TMT Entertainment Awards 2016

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WELCOME TO THE 2016 ENTERTAINMENT AWARDS The 2016 Entertainment Awards aim to reward the key players within the entertainment industry. In recent years the entertainment business has evolved, changing how the world conducts business alike across a variety of industry platforms. Surges in demand for quality entertainment corporations has paved the way for creativity, efficiency and cost effectivity thus providing organisations with an invaluable reach to clients and customers in all stages of entertaining. Our 2016 Entertainment Awards will highlight these key players, creative individuals and innovative firms who have provided the world with new, cutting-edge techniques. We will cast a centre stage spotlight on those, who through creative flare, commitment and hard work have developed and shared their ideas to fundamentally evolve the business world and the lives of consumers for years to come.



WINNERS... DONEGAL FILM OFFICE Best Local Film Authority - Ireland ACOUSTIC NATIONS LTD Best Live Music Website 2016 - UK ASTOR PLACE INC Best Advertising Video Production Company - New England DIZI FILMS Best Aerial Cinematography Company - Canada PRODUCE SOUND Best Audio Production Company - South Africa WEBELIEVE MEDIA Best Retail Video Production Company - UK BLUE WATER ENTERTAINMENT Best in Environmentally Conscious Programming - USA GALAXY PRODUCTIONS Best Film Production Company - Caribbean P.V.P. SYSTEMS TELEVISION Best Independent Local Online News Channel - Wales CHOCOLATE MOOSE MEDIA Best Global Informative Short Film Producer JO MEURIS Best for Animation & Post Production Education - Nevada ADVENTURELAB: STRATEGIC EXPERIENCE DESIGN STUDIO Most Innovative Attraction & Brand Design Firm 2016 THE BEAGLE PRODUCTIONS Best Full-Service Production & Post-Production Company - Norway

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CAPTURING DONEGAL’S POTENTIAL The Donegal Film Office acts as the main resource for filmmakers in Donegal and those who wish to film in Donegal from all over the world. Established by Donegal County Council in 2003 to promote the region and to help develop the profile of the county, the Office works in cooperation with Bord Scannán na hÉireann (The Irish Film Board) to help filmmakers to find locations, cast and crew, technical services and local service providers. The Film Office has extensive experience with visual production, and its team is more than happy to deal with all enquiries, however big or small the production is.


Best Local Film Authority - Ireland

ith its flat, clean coastlines and rugged landscape, Donegal has much to offer in terms of cinematography. The landscape is isolated with a range rock types, various types of greenery and mainly, untouched by human infrastructure. There are many parts of the region that have remained so untampered, in fact, that you could set a visual production in any era from prehistoric to modern day with minimal interference or need to disguise the landscape. As Donegal is located along the northern periphery of Europe, right on the edge of the Atlantic coastline, the skyline, sea and landscape are dramatic in nature and suit many types of production. Added to this, Donegal is perfect for night time filming. Its latitude at 55° means that the region is blessed with long summer days of 18 hours, and long periods of night in winter, which can mean up to 16 hours of darkness. Dependant on weather, clear skies result in magnificent views of the stars, due to having little light pollution in south and west, and pristine dark skies over the north and west coasts. Populated by cliffs, forests and woodlands, lakes and loughs, beaches, castles, churches, islands, mountains and hills, the region of Donegal truly lends itself to cinematography. The Film Office stands to provide the relevant and direct services that will turn these beautifully photogenic locations into sensational opportunities to entice production companies into making the journey to Donegal to experience it for themselves. It is no small wonder, then, why the Donegal Film Office has become steeped in praise from its past clients and industry partners. “The Irish hospitality is second to none and whilst filming in Moville we met some great local characters and experienced many great nights of storytelling in the local pubs. The people in Donegal are so incredibly proud of their landscape and the local knowledge was a real advantage for our cast and crew”, said Trevor Forrest, Cinematographer for Grabbers.


Also from the crew of Grabbers, Producer Tracy Brimm had some choice words to offer.”The beautiful Donegal landscape is a featured character in Grabbers and we had an extraordinary experience shooting the film in Ireland. We had a terrific team working with us and a very warm local reception”. Donegal is, it has to be said, one of several locations worldwide that offer striking contrasts in landscape and topography, and could yield even more promising opportunities for filmmakers. One such location, in the hinterlands of Vancouver, Canada, stands on the threshold of modern civilisation and the brooding mysteries of the deep interior of the Americas. As client testimony proves, though, Donegal can more than stand up for itself in such competition. Kim Roberts, Producer for A Shine of Rainbows, commented as such. “Vancouver is one of the biggest entertainment centres in North America; Downtown Vancouver is a long way from Malin Head [Ireland], in more ways than one, but it was the perfect place to shoot the film. And it was accessible; you could fly into Derry and be on the set in half an hour. Normally, getting to areas of unspoiled beauty takes a long time and lots of planning. Donegal, it has to be said, was in a class of its own.” Of course, it is not only a striking landscape that is needed to make a successful enterprise in the competitive entertainment industry. A hands-on ‘can-do’ approach is what is needed to provide help, knowledge and expertise in matching locations with the needs of the production – once this prerogative is fully understood, then a company can benefit from their surroundings to provide a truly individual service. The Donegal Film Office exemplifies this, having developed relationships and an in-depth knowledge of the Donegal area and its inhabitants, and a deep willingness to work as a location liaison to help productions move smoothly. With an extensive database of locations within the county, many of which are profiled on the website, the Office is committed to finding perfect locations and services


Company name: Donegal Film Office Contact: Aideen Doherty Email: filmoffice@ Telephone: +353 (0)74 93 73718 Website: www.

Errigal: John Rafferty for their clients, and will go out of their way to discover something new, should their extensive website coverage not meet the specifications, for whatever reason. “The cast and crew on our database have worked on a number of productions ranging from feature film, documentary, promotional work and short films. We have all levels of crew required from enthusiastic runners to award winning cameramen,” Living on the edge of Europe means that film is an essential tool to getting Donegal seen by international audiences – film production acts as a driver for tourism and economic development. This frontline role in driving tourism to Donegal provides the motivation for the Donegal Film Office to succeed. As such, over the next five years in addition to their current strategy,the Donegal Film Office will continue to grow the industry locally, as they can also assist new talent to the industry. Whether a client needs information on types of funding available, relevant courses or finding cast and crew for productions, the Office can help.

