Tango gets up close with Bot Inc

Bot Inc is thrilled to be working with prestigious service company Tango Production in Poland! Established in 1993, Tango have provided film services to a huge portfolio of clients including MJZ, Knucklehead, Partizan to name a few. From mountains, castles & palaces, seaside & lakes to cityscapes & soviet landscapes, Poland has it all on offer plus you’ll be looked after by the fantastic Julia Bidakowska Andrén & Gosia Zatorska! We have it on good authority that the vodka’s not bad either…!

Bot Inc moves to the seaside!

And we’ve got a brand spanking new client! A warm welcome to The Progress Film Company. Based in Brighton, Progress is a contemporary film studio making commercials, content, animation, branded entertainment and feature-length cinema. Bot Inc will be providing all sales & PR consultancy services so please get in touch! Or you can watch this lovely film below and come join us for a drink and a nose at our studios by the sea side.

http://progressfilm.co.uk/studio/

Watson Production discuss the merits of shooting in Spain

Fancy 300 days of sunshine? Great interview with Cem Celik and Chloe Graham from Watson Production and Little Black Book on the benefits of shooting in Mallorca and Spain.

Cem Celik, MD of Watson Production, gives the lowdown on production in Mallorca

Watson Production Shines Light on Shooting in Spain and Its Islands

Watson Production is a Mallorca-based production service company working across the Balearics, mainland Spain, and the Canary Islands. Founded in 1991, the company specialised in fashion stills before expanding into TVCs and film production services.

Here, Managing Director Cem Celik speaks about the current production climate in Spain, the benefits of taking your shoot to Mallorca and how his time in the Turkish national service helped him hone his skills. 

Q> Cem, tell us a bit about Watson Production and how it came about?

CC> Watson Production was started in the early ´90s as mainly a fashion stills production service company. Since acquiring the company almost a decade ago, I have developed Watson into the media and TVC advertising spheres, managing commercials for both smaller and international, globally recognised brands. We continue to grow year after year.

In 2015, multilingual UK producer and creative Chloe Graham joined the Watson team, working on developing Watson´s international exposure and production for feature film and TV drama content, most recently producing a TV series for Finnish clients.


Chloe Graham and Cem Celik

Q> You have an eclectic background. You’ve worked at a London agency, as a project manager, in the national service… Do you think these experiences have helped get you where you are today?

CC> Definitely! My story began with the BBC where I worked as a fixer for documentaries in Turkey during my university years. This experience later gave me the confidence to take on the responsibility of managing Watson Production. As I was Turkish-born, I was required to complete my national service in Belgium working at the NATO HQs during the Bosnian crisis in the mid ’90s. There I learned the best communication protocols and IT skills. I just loved being part of an international crew!

Consequently, I moved to the UK and started working in advertising agencies as a technical project manager. Over 12 years I helped create solutions and became part of the digital advertising industry as a consultant and project manager before deciding to make the move to Watson Production in Mallorca. My time spent at Soup advertising agency in the UK has given me a wide breadth of experience in designing and developing innovative solutions for clients like NTL, RBS, Sony Ericcson, Fujifilm and Innocent drinks. I have always enjoyed being one of the pioneers of the industry, (I was one of the first to put a car on a sandy beach), and still love the challenges each project gives.

Q> What do you think are the main issues when it comes to production service? Do you think the current volatile political climate plays a big factor in hosting production in Mallorca and Spain?

CC> I think the biggest challenges we face in production service have been offering the latest equipment and crew within the agreed budget in relatively safe and secure environments. Mallorca always has more than 300 days of sunshine including winter months.

Over the years we have established a high standard of infrastructure for all our services in Mallorca locally and in the rest of Spain we continue to provide the highest quality service. The volatile political climate is a challenge for us all but thankfully Spain and especially Mallorca has kept itself away from the turbulence experienced in other countries so far. Britain’s decision for Brexit has brought inflation and economic instability but to be honest it is still much cheaper to shoot in Mallorca at the moment than in the UK.

Q> There seems to be a trend of smaller outfits setting up in production and facilitating smaller projects with lower budgets. What would you consider the benefits of this?

