Downes Plans September Exit

Film Unit to Close After Executive Leaves for Cramer Productions
BOSTON–Judy Downes is stepping down as president of September Films to become senior executive producer at Cramer Productions.
As part of that move, September Films, a division of September Productions that focuses on long-format corporate videos and films, will close its doors once all current projects are completed. Downes declined to comment on the level of equity she held in the Boston company.
“Without someone like Judy to handle sales and client contact, it would be difficult to keep [September Films] going,” said September Productions president Dan Driscoll.
The film division, which has worked with clients such as Compaq Computer and Tyco Industries, is expected to close its doors in late summer. Downes is currently wrapping up three projects, and she hopes to maintain ongoing relationships with former September Films clients. September Productions, which mainly produces TV commercials, will remain open.
September Films had one other employee, associate producer Mercedes Johnson, who will remain with the unit until it shuts down.
During her eight-year career at September Films, Downes worked on projects such as A Community Remembers for the opening of the New England Holocaust Memorial and No Place Like Home, a fundraising video to help end homelessness among the elderly.
“Our business model works really well when we’re dealing with traditional film and video, but when we want to produce CDs or Web-based content for clients, we have to subcontract, which is not as cost-competitive,” said Downes. Cramer already has the infrastructure in place to develop those items, she added.
At Cramer Productions, Downes fills a new position. “We’ve been growing, and there’s a need for adding talented people like Judy,” said Cramer president Tom Martin. “She’s got a terrific reputation in the marketplace, and she has a great following from a customer standpoint.”
Downes will work closely with the Norwood, Mass., company’s account executives and clients and will train younger producers, Martin said. She joins her daughter, Lisa, currently a producer at Cramer.
“It’s a family business,” said Martin. “I’ve got four sons and a daughter working with me.” Downes said she hopes Johnson will also join her at Cramer at some point.
Cramer has about 200 employees and works with clients such as Fidelity Investments, EMC Corp., Boston Scientific and Motorola.