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DBT40 Honoree: Michael Pfeifer

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Title: Founder & Director

Workplace: 1440 Film Co.

Age: 34

Director Michael Pfeifer tries to make every minute of the day count for his clients all 1,440 of them. That’s why he named his company 1440 Film Co. 

From helping brands like Wawa sell more hoagies to raising more money for nonprofits like TeenSHARP, Pfeifer’s aim is quality work that accomplishes his clients’ goals through visual storytelling. He directs documentaries, videos for social media and commercials for companies, people and brands mostly located in Delaware.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Pfeifer’s clientele also included the state of Delaware: He filmed Gov. John Carney at his office in Wilmington as he encouraged people to wash their hands and stay socially distanced. He also filmed businesses like Painted Stave for a feature on how they turned their spirits into hand sanitizer.

The pandemic hit during 1440 Film Co’s second year. Pfeifer worked to secure contracts with larger brands, but they pulled back their marketing dollars. In the beginning, he felt that everything he’d worked for had disappeared overnight, but after a few months his team found their footing: People still needed their stories told. 

In the end, 1440 even saw some growth during the pandemic, and Pfeifer was able to hire his first full-time employee. They took home a few national advertising awards for Del Tech, moved into a new studio space on Market Street and worked for brands like Wawa, Barclays, DE Tourism and AB&C.

Each year, Pfeifer’s company takes a percentage of its for-profit project revenue and puts it toward Project Giveback, a fund to tell the story of one nonprofit or worthy cause, free of charge. In 2019, they partnered with TeenSHARP to show the effect the organization has on not just students but their families, too. Last year, Pfeifer chose the Down Syndrome Association of Delaware as the recipient of Project Giveback. That film will be released soon. 

Long before 1440 Film Co. was founded, Pfeifer became the Poultry State Champion in 2006, which he promises is a real thing.

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