Don't let our name fool you
Flightless is not an expression of an inability to fly. Flightless does just the opposite, actually. We were born in the age of new platforms, shrinking budgets, and need-it-now turnarounds. When we looked at the state of our industry, we knew the run-of-the-mill methods of production wouldn’t cut it. We envisioned a resourceful and agile production company. One with all of the resources of a creative agency, production studio, and post house combined. One that could make any idea fly.
So why “Flightless”?
Because we like penguins. Or for the long-winded answer, check out our origin story:
Flightless’s origins can be attributed to two things: Three high schoolers with a dream of becoming filmmakers, and a fake bird watching club.
Once upon a time, at a small high school in the suburbs of Chicago, a few students started an ornithology club. These students weren’t biologists or nature buffs. They were kids who wanted to start a club and thought it’d be pretty hilarious if it was a bird club. Soon enough, there was a classroom packed every Thursday morning to hear the new “Bird of the Week” presentation.
Then one day before lunch, student and aspiring filmmaker, Kevin Conway, approached the then-president and vice-president of the Club, AJ Roskam and Stephen Kipp. Kevin had a vision: a comedic mockumentary web series that followed the Ornithology Club. AJ and Stephen were just simple birders, but this was an offer they couldn’t refuse.
The Ornithology Club series quickly gained a cult following. Episodes amassed thousands of views (low thousands, but pretty good for high school). From there, even after going their separate ways for college, Kevin, AJ, and Stephen always returned over break to shoot original content. Eventually, they saw opportunities to bring their talents to clients. And that’s the story of how our production company began with a fake ornithology club.
To this day, we still love birds. Even the ones that can’t fly.