, Moen, and Sharp, among many others, with 90,000 feet of studio space and state of the art editing, motion graphics, and shooting capabilities. They employ dozens of talented, highly skilled people in the creation of what Max describes not as commercials, but “30-second films” and “marketing narratives.”

For Max, being an involved member of PaFIA just makes good sense for both TC Motion and the Lancaster County economy. As a local employer that collaborates with other local companies and uses local suppliers, he says PaFIA’s work to expand the film tax credits makes it a valuable partner in advocating for and building a vibrant film industry community, and that wouldbenefit all businesses.

Increased tax credits would allow for more film development and production in Central Pennsylvania and would provide meaningful creative work for hundreds of people, from actors to craftsmen to caterers right where they live. It would also bring added dollars to all the local support service businesses, like construction, hotels, food service, locations, transportation, and many others. For them, membership and involvement in PaFIA is an investment in the future of their businesses.

Finally, from a personal perspective, Max believes an essential benefit of PaFIA membership for anyone in the film industry is the opportunity to make and share connections and build relationships. After all, he wouldn’t be where he is today without those strong relationships of his past, his “big fat rolodex,” of skilled, talented, and supportive people who gave him opportunities and shared their expertise along the way…a rolodex that now includes those passionate new film lovers to whom he offers his expertise and mentorship to ensure the pictures keep moving.