CC> This has always been one of the challenges and I agree it will continue to be. We will still try to give our best service regardless of the budget. We also have found that some clients like the more personal ‘hands on’ approach and we can assure that we will give our full undivided attention to every single project that comes through our door. In fact, some of our clients love our services so much, we have travelled far for them to produce away from our base as far as Canaries, Ibiza, Barcelona and even Italy. Turkey is still a possibility. I must thank them here for still believing in us.

Q> Mallorca seems to particularly be rising in popularity recently. Why do you think this is?

CC> UK dramas such as ‘Mad Dogs’ and ‘The Night Manager’ have portrayed Mallorca’s versatility and helped its popularity. Although some service giants in Mallorca and Barcelona set higher prices and lesser flexibility due to their oversized operations, the world is moving towards more boutique and personal touch with more realistic and competitive prices in the current market. At Watson we try to show our strength in quality, service and flexibility. Plus Mallorca is only a couple of hours from London and has incredible picturesque locations! Right?

Q> Considering the pound is weak at the moment, why would you persuade companies to shoot in Mallorca as opposed to shooting in London?

CC> In terms of versatility of locations, climate, proximity and ease of travel form the UK, Mallorca is one of the best options out there. With our access to brand new equipment and world class multi-lingual crew we can compete with anywhere in the world as value for money.

We recently had a TVC studio shoot whose agency commented to us that it was cheaper for them to fly out their entire creative and technical team, set build, and shoot three TVC spots with us than it would have been back at their regular studio in the UK.

Cheaper model buyouts, coupled with relatively cheaper equipment and crew, as well as a quick turn around of location permits and casting services all help us achieve stunning results with high efficiency. We have always worked hand in hand with the Mallorca Film commission for local incentives and help is always there when we need it most.

Q> What do you consider the hidden gems of Mallorca that people may or may not know? 

CC> I have to say until I produced in Ibiza and Canaries I hadn’t realised how beautiful and versatile Mallorca is compared to the rest of the islands. Mallorca has a staggering 4 million population during summer months but the better road network allows us to get to most of the island under an hour, thankfully.

 

Q> What’s next for Watson?

CC> I’d love Watson to always be ahead of the challenges we may face and continue to work with the Mallorca film commission to create better solutions in every area of production service. Recently we have shot a TV episode for Finland, for which the local government helped us create amazing results at lower costs. Our main aim is to convince people to come to shoot in Mallorca and Spain who may not have been before. We have a lot to offer in Mallorca, great locations, good wine, a fun crew and you can guarantee you’ll have a brilliant time when you’re here.

 

The Cannes Vet. v’s The Cannes Virgin

We were asked to provide “advice” for Cannes first-timers by Little Black Book. Basically the moral of the story is, don’t listen to us. You’ll have a much better time!! Here’s the interview in full. #canneslions2017

Seasoned Croisette-goer Ellie Botwood shares tips with first timer, music consultant Imogen Pring of GOLDSTEIN – but will she take heed?

The Cannes Vet vs. the Cannes Virgin

Cannes has grown beyond recognition and for a first time attendee, it can all seem quite overwhelming. Thankfully there are experienced hands who have been 5, 6, or even 15 years on the trot. These are the people you want to get close to. They will keep you right. Right? Or are they rosé-hardened bad influences?

Ellie Botwood, who runs Bot Inc and Imogen Pring will be putting that to the test. Ellie – the seasoned Cannes hand – is passing some genuinely practical pearls of wisdom… and post-Lions we’ll catch up with Imogen, our Cannes virgin, to find out how she gets on. Will she take heed or throw caution to the wind?

1. Be Frugal. On arrival, ask people from your flight if they want to share a cab to Cannes. The likelihood they are heading to the Croisette is extremely high and means you won’t have to fork out €100 yourself. Also stock up on plenty of food & water from the local supermarket. Unless you want to wander aimlessly at 3am and then paying €30 for a plate of soggy chips.

Luckily I arrived with two colleagues which meant my cab fare was bearable, even if the heat wasn’t. I took the sound advice with regards to stocking up on arrival – our boss bought enough camembert and Kronenbourg to rival the larders of most Doomsday preppers!