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MUSIC TO THE EARS Best Live Music Website 2016 - UK Lasting success in web-based music does not always have to revolve around creating colourful, flashy music videos or following the latest reality-inspired media. is a website that brings music performance and live web experiences to a whole new level, by focussing on ‘honestto-goodness’ live performances, showing the audience what the performers would want them to see if they were right there in the front row of a show.


hen Colin Webb first started out in founding Acoustic Nations Ltd, he was armed with the knowledge and experience required to record video to broadcast quality, and audio to live-album standards. “We have tried to make Acoustic Nations an inclusive company, bringing people together who have many different levels of experience,” Colin explains. “On every shoot, we have someone of very high experience at the same time as someone who has very little experience, so there is a real sense of training ‘on the job’ without compromising on the end product. We always have at least one member of staff who is a fully paid intern, and we aim to have a formal training regime in place that sits alongside the more informal experiential route. Core qualities of the company are high technical standards, high safety standard and high ethical standards – this might not seem relevant to working in the music business, but it is!” The timing for such a business model certainly couldn’t be better. The internet has offered countless new platforms for up-and-coming artists over the years, but “the technology has come on light-years since I first started working in outside broadcasts in the late 80’s. Back then we had two or three trucks full of gear to support four cameras and recorders – now we can almost get everything in the back of a car. But that said, it’s without any compromise in quality. We record to higher standards than even ten years ago, when HD was just beginning to be seen on the TV, and this year we start to record in 4K – just like a Hollywood movie”. Technology is Acoustic Nations’ single greatest enabler. Colin admits that he could not have started the company without technology being where it is today in comparison to ten years ago. “The cameras are very high-quality, smaller and more versatile; the vision mixing and recording equipment fits into a single 9U flight case; we record to twin SSD’s in a broadcast-ready format; vision mixing is via software on a laptop; audio recording is split from the desk for later mixing, while a guide feed is recorded by the cameras; we edit using state of the art software on Mac Pro; the same computers encode the output for upload to either YouTube or our enterprise level streaming server.” All of this represents new tech, and trying to achieve the same results without it, even six or seven years ago,


would not be possible. “It means the customers get to see High-Def video alongside High-Def audio, streamed on fast broadband to whatever device they want. This relay is media in the 21st Century!” With these factors being an enabler in Acoustic Nations’ ability to create high-quality content, when someone commissions Colin to film a performance, he and his team are more than capable of taking care of all site evaluations, rigging and staging requirements. “We liaise with lighting crews, the audio people, and indeed anyone who is central to the performance. Most of our crew are ex-BBC, and we have trained those who aren’t.” “We aim to appeal to a very wide audience of music lovers,” Colin says, “and that can mean people of all ages – not just the younger ones, who might access us on their latest piece of tech. I think that our success arises out of a wish to promote acoustic music from all cultures while keeping a very British appeal. Now, more than ever, we celebrate our multiculturalism while remembering our UK roots.” Colin points out that, although his firm is based in the East Midlands, they work all over the UK and occasionally Europe, “so we don’t really consider that we have a ‘region’ as such.” However, one of the recurring themes that Colin sees is folk clubs, which are themselves excellent centres of acoustic music, as well as the thriving Asian music sector, where musicians from all over the subcontinent come together for vibrant jam sessions dripping with potential. Colin recalls one occasion when Acoustic Nations went to one such event as the paying audience to watch Asian, African and Indo-Chinese musicians collaborating – “brilliant music and a great atmosphere.” This exposure to such close collaboration has inspired Colin to begin working on setting up a concert in Nottingham next year, to showcase these musical cultures as a component of British music that deserves further exposure. Though the accent of Acoustic Nations’ business remains, as ever, on quality recording of the artists’ performance and subsequently its proper delivery, either to the web, on Blu-ray, or in any one of the many other file formats that are available in today’s marketplace, the process of editing, sweetening and remixing the sound, encoding it, packaging it and delivering it, is “a true turnkey service.”



Company: Acoustic Nations, Ltd. Name: Colin Webb Email: colin@acousticnations. com Web Address: www. Address: Sparkhouse, Rope Walk, Lincoln LN6 7DQ Telephone: 01522 837207 / 07973 654915

Looking to the future of the industry, “the single biggest development for us is how TV will grow as a medium. We have plans to become a channel on the Sky EPG, once we have our own IPTV channel; for the foreseeable future, we will be able to leverage content in this way, but we are also watching carefully to see what happens with OTT channels such as Netflix, and how their finding model, which is very different to mainstream TV, will affect what we do. “They will certainly prove to be interesting times, but we intend to react to them in a positive way.”



A RECORD OF COLLABORATION Best Advertising Video Production Company - New England Dedicated to a design-driven environment, Astor Place, Inc. offers a broad range of video, digital media and creative production services.


ideos are more likely to rank higher on search engine pages, and this simple fact can help companies to highly increase their visibility. If video is not currently a component of a company’s marketing and communications strategy, Astor Place Inc. believes that it should be.

over 20 years of experience within the industry. Astor Place Inc works with clients on a national level, locally they are seeing a lot of ‘one-man-shows’ competing for some of the regions work. Although this is good for competition, it can sometimes hurt the quality of work as a result.

“Our company designs and produces digital media or video production that’s customized for each of our clients,” Ralph Belfiglio, the Creative Director at Astor Place explains. “We always start with an end goal in mind, from which we work backwards. We start with researching who the target audience is. Once we understand this crucial component, along with the overall purpose of the video, we collaborate with our client in developing concepts for the production. This involves understanding demographics – including age, location, customers, etc., and we are determined throughout this process to find the most effective way to capture the audience’s attention and often times that means trying something that’s not been considered in the past.”

In particular, Ralph draws attention to Astor Place’s wellpositioned location in New England, and the advantages that the state provides. “Being located in New England has an enormous number of perks,” he explains, “with a great quality of life, access to superb talent, and just a stone’s throw away from major cities.”

