The Mumbrella Awards return in 2019 with 30 categories covering media, marketing, advertising, PR and production. Celebrating the biggest, best and bravest work as well as the teams and individuals that make it all happen, the awards highlight why the Australian media and marketing industry is a global leader. Benchmark Media & Entertainment is proud to have been shortlisted for the Mumbrella Awards 2019 Production Company of the Year.
How excited are you both to be nominated for the Mumbrella 2019 award for Production Company of the Year?
We are really excited and feel privileged to be considered. The main reason we’re really excited is that the landscape we now work in is incredibly competitive and it’s constantly being challenged every week by new technology and broadcast platforms. It’s a real credit to our creativity, history in filmmaking/advertising, our resilience and our team who strive for excellence in every project.
What makes BME stand out from the rest?
Gio and I worked for many years as 1st and 2nd assistant directors on hundreds of TVC’s and big budget films like Superman Returns, The Matrix and Star Wars. We came up through the ranks to become the best at our jobs in the country. Uniquely we developed different skills along the way that complimented each other, hence why it’s worked. We have big screen experience and understand the mechanics of how to expand and contract a business in an industry that’s unforgiving when it comes to demands and budgets. We now bring that big screen experience to all screens. As a Producer and Director Team, together managing a business we wanted to do things differently to how we’d seen them executed in the past. The reality was at the time the traditional production company model was dying and we needed to develop a new model that was going to be sustainable and take us into the future.
The future for us was to overcome one of the main problems Production Companies faced in Australia over the last few decades. The Film and advertising industry has always been very siloed. People either worked only on Feature Films, TVC’s, Television Series, or Corporate Videos, and you rarely crossed over. Today you will find even advertising agencies creating television series like The Monkeys who were our partners on My Family Feast which was a great collaboration. The reality is if you’re not creating content across all platforms and looking into alternate funding models you’re going to behind the game.
So what did you do differently?
When we started BME we decided to be a cross-platform content provider that not only produced the content but also created it from concept through to delivery. It was a new business model that was able to keep us literally in business and grow two successful divisions. We now have content and campaign strategy as part of our business model, which has been a huge success for our clients in growing their business creating brand awareness, sales, and communicating internally bringing them a great return on their investment. Our media partners now benefit from our expertise in all broadcast platforms, and when it comes to publishing we have great collaborators partners like GMS and hub linked who deliver exceptional results in targeted advertising.
What did you do differently for your entertainment division?
On the Entertainment side of the business at the time, broadcasters were mostly funding programs that came from big international companies like SHINE, or Fremantle Media, and would mostly fund television formats that have already been successful overseas like The Bachelor or Australia’s Top Model. It became apparent that we needed to find alternative ways to fund a television series or we weren’t going to create anything at all. So we innovated even further and became one of the first entertainment companies to produce a one hundred percent brand funded television series called “On The Grill” with chef Sean Connolly since then we have produce four series and have a new series in development as we speak. So with our experience on the media side of the business, we were able to leverage contacts and knowledge, where both divisions could successfully benefit from each other.
Benchmark now successfully works across all platforms of Media and Entertainment, we’ve have had our biggest year to date in 2018/19, with five TV series currently screening on SBS, ABC, and CH7 and in over 50 countries globally.
So do you think you’re worthy to win production company of the year?
It’s funny you ask that! As humble as we are in our achievements, it wasn’t until we researched the “why we deserve to be nominated” it started to make sense, and came to accept that we do belong in this category. So realizing that has only accentuated our growth.
The Mumbrella Awards 2019 ceremony takes place on the 27th of June at The Star in Sydney. With over 900 people attending the awards ceremony last year, winning a Mumbrella Award well and truly puts victors in the industry spotlight.