Trailblazer Studios is an Emmy-winning full-service entertainment, production, post production and sound studio. Our recipe for success is great people, collaborating to tell great stories, using the best equipment, in a comfortable environment. Our Raleigh North Carolina location surprises some but our studio has attracted top talent from LA, New York, Miami and other leading entertainment markets and provides a pleasant work environment for our staff and for our clients. We create our own original content for all platforms and work with third-party producers, filmmakers, and content creators to provide production services, post, music, and audio-post for their creations.
Walk through our nearly 20,000 square foot facility on any given day and you’ll find content being developed, produced, and finished by our talented team for networks and platforms such as PBS, TLC, DIY, HGTV, Amazon, and HBO, festivals such as Sundance, Full Frame, the LA Film Festival, and the Tribeca, and commercials for a number of major brands. All under one roof. We recently celebrated our 15 year anniversary and have delivered well over 1,000 TV shows, as well as numerous commercials, films and digital productions successfully meeting network, platform, and festival delivery specifications that grow more complex each day. Our high-speed digital pipeline and our firm grasp of the latest cloud-based technology allows clients and artists to tap into our tremendous resources from across town, across the country, or from anywhere in the world.
Two CPAs walk into a bar … and one starts a production company.
Tom is the soft-spoken visionary behind Trailblazer Studios whose sense of humor will charm you. His ability to strategize and keep people happy has enabled him to create an environment where a group of amazingly talented, unique people can be successful and flourish. He’s proud of the company and loves working with a dream team of nice, creative people. That includes everyone at Trailblazer Studios, our clients, freelancers and vendors.
Tom subscribes to this simple business philosophy: Have a vision; set a course; get good people; get good gear; and get out of the way. His team of wonderful and talented colleagues at Trailblazer Studios has made this a fun and enjoyable journey.
Formerly a certified public accountant, Tom has led an eclectic career path from the automotive and international currency industries to the land of entertainment. Before founding Trailblazer Studios in 2001, he was CFO of the Lyrick Corporation, a company that was the parent of Barney the Dinosaur and Wishbone the dog, which aired on PBS. He was also Executive Producer of “Francesco il Musical,” an original musical in Assisi, Italy, based on the life of St. Francis of Assisi.
Born and raised in Michigan, Tom attended University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and earned his BBA in Accounting from the University of Michigan-Dearborn. He worked toward his MBA at the University of Detroit, but was lured to Texas by Volkswagen of America.
If nothing else, Katye is a great storyteller. But, luckily for us, she is so much more. Katye oversees development and the creation of original programming. If you’re not sure what all goes into that, just know that Katye was more than likely a juggler in her past life, giving her the instincts she needs to keep everything moving.
Whether it be finding new talent, writing treatments, producing sizzles or pitching, Katye loves it all. She can spot a compelling story from miles away and enjoys putting those stories in front of the largest possible audience.
At Trailblazer Studios, Katye covers business development, commercial production, branded entertainment and now original programming. From small towns to big cities across the world, Katye’s work has taken her all across the country for our clients — advertising agencies, television networks and independent producers. From concept to delivery, Katye has worked in all aspects of the industry. Recently, she’s been developing TV projects for HGTV, DIY, History, and Ovation.
Prior to joining Trailblazer in 2007, this UNC-Chapel Hill graduate worked in commercial production at McKinney for clients including Sony, Audi of America and Travelocity.
If it were up to Jeff, his bio would read, “worked on lots of stuff with people you may have heard of.” Despite his attempt at modesty, in actuality Jeff’s rap sheet is quite impressive, and he knows it. He has a gift for figuring out the best way to tell a story, and each one is unique. He enjoys working with all of our talented people who like to push the boundaries.
As President of Trailblazer Studios, Jeff oversees the daily operations of our four divisions: Entertainment, Production, Post, and Sound. Since joining the company in 2003, Jeff has helped develop relationships with networks and launch the move into original programming. Prior to his current role, Jeff headed up our Production team and before that, our Development team.
In another life, Jeff worked as a freelancer in the spot world, producing commercials for nation brands including Land’s End, State Farm, and Honda. He also spent time producing for The CBS Morning Show and PBS.
If there was a Guinness World Record for handing out more business cards than any other human being on the planet, Eric would be the reigning champ of connections. Heading up Sound and Engagement at Trailblazer Studios, he has the perfect combination of enthusiasm and passion to make magic happen when it comes to both people and projects.