“Following this, we ask ourselves, ‘what is the right tone that works with this audience?’ We also discuss in detail what format and delivery channels will work in getting the message across effectively.” This in particular means addressing where and how the production will be delivered – there are numerous options available to clients nowadays for disseminating their digital content, whether it is through websites, social media, tablet, computers, mobile phones, large LCD Screens, or simple Powerpoint presentations. “We develop concepts and visuals to present to our clients and their management team. With feedback and revisions, we provide final storyboards, timelines and budgets for review and approval.” All of these facets being considered, the process adopted by Astor Place is born out of a creative and media production process that has been developed and refined


“The technology that we use enables us to provide highquality productions. The cameras keep on getting better; the computers are faster; the software is mind-blowing. Technology also enables us to work with clients anywhere in the country, which doesn’t limit your success.” In previous years, it would have been unheard of to have a company like Astor Place situated outside of a major city – Ralph is eager to emphasize though, that with today’s technology, that has all changed, and Astor Place is able to fully participate in its competitive industry while still reaping the benefits of its idyllic location. Added to this is the internal culture adopted by Astor Place. Ralph impresses upon his team to be creative, and to never be afraid to try something new. “We continue to encourage all of our designers to do this, and it has proven to be successful.” “We as a company have found it best to find raw talent and bring them in – to meld them to our inner structure – but let them be free in their creativity. We usually start by having interns come in from the area colleges, we watch them to see how they develop, and then hire the ones we see a future in. Our more seasoned staff helps to cultivate, and mentor them while they are here.”


Company: Astor Place Inc Name: Ralph Belfiglio Email: info@astorplaceinc. com Web Address: www. Telephone: 001 860-574-9009

The future is bright for Astor Place – Ralph sees no immediate roadblocks in the way of maintaining the business’ success. “We see a growing push for online content in the form of video, which is our sweet spot. We have notice it being taken much more seriously in the sense of quality. It is no longer ok to put out a mediocre video for your brand, it is a reflection of who you are and companies are realizing this. “Our mission,” Ralph concludes, “is to continue to produce award winning media for our clients and continue to grow creatively.”



TAKING FLIGHT Best Aerial Cinematography Company - Canada In addition to specializing in drones, Les Films Dizi, Inc. is an all-round production team, based in Quebec, Canada. Covering advertising, sports, magazines, documentaries, variety, cinema, and corporate videos, all platforms that meet the needs of all are the domain of Dizi Films. For more than 15 years, this dynamic team has produced and produced several hundred hours of content for conventional and specialty channels, in both French and English.


drone with full equipment can be worth over $40,000 and is able to climb to an altitude 500 feet at 25km/h. On average, a drone equipped with a Super 35mm film camera, such as the Canon C-300 employed by Dizi Films, can fly from seven to eight minutes per recharge. This calibre of drone technology is leaps and bounds beyond the sort employed for recreational use by everyday consumers – this is the filmmaker’s plaything, and Dizi Films are keen to capitalise on its potential for capturing new and exciting footage. They must, however, adhere to official stance on using such devices in order to continue their work. Legislation under Transport Canada, the government department responsible for developing regulations of transportation, under whose auspices drone technology technically falls, has created a set of new laws that comprise several standards, which anyone flying a drone is expected to follow – including Dizi Films: the flying height, aviation regulations, procedures, atmospheric studies, turbulence, various bans, etc. These rules are all diligently followed by Dizi Films, not only by the pilots of the drones whilst on location, but by the company at large. On their website, Dizi Films aids in the dissemination of important knowledge of these new Transport Canada laws: “More and more people are using drones and UAVs. Transport Canada regulates the use of drones for public safety and other users of the airspace. Before you launch the drone, be aware of the rules and follow them. Otherwise, you could put lives at risk and expose you to fines of up to $25,000, or imprisonment, or both.”

Company: Les Films Dizi, Inc. Name: Isabelle Bertrand Email: Web Address: www.dizifilms. ca Address: 205 Rue des Francais, Mont St- Hilaire, Quebec J3H 0B3, Canada Telephone: 001 514 978 3635


By educating Canadians – and, for that matter, anyone operating a drone in the country – as to the various restrictions and stipulations on drone flight in Canada’s airspace, Dizi Films participate in an important conversation, and bring their full weight of technical expertise to bear by presenting multimedia forms of information to enhance the dissemination of this vital information. In particular, a brief video on the restrictions of drones from coming within nine kilometres of an airport or helicopter pads gives Dizi Films an important voice in an increasingly national issue. These drones, as Dizi Films point out, are not easy-to-control remote helicopters; pilots must also take into account the security of these devices. The drones are equipped with an autopilot system that brings the drone to its starting point at the slightest glitch, and the services offered by Dizi Films’ drivers include insurance and assistance teams should anything untoward happen.


FRESH SOUND CRAFTED DAILY Best Audio Production Company - South Africa Produce Sound is a post-production sound and music composition studio, whose expertise has been called upon to create final mixes on radio, TV, and online platforms, in addition to new VR projects. On top of this, Produce Sound is, as the name would suggest, a music composition house specialising in custom music for commercial use; they handle all elements of the recording, mixing and production for song and album releases, in conjunction with Bright Above.


ouis is extremely grateful for the steady stream of work that Produce Sound enjoys, though he is also extremely keen to search out the unique and different projects that will introduce new and promising ways of managing his and the company’s work. “We definitely try to not treat that work in classic ‘sausage factory’ style,” he adds colloquially. “When we do get the opportunity to work on something different and which we can get really excited about, we will try to look for all of the different unique ways of doing it that we possibly can.

By focussing on growing the company’s international footprint in this manner, Produce Sound aims to capitalise upon their prestigious past accomplishments, having worked on numerous Cann Lions winners, including the radio Grand Prix twice in three years. The company’s recent naming as the Radio and Audio Company of the Year at the LIA’s, as well as recognition in the TMT Entertainment Awards, inspire tremendous hope in Louis that Produce Sound will continue on its course to use its unique advantages in all future endeavours that are undertaken.

“While I wouldn’t say that we have secret techniques necessarily,” Louis comments, “I do feel that it is our business model that sets us apart from other such production companies on the market. Produce Sound maintains some full-time employees, but the talented individuals that we represent all run their own companies also, which are facilitated by Produce Sound. This way, we have a strong, driven team that works as much for themselves as they work together to serve our clients in the best way that they can.” This highly original strategy demonstrates a truly avantgarde approach to the production industry; it is certainly a novel way of broaching the difficult matter of increased competition in the industry. By effectively managing multiple small sound production companies, Produce Sound expands its presence over the market. “Our industry is extremely competitive,” Louis explains, “which is a good thing in some regards, but the proverbial pie is only so big.

