Embracing Collaboration: Dan Markert from Snyder's Ace Hardware Shares Insights on Supporting Pennsylvania's Film Industry

Monday, April 08, 2024 1:49 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


In the bustling landscape of Pennsylvania's film industry, collaboration and support from local businesses play a pivotal role in nurturing its growth and vitality. One such example is the remarkable partnership between Snyder's Ace Hardware and the Pennsylvania Film Industry Association (PAFIA). As a beacon of community engagement and commitment, Snyder's Ace Hardware has stepped forward, not just as a supplier of goods, but as a staunch supporter of the cinematic arts flourishing in the Keystone State.

Today, we have the privilege of delving into the insightful perspective of Dan Markert, B2B & Commercial Sales & Account Manager and Co-Store Manager from Snyder's Ace Hardware, who graciously lent his time to shed light on the significance of his experiences in working hand-in-hand with Pennsylvania's vibrant film industry. With a shared vision of fostering creativity, economic growth, and cultural enrichment, Dan's reflections offer invaluable insights into the symbiotic relationship between local businesses and the cinematic world, encapsulating the spirit of collaboration that defines Pennsylvania's film landscape. Join us as we explore the intersection of commerce and creativity through the lens of Snyder's Ace Hardware's journey alongside PAFIA.

Dan’s Story:

Our story with the film industry began on a random Wednesday night in the fall of 2015. A plumber, unbeknownst to us that they were working on a film in our area at the time, came in to get a bunch of copper pipe fittings and pieces of copper pipe to finish a job. He asked me if we had a house account application, and we gave it to him to take back to his team. He was happy we were right down the road and had pretty much everything they needed. Little did we know that this would be the start of a beneficial and exciting relationship between our local mom and pop hardware store and the Pennsylvania film and television industry. We had never known that there was an enormous sound stage ten minutes up the road from us, and that this would be a regular place we would frequent just a few months and years later.

This first production we only sold them about $2,200 worth of supplies, but that kicked off something that would lead us to a six-month production period out spending our top two accounts in a calendar year. The Pennsylvania Film Industry has been an exciting ride for us and allowed us to meet so many great people and watch them create some amazing feats using simple household and construction products. Watching them work is art.

We’ve supported big projects like the Creed spinoff movies to the thrilling tales by the mastermind, M. Knight Shamalan to more whimsical projects to “Dispatches to Elsewhere.” We’ve also helped support projects like “Mare of Easttown” that captivated the country and put a spotlight on the culture of the Greater Philadelphia area known as Delaware County (or more commonly known as DELCO). Hearing actors like Kate Winslet and others imitate a DELCO accent was like music to so many residents’ ears (which would later spawn the hilarious SNL Skit “Murdur Durdur.” So, few times are we able to show our friends and family how our simple acts of selling a screw, tool, gallon of paint, and so many other things, impact the world, but the Pennsylvania Film and Television industry changes that. We can tell them about actual projects and show them how what we sell helps to make these projects come to life.

We’ve been able to support various departments like the scenic, construction, set dressers/decorators, special effects, location, and more. We’ve done everything from filling the food trucks with propane to renting out our store front displays to recreate a hardware store for a project just to name a few. We have so many memorable experiences that have shown us the true meaning behind the saying “movie magic.”

We hope to continue to be a trusted and supportive resource for the Pennsylvania Film and Television industries and watch the potential for our great state and cities become a predominant place to continue to make some amazing projects and support all the great Pennsylvanians who work on them.

What specific products or services does Snyder Ace Hardware provide to support the film industry's needs in Pennsylvania?

We supply a lot of hardware such as drywall screws, nuts, bolts and more. We also supply them with things like drill bits, blades, and other tools. We also supply the scenic department with paint, spackle, structolite, dry masonry colors, and many other supplies. For the set decorators and dressers, we’ve supplied everything from doorknobs and hinges, to tarps, products to set up a store front and more. We also supply the location department, teamsters, and other management departments with things like heaters, propane fuel, and more.

How has collaborating with the film industry impacted Snyder Ace Hardware's business growth and visibility within the local community?

Our local customers have become intrigued with us helping out the local film industry, and we’ve also kind of spread our reach by being put in contact with other organizations and businesses that would have maybe been outside our scope or initial area.

Can you share any notable experiences or success stories of working with film productions in Pennsylvania?

Probably one of our most notable experiences and success stories was when one of the set decorators/dressers took pictures of the front of our hardware store and sent them back to the team who liked the way our storefront looked. The next week they asked us if they could rent and buy some of the products in front of our store to help recreate it at another location for production. They did this twice for a recent project, and they are still working on it so it will be cool to see all our stuff front and center.

Another memorable thing would be when they were shooting a scene, and they called us saying they needed something right away (I believe it was some paint brushes and a hot glue gun) and we rushed over to deliver it and they were ecstatic for what we were able to do.

The only other memorable thing about working with the film industry is seeing and meeting all the people to hear about their experiences and the work they do. We’ve seen them recreate Manhattan penthouses into psych wards to maximum security prisons to 90’s style office building to most recently a dilapidated farmhouse with paint peeling off the ceiling. It’s the “movie magic” you always hear about brought to life in front of your eyes by some amazing normal people.

Looking ahead, what opportunities do you see for Snyder Ace Hardware to continue leveraging the film industry to drive business growth and community impact in Pennsylvania?

The projects and productions we have helped out over the years, sometimes are double our top customers combined and we may have two to three a year. Our hope is to continue to support all the local teams and productions, and watch our business grow. It has really helped our in-store Business-to-Business (B2B) department grow and gain resources to not only support the local film and television industry, but also allow us to better serve our other customers. We hope to be able to support other departments within the productions that come to Pennsylvania and become a regular and reliable source and vendor for them.

PAFIA would like to thank Dan and Snyder’s Ace Hardware for sharing their story with us and for the generous donation to the organization.

More information regarding Snyder’s Ace Hardware can be found here.  

Pennsylvania Film Industry Association (PAFIA)
461 Cochran Road, Box 246
Pittsburgh, PA 15228
(717) 833-4561  info@pafia.org

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