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20 YEARS LATER
06Jan
2016

In 2015, the CREATV Company celebrated 20 years of activity in Vietnam. Being a true pioneer of the film and television industry, we continue to set the standard and have trained a generation of successful filmmakers. We would like to thank our clients and partners over those 20 years and look forward to the exciting times in the decades to come.

Looking back at last year’s business and to write a review about it took me back 20 years, to 1995 when I first set foot in Vietnam. Vietnam had just opened it’s doors to the market economy and the country was reaching out to it’s overseas children to comeback and participate in the reconstruction of the nation.  My father was one of it’s son’s who was called back because of his prestigious aura as inventor and designer. I had just completed a feature length documentary about the uprising of Zapatista rebels in Mexico and was promoting it in L.A, when my Dad sent me a visa invitation right on the day the embargo was lifted.  I landed at Tan Son Nhat in 1995 during a Solar Eclipse, this place was still a secret jewel. Vietnam was turning a page, the future was a blank chapter, we had a dream and we started to write the book. We would make our own films in Vietnam, as well as bringing the largest international productions to shoot here.

In those years, there were no private production companies, we could only work with state owned studios with whom we had a technology transfer contract. The first multi-national companies had just set up business with all major advertising agencies following them; we were settling in and were in high demand of local production to introduce their products. The new struggle was to make international standard productions available in Vietnam.  Imagine that just years before, the concept of brands had not existed and no one had been exposed to television commercials.  Products had no names; they were called soap, shampoo, meat or engine. They were just shown on television when the state couldn’t sell them, so naturally, people had the impression that if products were on television, it was because they were bad. So we had to convince them that TVCs were about good products.

These infancy years were marked by the first Asian financial crisis and the millennium.  The ‘98 crisis was a reality check but Vietnam was granted Most Favoured Nation status the following year. Then private production companies were given licenses to offer their services and Creatv was one of the first of those. Soon we had the Internet.  The Y2K bug never came.  Then we all had mobile phones. By then, the GDP growth was keeping steady and we thought it would never end. These  were the years of the electrification of the nation, processing zones were blooming like mushrooms after the rain and the  first supermarkets opened their doors to millions of curious new customers. This really boosted our industry and the Vietnam creative circle was born.

From 2005, business continued to grow. People were allowed to borrow money, buy and sell land, fortunes were made and then Vietnam entered the World Trade Organization and the concert of the global market. Private Production companies were given more opportunities and were now allowed to produce feature films and television programs. Can you imagine 10 years ago there were less than 30 cinema screens in the the whole country and cable TV was only available in hotels for foreigners. During those years, we still shot on film and had to process the footage overseas. We used 1.4 megabyte diskettes and post production had to be done abroad.

My vision was to make it happen in Vietnam, so very early on, we were the first to develop creative ways to achieve the film-look with digital cameras and started to develop our own post-production department. It has to be noted that most of the TV stations would only accept our commercials on VHS PAL then… We started to be very busy and needed more and more staff to deliver to our clients, so we trained a generation of producers to our international standards. In these years of innocence we discovered many talents who are now on Vietnam’s A-list. A long list of technicians, cameramen, directors, actors and many actresses who were given their first chance with us and who all remember the CREATV film school where they all started.

The industry continued to grow, when the government allowed private TV stations, so just as the theater screens that now almost reach 200, cable TV stations filled our screens with more choices. Then Vietnam was not a secret anymore and new generations of overseas Vietnamese came back to find new opportunities they couldn’t find in their adoptive country. And Vietnamese kids went to study overseas, creating a new pool of local talent.

More recently the dramatic digital age arrived, sending film cameras to the museums and democratizing video making to the world population.  And with that, most of the staff we trained had grown their wings and flew the nest; they opened shop and it was now their turn.  In the last few years, new production houses have been popping up regularly, increasing the competition to an intense level. Meanwhile we have grown bigger and are able to turn this competition into clients who now regularly rent our filming studios.

20 incredible years have passed and we continue to set the standard. There was always another pillar to our development: the international services. Although, it is today more and more difficult to land a small job from a local client, the largest American and European networks and film studios regularly come to The CREATV Company to produce their shows in Vietnam. Our vision is on track, Vietnam is now a place where films can be made. We have come of age. It is now time to fulfill what we came here to achieve. Stay tuned…

2015 in review: Local productions

High-end TV Commercials

Crafting high-end TV commercials in Vietnam for demanding clients and agencies, requires experience, dedication and the upmost commitment to excellence. Shoot and post in Vietnam. The CREATV Company. Dedicated to excellence in everything thing we do.