Fresh Sound Inside

Company: Produce Sound Name: Louis Enslin Email: Web Address: www.produce. Address: Block C Stonewedge Office Park, 1 Wedgewoodlink Road, Bryanston 2191 Telephone: +2711 361 3111

“Our focus for next year to branch out more into the international market. We are working hard on perfecting our ‘remote facility’ solution. I, alongside a couple of leading industry professionals, have set-up a remote postproduction house called Individually Wrapped, which is based in South Africa so that all costs are billed in South African Rands. Given that 1 US Dollar currently equates to about 15 Rands, we can instantly increase production value whist avoiding having to work with inexperienced operators or inferior equipment, as is often the case with tight budgets. Because of the exchange rate, you can afford good, even great quality.



DELIVERING AWESOME CONTENT THROUGH SIMPLICITY Best Retail Video Production Company - UK WeBelieve Media creates visual content, be it video, photography or animations for businesses and organisations to help connect to their audiences. Our speciality is within retail, focusing on product ranges, launches and reviews. These are important because it can help the consumers to be educated and informed on the brand and its products, in turn, helping them to convert. #HIGHFIVE


eBelieve Media was established in October 2014, by Jack Barron and his business partner Adam Cooper. “In July 2015,” Jack regales, “we opened the doors to our studio space and got to work creating the offices and sets. Since then the studio has grown from a tired old pig shed into the fully functional versatile space we have today,” with a client list boasting names from all over the retail industry: white goods manufacturers such as Hoover Candy, Fisher & Paykel and Whirlpool Corporation, plus cycling brand Ribble and electronics giant Maplin.” Using his experience from his previous roles, setting up the and Argos studios, Adam brings forward the ideas of shopper psychology. This has a huge role when creating the content in fully understanding the needs of the consumer and what it is that will help make them convert. “Consumer psychology is important when creating content for retail. It enables the end user to be fully engaged in that brand and ultimately that is what the client wants. “We see a lot of information out there within our sector, and most companies try to use a blanket approach when talking to their customers; they will give them too much information, which often leaves them confused and conflicted. Over the last few years, have led the way in this area, but as they have grown, they have almost forgotten what they stood for in the first place: effective rich media that customers can relate to. Many retailers have their own content creation teams or use agencies, which in some instances saves cost – but are they really getting the content that the customer wants? Common sense is still a huge area which many retailers overlook and when it comes to customers they want something fast, easy, accessible on multiple devices and most of all confidence and trust in brand.

Company: WeBelieve Media Name: Jack Barron Email: hello@ Web Address: www. Telephone: 01473 327 747


The approach adopted by WeBelieve Media, in response to this, is simple: “don’t overcomplicate it. Put ourselves in the customer’s shoes, and see what they want.” Jack points out that while most other production companies might harbour desires to work on films, TV, or even on the next blockbuster, WeBelieve takes a much simpler, humbler

trajectory. “We work within retail for retail and for the customer, to produce engaging content that helps better educate, and in return create better conversion for brands.” As such, WeBelieve provides a full service for content creation, including all the pre-production of script writing and storyboarding, to the shoot days and then onto the postproduction. “When we first set up WeBelieve Media, our mission was to make awesome content, and truth be told that is still our mission today. “We love what we do, and want our clients to love it too. We believe that is what sets us apart from the rest. Being personable and approachable helps to make our clients relaxed and comfortable to share their ideas, and that’s when we are able to work best with them and fully achieve that awesome content. “We want to work with the best, but also with people that have a passion for helping to create the awesome content. We don’t just dictate a certain way we want things, but open the communication up to the floor. This is the best way to develop further creative ideas, but also shows us who cares. They don’t have to be the most outgoing or vocal, but showing an engagement with the project shows us their dedication.” Cameras and modern studio equipment are changing all the time, and Jack knows that it is important to stay in touch with these changes and to use the best equipment – the differences can be telling. “We enjoy using the best equipment, but it is also about having the best team around us knowing how to make best use of it. The people that we use for shoots also enjoy learning and developing their craft, and this comes across when shooting. 2017 already looks set to be a great year for WeBelieve Media, with some projects already well along the pipeline, including some out on-location shoots, which Jack describes as being “always challenging but fun.” WeBelieve will be looking to expand its reach further across different sectors and developing its technological offerings to its clients, such as hosting and syndicating to the retailers themselves. “We give ourselves big targets to reach,” Jack finishes, “but it is that challenge that pushes us more and more every day.


CONTEMPLATIVE, BALANCED, SUSTAINABLE Best in Environmentally Conscious Programming - USA Blue Water Entertainment is a world-renowned production house focusing on environmentally conscious entertainment licensing content to terrestrial, cable, satellite, and video-on-demand networks, including: CNBC, APT, PBS, NHK, Arte France, Arte Germany, RT, Netflix, Gaim TV, Hulu, I-tunes, Google Play, and Amazon, to name a few.


lue Water Entertainment’s overall mission is to tell cinematically compelling, environmentally aware, and empowering stories that make a difference. This core objective is a continuation of director Greg Reitman’s own personal intention: to choose entertainment forms that are intentional and sustainable. As such, Blue Water offers its customers the full and complete service of a production house dedicated to safe and environmentally sound live event production, as well as sit-down interviews, red carpet events, and branding videos. As Greg Reitman describes it, “the company’s success relies on working with like-minded folks that align with a principled understanding in living a healthy, sustainable lifestyle.” This focus on a reflective and balanced working culture leads Reitman to suggest meditation as an effective business practice. “We believe that Transcendental Meditation or any type of meditation keeps the mind sharp. We recommend meditation twice a day to our peers and staff. In addition, we maintain that eating healthy organic food always provides good nourishment to the body, which makes for happy employees.”

Company: Blue Water Entertainment, Inc, Name: Greg Reitman Email: greg@ Web Address: www. Address: 3400 Airport Avenue, Ste 75, Santa Monica, CA 90405 Telephone: 001 310-234-2583

last couple of years, and Blue Water is now looking at VR and producing VR in the space as a new, exciting direction in which to venture. In addition, Blue Water Entertainment continues to work with top-tier leading technologies companies from HD, 4K 360 cameras, to editing software and visual effects and animation applications. “We’re looking forward to our theatrical release this December to qualify for the 2017 Oscars. We’re also in the process of developing a slate of motion pictures that are environmentally & conscious related.” Reitman concludes, “any time you are acknowledged for the work you do, it always feels good. The secret behind our success is in always picking great collaborators, especially like-minded individuals who have a meditation practice and eat healthy organic foods.”

