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Spotlight on Alumni: Lisa Marie Latino

Inside the Mind of a Successful Entrepreneur

Posted in: School of Communication and Media News

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Perhaps the best description of what an entrepreneur experiences when trying to run a small business was offered by 2006 Broadcasting graduate, Lisa Marie Latino.  “It’s like having a child.  Your thoughts are on every aspect of the company 24/7, and your life revolves around your work.  If you can’t commit all of your energies to your venture, you shouldn’t invest at all.”

Long Shot Productions is Lisa Marie Latino’s “child.”  Now in its fourth year, her company has passed its infancy and the terrible twos.  It’s now beginning to stretch its legs and grow.

Lisa Marie Latino is CEO and Executive Producer of Long Shot Productions, LLC, a full service video production company based in Fairfield, New Jersey.  Since the company’s inception in October 2009, Lisa Marie has directed a variety of corporate, commercial and entertainment productions, which include work for McGraw Hill Federal Credit Union, Belvedere Vodka, Market Technicians Association, Suneva Medical, and CBS Radio.

Prior to the birth of Long Shot, Lisa Marie honed the skills that would ultimately serve her so well by working as a producer for PBS anchor Steve Adubato’s Emmy-Award winning production company, Caucus Educational Corporation.  She also put in stints with WFAN radio and the New York Giants Radio Network.  At some point, however, she decided it was enough.  “I was at a point in my life where I had the opportunity to make a totally fresh start, both personally and professionally.  I had many aspirations in life, and instead of waiting for someone to grant my wishes, I decided to go after them on my own.” 

And so another business in a parent’s bedroom was created. The name of the company came to Lisa Marie from a song.  “I’m a huge Kelly Clarkson fan, and in 2009 she released an album with a song called ‘Long Shot.’  As Lisa Marie recalls, the lyrics mirrored her life at the time, and she thought the name had a perfect ring to it.  While it’s obviously a camera term, it also describes the odds typically ascribed to a startup company’s chances of success.  She was only 25 at the time and starting a business in a very unsettled economic climate seemed like a real long shot, but as the song lyrics state, "It’s a long shot and I say why not; If I say forget it I know that I’ll regret it.”

At that point, Lisa Marie was the only employee.  In two years the company had grown to the point where Lisa Marie could rent out a studio space in Fairfield, where the company continues to grow.  In those early, formative years, Latino was the only employee.  Today, though, she has a small staff that she trained during their internships with her.  She proudly states, “Every one of them is a Montclair State graduate.  I never could be where I am today if it weren’t for them!”

Asked to recall some of her more interesting projects Lisa Marie recounted a 2010 mini-documentary she filmed that chronicled The Infernos’ band charity concert series to raise money and awareness for the earthquake victims in L’Aquila.  Right now, Long Shot is producing  a show called "Hip New Jersey," an online series that features what Lisa Marie describes as “everything fabulous around the Garden State.  New Jersey is underserved population as far as media coverage goes, and we are so happy to be filling that need.”  

In addition Long Shot, Lisa Marie has appeared on TLC’s “Cake Boss,” WFAN Sports Radio’s “Boomer and Carton,” SNY’s “OH YEAH,” My9’s “Chasing New Jersey,” and she works in- season for the New York Giants Radio Network. Lisa Marie has also served as an adjunct broadcasting professor at Seton Hall University.

Looking ahead, Lisa Marie envisions splitting her company into two divisions – one for producing videos, and the other for creative development.  “I would like to do more writing and creative work,” she says.

Lisa Marie remains hugely loyal to her alma mater, and she is unabashed in attributing her success to the education she received at Montclair. “I am the biggest cheerleader for Montclair State University.  I never would be where I am now if it wasn’t for this institution.  I made some of my best business connections here, met some of my best friends here, and had the best education by the most amazing professors.  They completely prepared me for the real world, and that mentoring has continued beyond graduation.”

It’s obvious Montclair State holds a special place in her heart.  Even the colors of her company are the MSU colors.   And while Lisa Marie looks back at her Montclair experience so fondly, there’s no question, she’s a forward looking person who knows how to nurture and raise a successful venture.