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We have the pleasure to introduce our new commercial Executive Producer: Daniel Gordon Jones. With decades of experience in advertising agencies and in the Vietnamese Market, Daniel joins our group to reboot the commercial production department.

Daniel J. Gordon Jones

22 years in the creative, media & marketing industry. Building world-class teams producing world-class work. Emphasis on cut-through, creative campaigns, resulting in ROI, profitability & growth for brands. Worked on over 50 ATL campaigns including Lipton, Vinamilk, Heineken, Coors Light, Saigon Special, San Miguel, Honda, Nokia, Perfetti, Wrigley, Nutifood, Wonderfarm, Abbott Labs, TP Bank, BIDV, HSBC, ANZ, Bluescope Steel, Mobifone, SFone.

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Vietnam recently stepped up to the occasion serving as a location on the Legendary Pictures “Kong:  Skull Island.” Speaking to Thanh Nien News (Vietnam’s largest news agency), Director Jordan Voght-Roberts said “[he] chose Vietnam as a filming location as he wanted to offer audiences something new and different, adding that the scenes in Vietnam are among the important ones and would be as stunning as scenes in The Lord of the Rings.”   Ninh Binh Marsh here-s-our-first-behind-the-scenes-look-at-kong-skull-island-929258

And prior to that, Studios such as Warner’s and Paramount extensively surveyed the country for their upcoming productions.  Vietnam is certainly a different place.  Much different from the Hollywood backroom stories told about a certain English Secret Agent filming in Vietnam’s legendary Ha Long Bay, a World Heritage Site almost twenty years before. vlcsnap-error404

America and the World’s impression of Vietnam has changed significantly since the last of the Huey’s took off from the roof of the burning US Embassy building on that fateful April 30, 1975 day.  And while films like The Quiet American was entirely shot throughout Vietnam, long gone are the days where Vietnam would only serve as the backdrop of war.  Though of course, it can and still serves as such, for example in the 2013 war era made for television movie Oriana for RAI Uno. vlcsnap-error674

We, at The Creatv Company, have been privileged to have service-produced both Kong:  Skull Island and The Quiet American.  We also service-produced Oriana, and in addition to those, we’ve been blessed with regular visits from The Amazing Race (and its various franchised versions) along with ABC’s The Bachelor and Warner International’s The World’s Most Dangerous Roads or Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern just to name a few.

 

Image via Warner Brothers
Image via Warner Brothers

It may sound like we are bragging here, as we’re definitely name dropping just a little, but the reality is this, Vietnam has plenty to offer, to both the large and small scale production.  So while we may not have tax incentives (please remember, we are still a developing country!), we do have breathtaking landscapes and vistas, majestic mountains and rough, rugged terrain, but also world wonders’ that make us the perfect backlot.  What we lack in tax rebates and incentives, we make up for in low labour costs! vlcsnap-error023 Add to that, and as proven on Kong:  Skull Island, Vietnam’s government has surely opened it’s doors to the world and more specifically filmmakers and storytellers.  The Prime Minister’s Office, The Ministry of Finance, Customs and Immigration, and The Ministry of Culture through its respective ICD’s  (International Cooperation Department) along with dozens of other Ministries and Departments contributed significantly to Kong’s filming success in Vietnam.  With assistance with work permit visas and customs clearances for an entire cargo plane of filming equipment and over 20 40’ containers of art, machinery and other filming support equipment, Vietnam’s government showed its hand in open collaboration with the filmmakers.  Immigration officers assisted the people charter, helping to expedite work visas, and even greeting them as they arrived on the ground from Immigration through to baggage claim and into their vehicles, ready to hit the road for what promised to be stunning scenes not yet experienced on the big screen.

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As someone who’s spent twenty years helping to build Vietnam’s film industry infrastructure, and contributing to its growth both in terms of domestic volume and depth of experience through the key creatives and crews who have grown with us, we can definitely affirm that Vietnam offers breathtaking range.  We’ve serviced productions under 10K and we’ve serviced productions 200M and everything in between, we are proud to call Vietnam home and offer her majestic beauty to the world’s big and small screen. vlcsnap-error450

Images courtesy of Legendary Pictures and Warner Brothers

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Executive producer John Brunton had one question when thinking about bringing The Amazing Race Canada to Vietnam: could this faraway land of jungles and rivers provide enough technical support for his large crew and contestants?