Click here to view our Commercial Showreel 

2015 went Viral

2015 was another year of continuing changes in media production. Clients and Agencies created hundreds of new spots for the internet. Not all Digital campaigns become Viral, but CREATV’s productions attracted close to 10 Million views.

Browse our Portfolio

From a bird’s eye view

This year, aerial cinematography became a “must-have” requirement for visually stunning productions. The CREATV Company flew drones all across the country: from the North, Center and Southern regions – incorporating some of the most difficult, challenging and thoroughly spectacular locations.

Come fly with me

Studio Facilities

Our film studios were in high demand from other commercial houses in town. CREATV’s  dedication to discrete and confidential support services ensured around the clock assistance to meet any challenge presented. Production friends & associates are always welcome at CREATV Studios!

Follow the guide

 

 

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A Compilation of our best Aerial cinematography work in 2015

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Client: PNJ
Agency: Mirium
Director: Regan Hall
Production & Post: The CREATV Company

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In March, the CREATV Company line produced a TVC in a magical location way up north of Vietnam, at the actual border with China. 20150322_081403 copy You don’t get to the Ban Gioc Waterfalls by chance. You need to deserve them. And the 10 hour ride from Hanoi is the price your body pays to be allowed to discover this astounding location. Listen to my advice, don’t take the Lang Son path as the punishment will be horrific. This road remembered by the French as Route Coloniale 4, the RC4 became the grave of thousands of men in 1950, four years before the debacle of Dien Bien Phu. I recommend you take the Highway through Thai Nguyen province then up the steep winding road all the way North, pass Cao Bang city until the car cannot go further. Across the Quay Son river, you hit China. BAN GIOC china The  Ban Gioc Waterfalls are actually a set of two falls. On the first one – to the left when you arrive onsite, water drops 30 meters from wild vegetation, while the second falls…20150322_105318 which are shared with China are much wider and water drops the height difference in stages. On our scout and shoot, the power outflow was not at it’s maximum as March is still in the dry season. Come June and you can see all the might of that real world marvel. 20150322_111406 copy If you enjoy rock climbing, you will be able to reach the first level of the water system and enjoy the panorama overlooking the site and our northern bordering neighbours. 20150322_155406 copy The shoot was mainly marine and involved a fleet of barges as it needed to accommodate a multi-camera shoot of and Epic and a Phantom for all the High speed shots … 20150326_152208 a Jimmy Jib that came by truck from Ho Chi Minh City, a close to 2000 km / 5 days road trip… 20150326_153937 and 15 production crew and agency clients from Mumbai … 20150326_152752 including their lovely and nonetheless very courageous model. 20150326_152605 The result shows, it was well worth the trip!

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Othello Khanh

Saigon, April 2015

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Immerse yourself in 1967 Vietnam.

This Italian TV series was shot on location in Ho chi Minh City, the Mekong Delta and  the Southern Highlands.

Courtesy of Fandango Italy.

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From time to time, the Creatv Company embarks on a journey that reaches the depths of our soul, and with Dateline (SBS Australia), the Creatv Company did just that! Beginning in Ho Chi Minh City our investigative travels took us to Bien Hoa and Nha Trang where Joe Le searched for a father who only lived in his imagination. More than twenty years later, the journey took Joe to places he only heard or dreamt about, to meet a family he’s only seen photos of, and to a home, only his heart knew just how much it yearned for.
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With great support from our friends at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the lovely locals who guided and aided Joe in his search, and the wonderfully patient Director/DP Catherine Scott, Dateline changed Joe forever, with this once in a lifetime experience!

Watch the full film here:

http://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/video/435486787920/Chasing-the-Dragon-Return-to-Vietnam

see the trailer here:
http://www.sbs.com.au/news/dateline/article/2015/04/24/chasing-dragon-joes-blog

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2014 was a crazy, wacky year full of excitement and emotion. We chased lost planes and delivered mega shows. We had tears of joy and produced exhilarating projects.

Thank you to our amazing clients and partners for giving us the opportunity to work on such cool projects. Above all, a great thank you to our wonderful and loyal teams who gave  life to these ideas. So Long 2014, Hello 2015!

Here is our latest work.