Of course, it is important for Blue Water to differentiate themselves as a more health-focussed choice within their wider market. The entertainment industry in the USA, as Reitman regales, continues to be an overcrowded, saturated marketplace. With cameras being available on the market at less than $5,000, and decent editing software even cheaper, it is now more accessible to produce content than ever before, which can provide a challenge to any production company looking to assert themselves as a major new presence. However, Blue Water stand to gain from their exposure to the latest in technological trends. Dramatic advances in VR and other immersion technologies have changed the landscape even more in the



A GOLDEN HOUR OF FILMING Best Film Production Company - Caribbean As an independent production company, Galaxy Productions, founded in 2004, produces and co-produces video production for the local and international markets. Based on Grand Bahama Island, with its pristine waters and clean beaches, Galaxy Productions boasts an international clientele.”


s portrayed in blockbuster films, the Bahamas allows cinematographers to capture images under the perfect light of a Golden Hour like no other in the world.

Taking advantage of these surroundings, Galaxy Production sees a steady stream of interested bodies looking to capture the Bahamas for their own works. Recently, the team have seen an increase in commercials and reality TV shows, but their portfolio also boasts a range of feature films, television shows, commercials and music videos. The efforts of Galaxy’s crews can be seen in a number of prolific works that has since become engrained into international pop culture. Their movie credits include such blockbusters as the rebooted James Bond franchise’s first outing in Casino Royale, as well as the Pirates of the Caribbean films, as well as Zeus and Roxanne. Their music video portfolio, meanwhile, features such prominent industry names as Alicia Keys, Ava Symone, Flo Rida, Rick Ross and Luke James, to name but a few. Additionally, Galaxy Productions has worked for networks including Bravo, Bet Jazz, NBC Universal, Panasonic, NBC, E Network, Home Shopping Network and Fox Sports, to bring this same level of skill to bear, all as a component of their mission to

Company: Galaxy Productions Name: Cornelius McKinney Email: gpbahamas@yahoo. com Web Address: Address: 4 Queens Highway, Marine Executive Plaza, Suite 7 Telephone: 1 242-442-4024


render the highest level of service while being on time and on budget. This is becoming a higher priority all the time, as crews are becoming smaller and shoot time and budgets are being reduced, due to innovations in technology enabling producers to condense production times and costs, whilst retaining the same level of quality. In the matter of Galaxy Productions, this is no difference. “We use the latest tools and equipment available and our crew stays abreast of technology,” Cornelius says. “The DP (Director of Photography) employed by the Client knows what format and camera they want to use. We provide the support crew for that specific equipment. “We have a culture of ‘let’s get the job done’. This is our motto and motivating factor. The work ethics and attitude of the crew we hire are paramount. The market is becoming more competitive and budget sensitive, so Galaxy Productions have to stay ahead of the market, and remain focused on the client’s ever-changing needs. “We are focused on bring bringing some local locally produced feature films to the big screen,” Cornelius concludes. “To date there has only been one film, but our plans are to increase that to three per year.”


BEHIND THE CAMERA Best Independent Local Online News Channel - Wales Derrick Pugh started his career in film and editing techniques at East London Polytechnic, and then with BBC Education and Training and worked for Laura Ashley as a Video & Technical Engineering Manager for 12 years. Later, with the aid of sponsorship from ITV weather presenter Sian Lloyd, he gained membership and registration of the ACTT, which was later superseded by the Broadcasting Entertainment and Cinematograph & Theatre Union (BECTU), as a television cameraman. Today, he is the head of PVP Systems Television, a provider of professional, reliable camera crew services, in addition to sound and lighting systems, to enhance any televised production, including home Wedding Films/DVDs.

Company: P.V.P. Systems Television Name: Derrick Pugh E-mail: Web Address: www. Telephone: 01686 430622 / 07763 108710


errick has gone on from his early days East London Polytechnic to attain 20 years of professional experience in the production industry - as a freelance cameraman. Derrick has covered a variety of different filming applications. As a brief snapshot of his portfolio, he was involved in the filming of all of the news bulletins that featured in the film Happy Now, starring Ioan Gruffydd, filmed on location at Barmouth, North Wales. In his other work, Derrick and the camera crews that make up his company, PVP Systems Television, use their own editing facilities and a selection of broadcast cameras to provide the best sound and picture quality. “We update our equipment whenever needed,” Derrick says, demonstrating the recognition that in such a competitive industry, only those that are willing and able to adjust and improve themselves and their capabilities “We use professional voiceovers, and hire in freelancers when needed. We are also bilingual. “I am a member of BECTU, the Television Broadcast Union and a bona fide TV cameraman with the appropriate Press ID that complements our News Channel,” Derrick summarises. He has a current Press ID registered with New Scotland Yard which allows him to operate in controlled areas and locations, working with Royalty, MPs etc. “Additionally, we produce corporate and training films for our clients, and from time to time we produce our own films; my wife runs the Wedding Film/DVD side of the business.

exemplary live coverage. Derrick was twice nominated for the Welsh National Wedding Awards and won The Best Regional Videographer Award on both occasions. “Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life,” Derrick explains. “We would like to ensure it is captured in a way you would want it to be. We have options to suit everyone, from lowcost original productions to the highest quality Executive Package. Our most popular package includes computerised titling, special effects and copyright music, ensuring that your production will be a family treasured item, available on Standard DVD, HDU DVD and Blu-Ray Disc. “I was delighted to have been recognised by the TMT Awards,” Derrick says, “and I feel the secret behind our success is in our commitment.” Expanding on this, he says that having his own online News Channel is also an excellent way of highlighting the concerns of the public in the area in which he lives. “We also receive requests from various TV Producers for footage they have seen on the News Channel and sometimes commission us to do further filming for them.” “The award highlights the success of our online News Channel, which has benefitted the public in many ways. This has also been a good way of advertising our skills and the quality of our work as well as attracting new clients.”

