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By Special Request

Pleasing one client pays off in the long run.

Chris Smith and Tony Miglini of Sugar Film Production in Dallas pride themselves on creating big-budget-quality projects on small budgets. So when a client, impressed with their previous project, requested they produce and direct a commercial for the national ad agency she had the account with, it was a shock.

But the move landed Sugar Film in an uneasy situation because the national ad agency usually chose directors themselves and weren't too happy about being told whom to work with. "The first meeting, everybody was having a territorial contest over who had what," says Smith, 31. He and Miglini, 32, started the second meeting by stating their commitment to make the best of it. Tensions eased, and both sides were able to work well together.

Sugar Film proved to be an asset and shot more spots for the agency, including projects for Home Depot, Nokia and Pep Boys, to name a few. Developing strong relationships and a great reputation has allowed Sugar Film to branch out. And with 2003 projected sales of $2.5 million, they have only talent and tenacity to thank.

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This article was originally published in the August 2003 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: By Special Request.

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