2. Leave the pool party early. Took me until Cannes 4 to learn this valuable lesson. As fun as it is, don’t stay until the bitter end. You can GUARANTEE there will be no cabs and it’s a long walk down from the mountains. Leave an hour before it finishes. Freshen up. Hydrate. Eat. Snooze. Shower. Hit the town again fresh as a daisy. Also, drunk and in beach wear on the Carlton Terrace is not the best look.

This tip was the saving grace for many an evening. Had I not made post-pool party retreats back to the icy cool apartment for tactical disco naps, I can guarantee that I would not have made it through the night. 

3. Ask for business cards. If you have a shocking short term memory like me, you will never remember conversations and names unless prompted. Cards help jog the memory. Look them up back home and say “Great to meet you in Cannes”. More than likely they won’t remember who you are either. Failing that, make notes in your phone when you nip to the loo. Life saver!

Our list of new contacts is brilliant, albeit fairly overwhelming – and it’s thanks to business cards that we’ve been able to put it together. One thing that is actually slightly disturbing, however, is that I can’t remember when or where I got many of them.

4. Stay within this side of the motorway. Unless you are heading to a glamorous villa party there is absolutely no reason to go beyond the motorway. It’s like a no go barrier. Treat it that way.

I actually stayed the other side of the motorway, so I broke this rule quite frequently. I also had probably one of the best meals in Cannes on the other side of the motorway…! Unfortunately we’re going to keep the name to ourselves… sorry!

5. Never offer to buy a drink at the Carlton past 8pm. You will end up paying treble for the house rose. And no one will be none the wiser. Except your wallet. And probably your boss. Don’t be fooled by the Jeroboam’s either. They look great fun, and so they should at €500 a pop.

oops….

6. Apply suntan lotion in the morning. Rouge isn’t the best look in Soho. It is absolutely unacceptable in the Cote D’Zur.

I’m pale and British – there’s no way I’m not applying suntan lotion! 

7. Get on a yacht. If you are invited, cancel everything and go. It’s truly amazing. Unless it’s the Daily Mail yacht. Then avoid like the plague.

I cancelled all my plans when I was invited to the Wall Street Journal yacht, for which I’m incredibly glad to have done. After staring gormlessly at Helen Mirren while sipping champagne, and being treated to a mini performance of the National Theatre’s upcoming Amadeus, we were whisked away to the News Corp Chateau. I have never seen quite so much wealth in such a small space, not that I was complaining – and seeing Ed Sheeran play in someone’s back garden was quite something!

8. Escape to Mougins. Or anywhere out of Cannes. Take stock for a few hours, take in where you are, refresh and not hate everyone and everything for a few hours.

All the brief moments that allowed for some respite from the madness felt few and far between – the highlights were accidentally exploring the Old Town while getting rather lost, and the occasional party in the hills. I also fell asleep on a sunbed on my last day which was blissful yet foolish, as it was a rather expensive mistake! 

9. Know when the night is over. If it’s 6:30am and the bin men are cleaning the gutter bar, it’s a clear sign to go home.

Moving on to triple gin and tonics at the gutter bar at 5:30am is not the one – especially after a day spent awkwardly transitioning between beer and wine, only to give up on finding a ratio that isn’t utterly nauseating!

10. What happens in Cannes, stays in Cannes. This is true. Until you have a screening at BBH in two weeks’ time. Remember it’s still business. Try not to be a dick. People will remember. Trust me.

Thankfully, I wasn’t ‘that’ person, although I heard many stories.

11. Remember to Power Up. Should you be caught short with a dreaded dead phone, go and find the wonderful music people at GOLDSTEIN, or their sister folk at DOLCE, for a branded phone charger.

And last, but, perhaps, most importantly…

12. Don’t get completely hammered on the first night. We’ve all done it. It just means the next few days will be VERY long.

Did this on the second night instead… I would suggest avoiding the Gutter Bar the day before going on a yacht – hangovers aren’t conducive to sturdy sea legs.