Indeed, Derrick is witnessing a steadily increasing demand for his services from couples demanding high-quality videography of their special occasion; having worked on film and TV sets as well as news locations for two decades, he is well-suited to the occasion, and with a turnaround time of three to four weeks between filming and delivering the DVD, he offers a service that is strongly competitive against others in the market. Indeed, testimonials from couples that have been clients of PVP Systems say that Derrick’s DVDs mean as much to them as their photo albums, being produced to broadcast standard and perfectly encapsulating the events of the day through



CREATING MEDIA ON THE FRONTLINE OF CHANGE Best Global Informative Short Film Producer Chocolate Moose Media creates content to better the human condition. Best known for creating animated shorts ranging from 20 seconds to 5 minutes long, Chocolate Moose represents a forerunner in behaviour change communications on a wide variety of subjects, like disease prevention and human rights. The company works closely with international organizations like the United Nations and UNICEF, as well as international non-governmental organizations like the Catholic Relief Services and the Red Cross, and also with private sector companies that wish to sponsor messages for social change like Qatar’s Oryx GTL.


he overall mission of Chocolate Moose Media is to use modern communications to improve or save as many lives as possible. As such, founder Firdaus Kharas considers his company’s region of interest to be the world itself. He elucidates, “I have travelled to over 140 countries in every region of the world. We do a great deal of local informationgathering before preparing a campaign, even if the campaign is global. We are not country or region-specific. “The new era of history that we live in - with instant, global, two-way communications - has opened up endless possibilities for human development that my company exploits for the benefit of humanity. All my work is perfect for mobile phones, as it is short and animated. On certain issues, like containing the spread of the Ebola virus in West Africa during the recent outbreak, more villagers in the epicentre country of Guinea saw my animation by passing it from mobile phone to mobile phone, than any other method.” Expanding on this, Firdaus highlights how the West African Ebola crisis of 2014-2015 is a good example of how the lack of information can affect people’s lives across the world, in ways that they might not fully perceive. “The international community responded to the crises by spending billions of dollars sending doctors and nurses and setting up quarantine units to treat those that had been infected, yet spent a tiny fraction of that amount on immediately disseminating vital information to the public in their own language on how not to get infected in the first place.” Firdaus is vehement in his belief when he says that, “we still need to change that mindset.” All of Chocolate Moose’s productions are international in creation and most are internationally distributed. On any typical project, the creator might be in Switzerland, the writer in South Africa, the animators in India, the composer in Canada, the voices in Ecuador or Liberia and the distribution done through the global offices of the United Nations. That is possible because of the power of the Internet and instant broadband communications via Skype and other means. “The roll-out of broadband has caused a huge difference in our distribution system,” Firdaus continues. “We no longer produce DVDs and courier them by the thousands around the world. Instead, anyone can go to my Vimeo channel and view more


than 3,500 animated videos that I have created in multiple languages on over 20 subjects, and download them in various resolutions from high and standard definition to low resolution for mobile phones. I give away all my work free of any charge and without any use restrictions. “The key is to get the kind of media I create, behaviour change communications, widely understood, supported and used. We have not yet grasped the importance of information. On issue after issue, starting years ago with smoking, then going through the HIV/AIDS pandemic that killed more than 20 million people, through to the more recent case of the Ebola crises in Africa to the current rapid spread of the Zika virus, I have learnt that if you get people the knowledge on how to not get sick, they will act upon the information and the virus or health issue will be defeated. “When I told people over 20 years ago I was going to start a social enterprise to use media to better the human condition, more than one ‘expert’ gave me a highly quizzical look.” In spite of the criticism that he has received since then, Firdaus still believes that passion makes all the difference. “I believe in the power of media to affect change for the better. So, I continue. The work is mostly very well received and makes a difference. If you can save a life, then that is your duty. “Therefore, we will continue to work on issues ranging like our current portfolio of Polio eradication – which is close at hand – to human rights violations in Latin America, to spreading universal values like gender equality in the Middle East, to driving down obesity amongst children in the United States. There is not a single issue I can think of where media will not make a difference. On some issues, we might only make a tiny contribution; in others, we can affect millions of lives. Although Firdaus deals with very serious subjects like Zika, Ebola and Malaria prevention and domestic and sexual violence and children’s rights, he professes to doing so in a humorous way that is entertaining. “I believe people have to internalize the messages they see or hear in media before changing their behaviour. I do not believe in coercing, threatening or forcing a person works. The media must be compelling and yes, entertaining.

Company: Chocolate Moose Media Name: Firdaus Kharas Email: Main website: www. Vimeo channel: firdauskharas


ANIMATING NEVADA Best for Animation & Post Production Education - Nevada Nevada State College (NSC) is a four-year public college located in Henderson, Nevada, which was founded in 2002 as part of the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE), as its first state college. Placing a special emphasis on the advancement of a diverse and largely under-served student population, Nevada State College is considered the fastest growing institution of higher education in the state of Nevada. It is also the domain of Jo Meuris, who, as a teacher of animation, has demonstrated her leading role in fostering impassioned talent and creating sensational productions, a talent that arises from her own deepseated passion.


he vast majority of Nevada State College’s students are from Nevada, from a wide variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds. As an instructor, Jo Meuris works closely with her students, so as to encourage them as they learn the principles of animation. As such, Jo teaches her students how to use animation software, and how to best implement animation techniques, across a range of six courses, including ‘Introduction to Drawing’, ‘Storyboarding’, and ‘Advanced Digital Editing’.

a steady stream of contracts since completing her BFA in Film, Television and Digital Media from the University of California in 1998. Her work can be seen in over a dozen productions from the National Film Board (NFB) of Canada, with whom she has worked as an animator, supervising animator, and lead compositor, including two films that she directed of her own – An Aqueous Solution, completed in 2003, and multi-award-winning film The Girl Who Hated Books, completed in 2006.

“I teach them how to create the nuances in a movement that will bring out and reflect character, and how to use acting and sound storytelling to bring life to their animation,” Jo explains, expressing her undying interest in using her experience as an animator and animation filmmaker to help develop the next generation of animators and filmmakers.

Outside of the NFB Jo has also worked as a freelancer doing animation, clean-up, and compositing for a feature film, a couple of documentaries and commercials, and several other short independent productions. Her numerous awards, most recently for her sensational Without Wings (2010), give further credence to her abilities.

