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Made in Michiana: Kessler Crane

PLYMOUTH, Ind. -  All February long ABC57 is continuing our Made in Michiana series highlighting local companies who are putting people to work here in our communities. 

This week the ABC 57 morning team heads to Plymouth where a local company is changing the way movies are made around the globe. 

It may sound and look like a normal factory, but what's happening inside Kessler Crane in Plymouth is so much more.

It started when Eric Kessler and his friends were making some amateur films.

"We got to the point where we needed some equipment, but didn't want to invest a lot of money into it," said Kessler.

It turns out other filmmakers were looking for the same.

"We started building about 10 units a week and we were selling about 10 units a week," said Kessler.

Cut to a few years later and Kessler's small operation in his garage has morphed into a 60,000 square foot warehouse.

"After about a year we realized that just trying to keep up with the demand and the new items people were requesting was probably eating up 60 to 70 hours a week of my time on top of working a full time job," said Kessler. "I had to make a choice to go one way or the other."

The morning team got to take a special tour of that factory to see what exactly Kessler crane was all about.

"This would allow the camera to be lifted and lowered and swung in different directions to get like flyover shots," said Kessler as he showed off some of his products.

 If that doesn't impress you, wait till you hear who is using these cranes.

Film crews on the recent terminator movie used equipment Kessler as did the movie need for speed.

"A lot of our stuff was used to do a lot of the in-car stuff," said Kessler. "Areas where they needed to get small equipment in."

The equipment has even been used on some of Kessler's favorite shows. 

"The Myth Busters one was pretty exciting," said Kessler. "I was a big fan of Myth Busters and seeing Jamie and Adam setting up our equipment and working with it that was pretty neat.

Despite Hollywood's interest Kessler's vision has always been providing quality equipment for everyday filmmakers, but perhaps the neatest part for Kessler has been being able to keep so much of the work he does local. Ninety percent of the work to make the products takes place in Indiana.

"Probably 60 percent of our entire operations is done right here in this building," said Kessler.

Currently he employs just under 50 people and hopes to add another 5 to 10 in the next year or two.

"It makes me feel good that we can do our small part here to try to keep some jobs here in America and Indiana especially," said Kessler.

And most of all being able to say his products are Made in Michiana.
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