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At the close of another year we gratefully pause to say THANK YOU.
It has been an honor and a pleasure to work with you this year.
Best wishes for a Happy Holiday Season and our sincere thanks to those who have made our progress possible. We appreciate your loyalty and goodwill.

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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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The CREATV Company facilitated 3 episodes of The Amazing Race Israel Season 5.

The 11 Hanoi locations were scouted and prepped months before the Israeli crew arrived. It was an amazing-crazy day as the 3 seventy minute episodes were all shot in just a 24-hour day!

An intense production as per the Wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HaMerotz_LaMillion_5

 

Leg 10 (South Korea → Vietnam)

The view of Turtle Tower around HoànKiếm Lake in Hanoi was the Detour for this leg of the Race.

Airdate: 30 August, 4 & 6 September 2016

At the Hanoi Opera House, teams had to stand on the roof and watch the busy roundabout below, on the look-out for seven numbers found on marked vehicles and people. Once they have all seven numbers, they had to head to a nearby motorcycle parking lot and find one of a few license plates matching all seven numbers to receive their next clue. This was also where they had to vote the team that would be U-Turned.

At Hoàn Kiếm Lake, teams faced this leg’s detour, where they chose between Slow & Fast. In Slow, teams had to perform thirty minutes of Tai Chi to receive their next clue. In Fast, teams had to perform Cardio Aerobics to receive their next clue. Once they completed their respective detours, they were directed to the U-Turn board at Trúc Bạch Lake.

At Trúc Bạch Lake Marina, teams had to ride in a swan boat, where they took a mandatory break from the Race.

At Tu Lien School, teams faced the Double-Battle for this leg. In this challenge, one team member must perch themselves on a thin pole while maintaining balance and trying to knock their opponent off the log in order to score a point. The first team to score two points receives their next clue, while the loser waits for the next team to battle.

At the Temple of Literature, Teams would pick up a pair of shoulder harnesses with baskets and fill them with rice. They would then carry the rice along a marked path around the temple until they reached a set of scales, where they would weigh their rice. Once teams reached a total of 284kg of rice – the amount that an average Vietnamese family consumes in a year, they received their next clue.

At Lenin Park, teams would find a series of blocks on the ground. One team member would stand on the starting block, while their partner would retrieve bamboo ladders of varying lengths from a large pile. They could only lay down ladders if they fit perfectly between a pair of blocks. Teams needed to find a way to use their limited amount of ladders to cross all of the blocks to reach their next clue.

At Nghia Mai, teams had to find a marked coal shop, where teams would use local tools to make 30 round coal bricks, a traditional Vietnamese fuel source, using wet coal. They would then have to use tongs to pick up four bricks, two per team member, and carry them through the neighbourhood without damaging them or putting them down. Once they delivered them to a marked vendor, she would use them to power her stoves and give the teams the next clue.

At Thu Le Park Zoo, teams would have to learn how to perform a traditional Chinese lion dance. During the dance, teams would need to jump across a series of platforms while wearing the lion costume, taking care not to fall off. If successful, teams would receive their next clue taking them to Hung Lien Bun Cha Restaurant

At Hung Lien Bun Cha Restaurant, teams would have to eat the entire contents of the foul-smelling durian, freshly picked off the tree. Once they finish their meal, teams would receive their next clue.

At the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, teams had to enter a specific building, where they would find 1500 Vietnamese ‘non’ hats. One team member had to look through the hats for one with a tiny race flag on the underside. For every hat they picked up, they would have to place it on the head of their partner, continuing to stack them up higher and higher. If the hats fell off of their head at any point, the team would have to serve a 10-minute penalty before continuing. Once teams found the hat with the tiny race flag, they could exchange it for their next clue, directing them to the Pit Stop at the Imperial Citadel of Thăng Long.

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The Creatv Company is proud to showcase it’s latest production in Offshore Exploration documentation. Russian Oil and Gas giant Rosneft chose the CREATV Company to produce a documentary about their 2016 Vietnam Drilling Campaign. The footage was shot from February to April 2016 in the Nam Con Son Basin, in HCMC and in Vung Tau.

Rosneft drilling still 2Rosneft drilling online 280616 eng.00_04_19_02.Still003

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Agents James and Jamie get acquainted with the new SYM Shark Mini. Gadget Master Mr. S presents our Agents with their new ride and how it will help them with their everyday missions.

Client: SYM

Agency: MullenLowe

Director: Mat Legaria

Production and Post: The Creatv Company

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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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