Currently, according to Jo, the animation industry is still in the early stages in Nevada. Likewise, the Animation program at Nevada State College is a brand new track as part of the Visual Media program in Liberal Arts and Sciences, and it is still growing and developing. This makes Jo and her abilities highly prized, and her contributions to Nevada State College outfit the institution with the necessary means by which to further mature the Animation program, and to train its students so that they will have the knowledge they will need for the plentiful opportunities in store in an industry that is only just starting to take off. These students’ prospects to work as independent artists and freelancers are promising, and Jo fulfils a crucial role, in that regard, in teaching her students the skills necessary to succeed. Going into further detail on her unique teaching style, Jo feels that the best way to elicit the skills of her students is to encourage and motivate them to reach their goals. “I have been known to work long and late hours in order to support them as they develop and complete their films,” Jo states. This is certainly not out of character for Jo – she has had


On the occasion that Jo is not assisting one of her pupils, as a producer, director and animator, Jo often meets with academic faculty and support staff in order to help them to determine how best to present their ideas. More than anything, this uncovers an increasing awareness and appreciation of the benefits of using animation as the medium of delivery. “I work closely with faculty and staff to develop a preliminary script,” Jo details. “Then, I create the storyboards and consult with them once more, to ensure that I am capturing their message in the way they intended. Next I dive into the long process of production and work my way through layouts, animation, and compositing, to final export.” Jo acknowledges that animation is rather time-consuming work – sometimes taking months – so she makes sure that she continually shows her colleagues the work as it progresses, and gives them updates along the way so that they are constantly aware of where exactly she is in the production process. “Animation has become a very heavily technology based medium,” she explains. “While my background is in drawn animation, I have had to learn to make use of technology and new computer software as it arises and evolves.

“At Nevada State College, we make sure our students are well-versed in Adobe (Photoshop, Premiere, and AfterEffects), ToonBoom Harmony, and Dragonframe Stop Motion software. We also introduce them to creation tools on the iPad and to a variety of cameras and other production hardware. “I personally use a variety of software packages to create productions Nevada State College. Generally, I will select and work with the tool that will give me the best results in the most painless way possible depending on the project I am working on. I work with the entire Adobe CC software suite, ToonBoom Harmony, TV Paint, Dragonframe Stop Motion, Autodesk Maya, and Nuke when creating animation for the college.” It is clear, then, that Nevada State College is well prepared to make a strong, potentially decisive contribution to Nevada’s evolving animation industry, through the applied teaching of key skills through integral software like Adobe and AfterEffects, with a highly-engaged faculty that are themselves increasingly engaging with the opportunities in store, and most especially the presence of a dedicated industry professional in Jo Meuris, whose creative and supportive abilities are brimming with knowledge and passion.

Company: Nevada State College Name: Jo Meuris Email: Web Address: Address: 1300 Nevada State Drive, Henderson, NV 89002, USA



Most Innovative Attraction & Brand Design Firm 2016 AdventureLAB is a strategic experience design studio, deeply rooted in integrated marketing. integrated storytelling and digitalization. What this basically means is that that the company is continuously looking into how experience design can help achieve measurable goals, such as more visitors, more customer traffic, higher spending and higher satisfaction, whilst balancing the customer experience with what is relevant for the brands of their clients.


his is sometimes within what is typically perceived as very creative work, such as theme park concept development. However, AdventureLAB’s role has always been to be able to address the reasons why, as well as to reach into the very core of the matter concerning their audience. Sometimes, this means uncovering the brand story, and figuring how it can be translated into relevant experiences. As such, AdventureLAB works with many of the ‘traditional’ experience industry client types, like hotels, amusement parks, theme parks, museums, tourism and attractions, but also new and upcoming brands that are – to a higher extent – born into a world that is increasingly oriented around a customer experience-centric bearing – this determines the company’s entire approach by maintaining as broad a base in this work as it can. Furthermore, AdventureLAB has worked a lot with new ways of pushing and expanding the retail experience, both at home in domestic markets and abroad, including in the U.S. AdventureLAB’s core business lies within developing creative business strategies and experience concepts that can be subsequently delivered as a blueprint from which to work. This is very much done from a useroriented and user-involved design approach, meaning that it is key to highlight the definition of strategy on data, and to continuously test what the company and its designers are doing. This primarily comes by conducting market research through approaching representative audiences; this is an important process


for AdventureLAB that determines is direction right from the very earliest concept stages, in order to properly guide the company along the right trajectory. Simply put, the AdventureLAB mission is to create strategic experience concepts and designs that will attract audiences and make them come back for more using the power of themed and branded engagement, entertainment and exploration. The company achieves this by working with a design approach and method throughout the steps of strategy, concept, theme, brand and experience design, whilst endeavoring to keep the audience at the centre of a transparent, 360-degree approach that truly benefits AdventureLAB’s clients and their businesses. Carefully Customized Teams With seniors on the team having been on the forefront of digital development for two decades, AdventureLAB is often asked to help find the right partners with which a firm can do digital development work, and sometimes to assist throughout this process. When that is the case, AdventureLAB uses a strict model for risk assessments of development partners, in order to pinpoint the pros and cons of the top picks. More than often, this process involves the client, as this enables them to make a learned decision on the best way to proceed with the project in question. This is standard routine, even as AdventureLAB has a vast network of competencies to choose from. In fact, the company is capable of putting the team together for building an attraction from the ground up, digital dimension and technology integrated, and with the

Company: AdventureLAB Name: Klaus Sommer Paulsen Email: klaus@ Web Address: www. Address: Sydhavnsgade 7.2, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark Telephone: +45 2721 2021