Yes, was the final answer, but there was a road block or two along the way. Viewers can see for themselves starting with Tuesday’s episode of the show on CTV at 8 p.m. The nine remaining two-person teams race from Calgary to Vancouver then across the international dateline to Hong Kong and finally Vietnam. The first stop there are the vital commercial waterways of the Mekong Delta.

As always, the location was scouted in advance. Brunton’s fears that individuals might falter in the tropical heat were well founded. Temperatures soared close to 40 C during the race in May. Two crew members and two team members needed medical attention.

Brunton insisted the local authorities provide enough electrolytes at each location to keep everybody properly hydrated. “And we got electric lights!” he says, roaring with laughter.

Language problems aside, Brunton says it was important to bring the race somewhere that was “dramatically different” for Season 4. Last season saw teams visit Argentina and Chile as well as India.

The challenge, however, is that in a world that is becoming increasingly dangerous, safe exotic locales are in short supply. Viewers who lived through nightly Vietnam War TV reports in the 1960s and ’70s will now see it as a safe, conflict-free destination, whereas terrorist targets such as London and Paris seem risky.

Brunton checked with the producer of the American version of The Amazing Race, Bertram van Munster, who gave the destination a big thumbs-up. “Then there’s the other factor: what’s affordable? What are the labour costs?”

He found a local contact “of very high integrity, not always the easiest thing to find,” says Brunton, who has dealt with authorities all over the world.

“You have a culture in Chile where the law is very strict,” he says. “If you ever tried to bribe anybody, you could go to jail.” With other jurisdictions, says Brunton, it’s hard to get anything done “without a big roll of dough in your pocket.

“We knew from the outset that this was a pretty reasonably honest place to do business.”

Still, it is communist country with a conservative regime in place. But the red tape was worth it, says Brunton, who saw an opportunity, in the wake of Canada’s generous Syrian refugee efforts to reflect upon a “boat people” story from decades earlier “that is so central to who we are now.”

Jon Montgomery was already well-versed on the virtues of Vietnam. “It’s my parents’ favourite place to visit,” says the 37-year-old host.

Montgomery spoke from a thatched-roof river resort overlooking the swift-flowing delta. Teams will have to board one of the many water taxis docked out front and explain they want to go to the floating market. You can buy everything from live eels to caged rats at the market, the latter fit for frying, according to the locals. Tuesday’s episode will also feature duck herding in the blazing Vietnam sun as well as frog harvesting. A drum dance at a temple is also on the agenda.

Vietnam packs its own culture shocks as teams travel two hours by bus north to Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) for the following week’s episode. Players crammed into buses and sat next to commuters carrying baskets full of fish. “One of the weird things you wouldn’t see back home,” said one team member afterwards.

Once you arrive at Ho Chi Minh City, you can buy “banh mi” — Vietnam baguette sandwiches — for 33,000 dong or a little less than a toonie. Simple, concrete vending stalls stand alongside highrise, North American-style office towers and hotels, with McDonald’s and KFC locations almost as numerous as the swarms of scooters that dart around pedestrians like schools of fish.

Week four will also bring a stop at a local street vendor with an unusual menu: larvae, crickets, centipedes, two live coconut worms and a bat.

That was hard to swallow for at least one team member.

“Their legs kept getting stuck to my teeth,” she said afterwards. “I threw up in my mouth and had to go through it all over again!”

Bill Brioux is a freelance TV columnist based in Brampton, Ont. While in Vietnam, Brioux was a guest of the CTV network.

https://www.thestar.com/entertainment/television/2016/07/11/the-amazing-race-canada-heads-to-vietnam.html

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A Compilation of our best Aerial cinematography work in 2015

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Does your script require exotic locations, breathtaking sceneries, unexploited world marvels? Are you tired of shooting in Thailand, Spain or South Africa? Or does your story simply take place in Vietnam but never thought you could shoot here?
Think Vietnam.
Think CREATV Company, your production partner in S.E. Asia.

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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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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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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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Bizarre Foods episode was shot in Vietnam for a week this November. The CREATV provided the menu and local support to Minneapolis based Tremendous entertainments producers of the US show. Quoting Host and E.P. Andrew Zimmern on wrap day: “Thank you CREATV for the top notch team & international class services”. Thank you Chef!  Stay posted for the broadcast of this episode.

Here is a link to a short behind the scenes of a sequence shot in a night market.

And here a link to an exclusive interview for Asia Life Magazine

 

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