TVC

We had a great commercial season with a wide range of work. From full animation work to live shoots with post overseas as well as finishing in our state of the art in-house post production department.  We shot lifestyle, action, comedy, lots of kids. Although a lot of the work was shot in our sound stage in Saigon we shot a lot on location all across Vietnam.  Our team of producers had the the pleasure to work with directors from continents across the planet: North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

Thank you to our Clients and partner agencies for their continuous support.  A great THANKS to our hard working team who’s made our company what it is for the last two decades.

 INTERNATIONAL SERVICES

On land, on water and in the air. The year started with the broadcast of the Bachelor USA episode we shot for ABC Warner, an extraordinary shoot with a total crew of over 300 heads inclusive of 250 US crew and 10 metric tonnes of equipment in transit. We’re used to big American shows, but this one surpassed anything we had ever line-produced before. Job was done on time, within budget and safely in Danang between two Typhoons hitting the central coast.  Our second large scale project came from Italy: ORIANA, a period miniseries taking place in the late 60′s. We reconstituted a bombing and its aftermath in old Saigon, the furious battle of Dak To in the central highlands and had the full support of the Vietnamese Army who let us film the Bien Hoa Airbase and their Bell-Huey helicopters.

In the wee hours of March 8, our MD received a laconic phone call: “Hi, this is the New York news desk, can you pass some phone calls for us?”  It was ABC News and they were looking for a plane that went missing as it was entering the Vietnamese waters. This was an intense job as we set up teams in Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia for about 3 weeks to cover the investigation for the major US Network. The plane was never to be seen again. We closed the year with a less emotionally charged topic, proving research and production support for another US network show: Andrew Zimmern had decided to return to Vietnam to shoot a second “Bizarre Food” episode, this time in Ho Chi Minh City. Stand by for more news as the show will air on the Travel Channel in early 2015!

 DIGITAL

The news hit the prompters this December. Google announced that Vietnam became the 3 largest country per capita – after the USA and Japan – to consume video through mobile devices. This trend was confirmed by the growth of our productions in this department.  In February Pepsi and BBDO invited us to follow 2 chartered planes bringing home 364 less fortunate students and factory workers who were given a chance to return to their home town and regroup with their family after years of separation. A lot emotion for this Tet program. Later in the year we produced a series of web documentaries for AIA Insurance and their Agency Bates, Chi & Partners. This heartwarming series follows real people, their real challenges and how they deal with them.  The AIA “Real Life Never Stops”  Youtube channel received numerous visitors.

The CREATV company worked with Client Bee Talk to introduce their new application in Vietnam. The fun and youthful film features pop sensation Thao Nhi as she builds up a band to perform in a park. Another musical piece was produced for the launch of Vietnamese blockbuster “Huong Ga”. This Music Video shot in Mui Ne features movie Star Truong Ngoc Anh in leather and lace, rocking away in the desert amongst scorpios, flaming oil drums and memories from her past. We also produced two online films for Lowe Vietnam and their client Unilever for their products Omo and Omo Matic. check them out.

OTHER SERVICES

Other notable works in 2014 include “Gentle” a Feature Film produced by our partner CoCo Paris LLC whom we assisted as a local production partner. We also produced 2 oil and gas related corporate films for Petro Vietnam and French company Perenco. These projects included offshore aerial cinematography and follow a long line of oil and gas projects.

Our facilities were quite busy as well: another season of Vietnam’s Next Top Model was shot in our studios and our post production facilities got a major upgrade with DaVinci Resolve Grading and Smoke Online to complete our one stop shop services.

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An Epic commercial for Saigon Beer, the pride of Vietnam. The journey takes us through the modernisation of the Nation from its roots: the rice paddies of the Mekong Delta, the mountains of the North and their noble ethnic minorities & the beautiful  beaches and their valiant fishermen … to the modern world it is today.

Client: Sabeco

Product: Saigon Beer

Agency: Lowe Vietnam

Production House: The CREATV Company

Post: CREATV Post

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Follow the Alpenliebe Fresh candy as it travels all around Vietnam bringing joy to people from Hanoi, Hochiminh City,  the Mekong Delta, the Mountains of Dalat and back to the Northern Capital.

A fun and bubbly job created by the Lowe Vietnam team and produced in collaboration with Oriental films, Montevideo, Uruguay and the CREATV Company in Saigon.

Client: Alpenliebe VN
Agency: Lowe Vietnam
ECD: Carlos Camacho Martinez
EP: Vanessa Hurst
Production: Oriental Uruguay – The Creatv Company Vietnam

 

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