Toronto post-production house Stealing Time has a new owner and a new name.
Founder Alex Eaton has sold the 15-year-old company to Ben Valiquette, previously sales and marketing manager at Crush, a Toronto production company. Starting today, Stealing Time will be known as Married to Giants.
“With new ownership, [Alex and I] feel we should have some new energy in the place, which is going to come from rebranding it,” said Valiquette, who will take on the role of president of the 15-person shop.
Asked if there was concern about losing the brand equity the award-winning shop has built over the years, Valiquette said, “Absolutely, but we’re not shying away from what Stealing Time was. There’s no intention to change all the positive things about the company and the people who are there… It’s such a solid, phenomenal company, why would I?”
Eaton said the new ownership “just feels like a continuation, but with new energy. I didn’t want anybody to go in and destroy what was built. I wanted to make it better and I think that’s what [Valiquette] will do.”
Eaton’s decision to sell Stealing Time was sparked while he was on a yoga retreat in Mexico last year. “I just thought, ‘there’s more to life.’ I’ve been [working] for 33 years and I’m turning 50 this year.”
Eaton said he has “absolutely no idea” what he’ll do next, but he’s not retiring. “I’m not in a position to retire and move to Tahiti or anything,” he said. “But it’s the first time I’ve had a totally clean slate to go back to school or I might end up doing freelance editing for Ben.”
As for the inspiration behind the new name, Valiquette said, “quite simply, my wife is tall and her family is really tall. It’s a company name I’ve been kicking around as a joke for the last little while. It’s just a positive, fun name… There’s no huge meaning behind it.”
Stealing Time has edited television commercials for a number of big-name brands including Walmart, Tim Hortons, Honda, Nike and BMW. Its work on 75 Watts, a documentary for the Tourette Syndrome Foundation of Canada, helped net Saatchi & Saatchi a gold and bronze at this year’s Marketing Awards.