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Weekend edition February 02, 2024 | Katelyn Keenehan

From top engineer to Founder of a content creation company | Meet Bryan Allen

“It's kind of crazy to think about. I created a company doing something that I just wanted to do... Now it's been 10 years," Allen said.

Ten years ago, Bryan Allen left his career as the Senior Vice President of Information Technology Operations at Scripps Network Interactive to become the Founder of a photo, video and content creation company, PopFizz.

It’s been an exciting adventure; one he wasn’t initially sure would be successful.

Bryan Allen

“I just needed a change in life, really. So, I had an opportunity to walk away from my job with a severance package,” Allen said. “So, I just took a chance and started a production company.”

Allen’s company, like many start-ups, began with a referral here or there, and different short-term contracts. However, before long PopFizz started expanding and its pool of clients grew larger and larger. Now, Allen has created a full-service production company, doing video and photography for well-known brands, networks, and agencies.

What sets PopFizz apart from other media companies is Allen’s logical approach to business. He harnessed his engineering skills to create an organized production environment that operates like a well-oiled machine. Allen prides his team for always being on time, on schedule, in budget, and easy to work with.

“Once we started the company, I realized I was probably a weird person to run a production company because of my engineering background. But I found out really early on that people enjoyed working with me because I was a structured thinker, process-oriented, and ultimately a problem solver,” Allen said.

Even though Allen initially pursued a career in engineering, he always had a love for photography. He said his obsession with taking photos started when he was seven years old; however, he never really considered it as a viable career path until later in his journey.

Today, Allen employs 13 other people who are building careers at PopFizz, thanks to his boldness to accomplish a dream. Clients are certainly grateful as well!

Over the last 10 years, PopFizz has worked primarily in three different clientele verticals.

The first is with the Scripps Networks / Discovery / Warner production families, which have become a major partner for the company. They work on numerous projects together. Due to the connection with this family of networks, PopFizz has worked with HGTV, Food Network, Magnolia, Animal Planet, etc.

The second vertical is agency work. PopFizz partners with Designsensory, which is a local design agency in Knoxville, and many other agencies throughout the region. The production company does the bulk of the photo and video work for their agency partners as a true turn-key production resource.

And the third silo of work comes from independent brands, looking for photo, video, and digital marketing services. PopFizz interfaces directly with these brands in an “agency-light” model.

Allen reflected on the 10 years of work it has taken to get PopFizz to this point.

“It’s kind of crazy to think about now. I created a company doing something that I just wanted to do. Even though I had no real experience doing it,” he said. “We had to gain a foothold in an industry we didn’t have any name recognition in. I mean, I had to roll up my sleeves and trust myself, my instincts, and my technical and people skills.”

When asked about his secret sauce for success, Allen said it has been without a doubt the people he has hired along the way. The first few employees are so critical to a startup’s success.

“I found people who work hard and are passionate about their craft and our culture. They greatly outperform what I could do alone, and we all work well together,” Allen said.

For more information about PopFizz and their services, visit their website.

Also, follow PopFizz on Instagram @GoPopFizz.

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