Alkemy X

Nick Pitcavage is a seasoned Executive Producer, fusing two decades of production experience across all disciplines with an ever-changing, solutions-oriented approach to emerging media. Nick oversees live action production across Alkemy X’s global network of offices, he spearheads strategy and execution throughout the entire production process, with a focus on talent and superior production value. Over the last 5 years, Nick has been key in honing Alkemy X’s creative focus in response to the evolving media landscape, applying the company’s integrated approach to produce commercials and branded content that resonates with modern audiences.

AX: Looking back at the beginning of your career, how did you get started in the industry?

NP: I got started as a 3D artist for a small shop in Phoenix, Arizona. I was creating 3D assets that needed to be tracked and comp’d into live-action footage. At some point they invited me to set as a VFX supervisor and I never left. 

AX: What made you want to work as a Producer?

NP: I can’t remember ever wanting to be a producer per se, but I’ve always been able to communicate complex things in a simple way, and I’ve always acted like I know what I’m talking about. So that must be the producer cocktail! In all seriousness, I really love being involved in every part of what we do, from the concept phase to final delivery. I have a tremendous amount of respect for each individual craft along the way. Asking questions, being curious, and maintaining a high standard of quality have led me to where I am today. 

AX: What does a day in your life look like as an Executive Producer?

NP: The EP life is a bit hectic. I’ve had to integrate work into who I am as a person. I am always available for a phone call about pretty much anything. From a project-specific question, to dinner plans, to a simple check-in about how your band side project is going. I touch so many interesting parts of the process that people don’t even realize exist. But more specifically, I could be doing outreach with sales reps, meeting a director to talk about their contract or a director's cut of an edit in the morning. Then move on to bidding on a job and giving feedback on a treatment in the afternoon. And finish off the day helping to keep a west coast job on the rails with a line producer on the ground in PST. If it’s a shoot day.. well, I can tell you that I probably won’t be sleeping much. 

AX: The industry is constantly changing, what is one thing you’ve noticed that has had the most impact on your job?

NP: Our medium has become so much more accessible since I first entered the scene. The price point for cameras has come way down and there are so many entry points into advertising. If someone has a great concept, an iPhone, and the right light they can create and distribute their work with ease. Making sure that we are really bringing all that we can to a production is key. We have to inject movie magic into everything we touch, or else what is the point of having all the toys and crew?

AX: What do you think is the key to being an effective Executive Producer?

NP: Actually listening to what someone is saying to you. Put your agenda aside. Be able to see the real issue, not the perceived one. Stay positive. Be available. And be real. 

AX: What is one project that really challenged you?

NP: The SIMS job that we just wrapped up was very challenging in a lot of ways. It was a co-directing project, in which we paired two directors together who had never met. That’s not something I would draw up on paper, but I took a step back and listened to my team. Not only did it work, but it was also a magical pairing in a lot of ways. We also had to build multiple sets, integrate a robotic motion control rig, and manage celebrity talent… all for a one-day shoot. 

There was also a MassMutual job that we were supposed to shoot in Austin last year right when the ice storm took over Texas. It might have been the most logistically challenging thing I’ve done in a while. We had to move the shoot date twice and even considered taking the shoot to Miami. Once we actually landed in Austin, the city was still having water infrastructure issues and rolling blackouts. It was a producer's nightmare, but we kept the job alive, kept the clients on board, and still delivered a wonderful spot. 

AX: What’s a project that you are the most proud of?

NP: I’m really proud of the Virginia Tourism work I did with Director Jonathan Yi. I know it’s a couple of years old now but the concepts were so bold. I was happily shocked that the clients went all in and they didn’t ask us to soften any of the ideas. Our agency team was trusting of our process in finding real stories in an organic way. What showed up on the screen was moving and honest. Being “in the room” and getting to know the people behind the stories brought tears to my eyes on multiple occasions. Plus Virginia Tourism rolled out the red carpet for us in terms of access. Who knew about the oyster and wine scenes in Virginia?

AX: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

NP: It’s hard to imagine 10 years from now. I believe I’ll still be plugged into the film industry in some way, but who knows. I often dream of building my hospitality empire, one A-frame cabin at a time. But that doesn’t sound any more relaxing than what I do now. 

AX: When you’re not working, how do you spend your free time?

NP: Whether on the job or not, I love a good cocktail and tasty fusion dish. I have a handful of small passion projects including an ongoing microbrewery documentary project and an orphanage documentary project in India that I’ve been working on. But the thing that takes up most of my free time is my family. I have a wonderful wife who is always roping me into house projects. I also have two warrior princess daughters. One sings in a band and plays club volleyball. The other is a lacrosse goalie and drummer. Those three keep me very busy. 

Connect with Nick here