Every year, Vermont Business Magazine recognizes 40 rising stars under the age of 40. This year, one of those stars is Shelburne’s Nathan Beaman, the owner and creative director of Urban Rhino, a Burlington-based firm that specializes in animation and video production. Beaman is being recognized this week at a ceremony at the DoubleTree Hotel in South Burlington.
A graduate of Burlington College, Beaman worked for several years in major metropolitan areas on movies and television shows either in the camera or lighting departments. Clients ranged from small independent movies to those with $80-million budgets, as well as both traditional and reality television shows. Beaman enjoyed the freelance work and the ability to travel the country, although he always kept a base in Vermont. Six years ago, he got divorced and was given full custody of his children, so he decided to put down deeper roots by buying a home in Shelburne and starting Urban Rhino.
Thanks to Beaman’s film connections, Urban Rhino works for a wide variety of companies and organizations. Lately they have added more local clients like Let’s Grow Kids, the Vermont Departments of Labor, Transportation and Public Safety, VSECU, North Country Federal Credit Union, Vermont NEA, VEIC, UVM, VTC, CCV and Drive Electric Vermont. Beaman said the company tries to make itself available for nonprofits, even those who don’t have sufficient funds to pay the regular rate. Urban Rhino’s work includes commercials, social media, and corporate videos. They have branched out into virtual reality videos and other more experiential media. In the last two years, they created the opening credits for Charlie Rose’s televised Oscar special.
In addition to Urban Rhino, Beaman is the proprietor of two other ventures. One, The Archives, is a craft beer/vintage arcade bar, which he opened in the old Burlington Free Press building. The pub has a variety of vintage games and over one hundred kinds of craft beer, including many brewed locally. Although the bar only opened this year, it was nominated for the Seven Days Daysies awards in several categories. Open until 2am, seven days a week, The Archives also serves cocktails, wine, and a locally sourced cheese plate.
More in line with his day job is Queen City Lighting and Grip, which Beaman co-owns. He had a similar business in New York City, which he sold earlier this year. The store is an equipment supply company that provides lighting equipment and cameras to filmmakers.
“We’re probably the only ones in Vermont,” Beaman said. “The store exists to complement Urban Rhino, but it also helps support the out-of-town companies that come through here.”
This is not the first time Urban Rhino has achieved recognition. For the last three years, they have received an award from the Vermont Association of Broadcasters for the best public service announcement, and this year, they received six Telly Awards, which are designed to honor local, regional, and cable television commercials. Still, Beaman was pleased to get the Rising Star award as “a little bit of a nod” for his work.
“With all the different businesses I’m involved in,” he said, “we try to do as much as we can to be involved in our community. It’s nice to get some recognition.”