We spoke with Mark & Robert Larinto, the managing partners of 4 separate set construction and storage companies; Scenic Expressions, Centerline Scenery, Scenic Highlights, and Upstate Rentals. In our series Debbies Book Digest we ask a few simple questions of some of the businesses working in the film, television and event industries about their background, experience, and love of the entertainment fields.
Question: What drew you into the film and television industries?
My family has been in the industry since I was child. My father was an executive at 20th Century Fox and my mother was the first employee of Scenic Express, one of the industry’s first set construction shops. Scenic Expressions was borne from Scenic Express. Soon after my mother left Scenic Express, she purchased Scenic Expressions. Within a year my brother Robert & I were working at the business, this was back in 1997.
Question: What strengths do you believe your companies bring to the table?
We’ve had to diversify our offerings but stay within our vertical. So, we offer set construction, rentals, trucking & storage. All are within our vertical, all have the same customer base & all work together to make our offering easy to use.
Question: What do you believe has contributed to your longevity in the industry?
Relationships are the core of our businesses. We wouldn’t be in business if we didn’t maintain our relationships. There hasn’t been a day over the last 25 years that myself or my partner haven’t been available to our customers. We have staff that handles most of the day to day work, being available to customers is critical to our business.
Question: What piece of advice would you give newcomers to this industry, both from a business perspective and for creatives?
I tell our new employees to work all of the hours they can, because there are times when the industry slows down. I also have had the opportunity to talk to new business owners in the industry & my standard line there is “this is a marathon, not a sprint”. This industry rewards perseverance and steadfastness.
Question: What do you find is most rewarding about working in The Industry?
I love being a part of a creative process. Building sets allows us to play a part in the overall concept that’s being communicated. Whether is a scene in a play, or just set pieces for a musical act. It’s always different and exciting.