Since joining Trailblazer in 2003, Eric has helped the Sound department evolve from a small shop with a local focus to a major player in the business. He hopes to use the medium of film, television and video to educate, inspire and address some of our world’s most challenging issues.
Both inside and outside our walls, Eric has helped contribute to and build the Trailblazer family. In his position, he has helped make dreams come true for his colleagues and clients. We have no doubt that Eric’s sky-is-the-limit outlook will help Trailblazer Studios continue its momentum to become a major player in the entertainment industry.
An early interest in architecture couldn’t keep Eric from pursuing his true passion: music. In 1986, he started his own business, Johnsound Productions, producing albums for up-and-coming recording artists, as well as composing, writing, and recording jingles. Later he branched out into music for advertising, soundtracks for non-broadcast corporate video, and projects for clients such as IBM, Caterpillar, Golden Corral, Nortel, McDonald’s and Hardee’s.
In January of 2003, Eric joined Trailblazer Studios and helped launch the sound division (formerly Blazing Music + Sound) as Executive Producer.
Eric is a thought leader in the music and sound industry on a national level. He is a recent past-President of the Society for Professional Audio Recording Services (SPARS), a national organization made up of recording studios and engineers, educational programs, and recording equipment manufacturers. Eric also serves on the Board of Directors of the Southern Documentary Fund and the Triangle Advisory Board for the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival.
In an industry that’s constantly changing, Scott’s “eternally-a-student” attitude has enabled him to stay on his toes and always at his best. With hawk-eye focus, his eyes never leave the monitor, and he’s always attentively listening and crafting new, creative ways to tell stories and engage viewers.
This acuity and awareness has pushed our projects to the highest levels possible. Some of Scott’s favorites include the finish and color work for the ESPN SEC Network spots for McKinney as well as work on Mizuno’s “What if everybody ran” campaign; the high-speed, slow-motion shots for the Carolina Hurricanes Phantom spots; and work on the CBS Sports game day packages for NFL 2014 and 2015.
One day, he’d like to use his man-behind-the-curtain skills for a hit TV show like Breaking Bad or The Walking Dead.
When he’s not running the world of post-production at Trailblazer, Scott is looking for every opportunity to show off his deadly zombie-killing skills. You’ll want him on your side in the event of an emergency … He also does fun stuff like snowboarding, ice hockey and baseball.
Over the past 18 years, Scott has become the master of his domain in post production. His unparalleled experience in offline and online editorial, color grading, compositing, on-set supervision and VFX for broadcast TV, commercials and the web make him invaluable to the Trailblazer team. Working with ad agencies to documentary producers, he uses Jedi mind tricks to tell clients what they want before they even realize it, and he’ll post four versions before lunch.
As VP of Post, Scott oversees day-to-day operations of the Post division to maximize customer satisfaction, quality, image and profitability. His ability to manage effective communication and workflow among editors and artists fosters a relaxed, professional working environment.
Scott has worked on commercials, promos and web videos for a continuously expanding list of clients, including DIRECTV, Nickelodeon, MTV, Florida Marlins, Young & Rubicam, Disney Channel, NHL-Carolina Hurricanes, WakeMed, University of North Carolina, Georgia-Pacific, Travelocity, Piedmont Natural Gas, Fool Lion, Nationwide, Quest, Coldwell Banker, Lenovo, and Sony to name a few.
Bob is a pro, having spent more than 20 years as a producer, show runner and writer – and he makes it look easy like Sunday morning. There isn’t a production challenge he hasn’t met and conquered, from documentaries to commercials and network series. A native New Yorker who now calls the south home, Bob spends his days on the road with the dawgs, aka The Salvage Dawgs, and his spare time on the golf course, rooting for the Yankees and talking with his kids.
Ashleigh DiTonto has joined Trailblazer Studios as vice president of development where she will focus on creating original programming and content for our clients.
Prior to Trailblazer Studios, Ashleigh served as the senior development executive for both The Gurin Company and Snow Day Entertainment, focusing on cable, broadcast and international format development. She’s worked with a variety of networks to sell, develop, and manage the creative of various series including So You Think You’d Survive (Weather), Dancing Fools (ABC Family), and Win, Lose or Pawn (CMT). Ashleigh spent the first 5 years of her career on the network side at E! and TLC where she was part of the development team who brought the world Cake Boss and My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding. In addition to her creative background, she was a Director of International Acquisitions and Rights at Fremantle, where she partnered with producers and networks to sell their IP globally. She graduated from Boston University.