right independent communications and marketing professional ready to handle marketing, almost anywhere in the world. Assistance In Choosing The Right Technologies Especially in the attractions industry, we see a move towards a more story-based, audience-centric experience, enhanced by technology. Sometimes this means that technology will get the better of the park or the museum, with no in-depth consideration whether this app or that thingy really relates to the core concept of a space, and how it is experienced through the eyes of the audience. That is part of AdventureLAB’s reason-for-being, but it also means that it has to keep on pushing a mindset contradictory to that of the specific technology vendor, that wants to sell a certain solution. AdventureLAB has no stakes in this or that technology, so they can objectively focus on helping figuring out what are the best choices. AdventureLAB realizes the need to be on a continuous mission of shared understanding and definite, wellconsidered action. Without some deep, strategic conceptual thinking, one may go directly from a loose idea to pre-production, not really getting the most out of the investment. Sometimes there may be a missing link that needs detecting and rectifying, but it is not everyone that has the ability to see it or realize the actual potential on what it is that they are missing out on – not in the way that AdventureLAB can, anyway. Working In The World AdventureLAB benefits, in no small way, from its environs, drawing inspiration from the city of Aarhus in Central Denmark. This city is a modern-day cradle of innovation, a melting pot of start-ups, technology, creative companies and engineering that can constantly provide one with inspiration and energy. The thing about such an environment is that it can easily become a closed community, where one can all too easily settle for something rather good instead of having the drive to push on and develop something truly groundbreaking. This is why AdventureLAB is based on the principle, ‘based in Denmark, working in the world’. With English at times being preferred over Danish as the office language, the new globally-connected environment allows AdventureLAB to maintain a team made up of international members, each with unique experiences and ideas to contribute. Hybrid Thinking Increases Innovation It is AdventureLAB’s core philosophy that if you can balance the drive to climb higher with the obligation to

remain a wholly personal customer experience, whilst also fully partaking in the bountiful opportunities that technological hubs like Aarhus can provide, any company or start-up can achieve a really healthy worklife balance without compromising their ambitions. It is a solid base upon which to build, especially in this age of great potential and promise, driven by new technology. However, even as the digital world seems to be everywhere, not everything needs to be digital-only to succeed. When one looks beyond the technology itself and sees it in context, or as part of hybrid or total experiences, the possibilities and the potential for innovation increase tenfold.


FILMING IN THE EXTREME Best Full-Service Production & Post-Production Company, Norway The Beagle Productions has a presence in the media and entertainment industry like no other. Alongside its full-service production and post-production facilities, the additional offering of PR services and specialization in worldwide brands, developing and leveraging branded content, product placement strategies, and the creation of ad-hoc media content, makes The Beagle Productions true production specialists capable of filming in all environments.


ttributing the name of the production company to Charles Darwin’s legendary vessel, The Beagle, on which he sailed for three epic years to strange of far-off places around the globe, affording him the freedom to devise one of humanity’s greatest scientific theories, Natural Selection, so too does The Beagle Productions have a determined effort to catalogue and record some of the Earth’s most difficult environments through the production of TV and cinema content. This has led The Beagle Productions to charter such extreme parts of the world as the Arctic, deserts, high mountains, underwater, and jungles. What is really different at the work done at The Beagle Productions is that the teams create long formats and stories, based on real characters such as explorers and adventurers, with a special accent on creating fascinating storytelling and using the best photography. Rather than just making short trailers for quick social media consumption – which they also do on occasion – the teams remain focussed on longer, more meaningful productions for TV and cinema. Nacho Garcia, Managing Director of The Beagle Productions, offers a very recent example of the kind of challenges that the teams face, and the ways in which modern film-making technology is vital in conquering extreme environments. “We just followed an expedition crossing Greenland, on a route that went on for more than 2,500 kilometres,” Nacho begins, “in a wind-powered sled that was just using some kites for transportation. It took a month and a half in total isolation, charging cinema cameras with solar power cells along the way, to complete the project. We filmed in 4K resolution, so the amount of data we generated was vast. Also, the temperature was around -30 degrees Celsius, and we slept in tents all the time. We specifically designed protection cases for the equipment, alternative charging systems and a totally different workflow. I have to say that, with tons of effort being involved, it worked.”


It is fairly obvious at this point that The Beagle Productions is not by any means the classic production house. “We spend many hours and days driving 4x4 cars into the Sahara Desert,” Nacho says, “as well as sharing a tent for 50 days on the ice cap, or on a horse expedition in Mongolia. We are explorers with a good array of technical skills, knowledge and passion. Even our postproduction team is into it.” Nacho highlights that being based in Norway brings with it a huge advantage, as it provides the teams with a quick and easy escape to the outdoors, “where we can try and test all our crazy ideas for tuning equipment, testing our survival equipment, and coping with isolation.” Also, being based in Norway does not rob The Beagle Productions of a stream of clientele, so much so that 80 per cent of the productions house’s customers are from outside of Norway. “The Norwegian market is not very big,” Nacho admits, “but the overall level is pretty good. There have been many interesting featured films produced in Norway with amazing quality, as well as several TV series. Norway also recently approved a new tax rebate of 25 per cent for foreign productions filmed in the country, with some conditions. We also help those bigger cinema production projects to film in uncommon outdoor conditions, supporting the production with our expertise. I am sure that it will attract foreign projects looking to be shoot in one of the planet’s most magical natural environments. “In production, we are specialists in creating incredible stories on the most extreme parts of this planet, using the best photography and latest technologies. In postproduction, we want to be the trustworthy partner of many other production companies that do not have those competences, as well as for broadcasters needing to outsource.” The Beagle Productions is also integrated with some other companies in the industry to collude in bigger cinema projects, due to the company’s production

Company: The Beagle Productions and VReckon Name: Nacho Garcia, Managing Director Email: info@ / Web Address: www.facebook. com/thebeagleproductions

specialisation in extreme environments. Under The Beagle Productions’ umbrella is also VReckon, a VR / AR company specializing in Virtual Reality content. “We are involved in a really interesting fiction VR project with a top cinema director,” Nacho hints, without disclosing any more. “At The Beagle Productions, we always prioritize production of the highest quality that is available on the market, even when working with affordable budgets, and decreasing our margins. From the beginning of our enterprise, we have betted on the latest technologies such as 4K, High Frame Rate (HFR) and High Dynamic Range (HDR), even when most colleagues were thinking that these would not become important to consider for years. “We have been going through many obstacles in our work,” Nacho adds, “but what we always had clear is to bet for the latest technology available and the highest photo quality. We wanted to bring the viewers the best immersive experience into some Worlds that most of them will only be able to see on a screen. 4K, HFR (50-60 fps) and lately filming in HDR are game changers. HDR in particular gives us a tangible feeling that this is really high quality content that can be truly appreciated. The real adventures to be had out in the natural world are not going to be filmed with cheap, small equipment anymore. Nacho recognises that the most successful projects will need more time for shooting, which will mean more equipment, cinema lenses and cameras – a significant investment in order to get the best results. In this regard, The Beagle Productions is set up to make the most of quick and easy access to challenging environments worthy of filming, and a devotion to utilising and developing cutting edge technology.