Two Bearded Men take the heat

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Two Bearded Men is a production company founded by Tim Pierce & Toby Crawford, hailing from the heart of the Deep South. From the day TBM was born, the company has stayed true to their roots, cutting global business from the quaint town of Wanaka. M+AD had a chat to these hairy buggers as they cracked into a new year of business.

For the audience not familiar with Two Bearded men, you’ve got 30 seconds to tell us a bit of background! GO!
Beards: Essentially, Two Bearded Men was formed by two best mates with an incredible passion for story-telling. We’ve always had a non-conventional, get your hands dirty kind of approach to film making and have fallen in love with the process, people, art and the incredibly fast paced industry that we work in.

Our company has grown over the years, we are now employing hundreds of people annually, but the nuts and bolts of it all is exactly the same as the day we started – we love to tell a good story, and have a good yarn!

How have you managed to run a global production company, from the small country town of Wanaka?
Beards: We both grew up in this town and after many years away travelling and working, we realised we both wanted to set roots down here. There’s been plenty of challenges to launching this business from here, but technology and the Wright brothers’ wonderful invention has allowed us to offer our services remotely for productions filmed here and all around the globe.

Once clients realise how easily we can achieve pre and post remotely and how easily we can travel to location (or how easy it is to bring them down here to paradise), they never really question the location of the office.

We’re also lucky to have an amazing group of very talented people in every area of film production, living in Wanaka and Queenstown because they love it. The people here have such passion for life and their environment, and this is reflective in all their work.

Clients want to film here, and when they don’t, we’re nimble enough to travel lightly to any location around NZ and the globe.

What happens if you shave your beards?
Beards: Ahhhh the age old question! If either of us does not have hairs on our face, we will stop making films. That is our oath, and our dedication to film making (this may, or may not be true!).

It seems you do a very diverse range of work within advertising and media, tell us about this?
Beards: Indeed. As a company we take on work of all scales from digital content, advertising, documentaries, TV series, short films and features. We love any form of story, for any form of screen and we have access to so many great crew to help pull each different project together.

“Clients want to film here, and when they don’t, we’re nimble enough to travel lightly to any location around NZ and the globe.”

Which directors do you work with? Do you have a large roster?
Beards: We are stoked to be working with a range of directors all around the globe. When briefs roll in our door, we pick the best person for the job and build the right teams of people around them to produce the job most efficiently for our clients.

We also work with a range of very talented photographers.

The media industry moves so fast now, we’ve always been flexible and use the best crew for the brief, regardless of where they are in the world or where the job is in the world.

You’ve just released a bunch of great tvcs for Trade Me, how did that come about?
Beards: Yeah we had a blast with that one! Scott Henderson from Special Ad Service dropped us a line about the campaign and we jumped at the chance to bring the job to our home soil.

We bought in one of our favourite directors, Josh Whiteman, and shot it all in Wanaka. It ain’t all outdoors and action down here. We’ll often find ourselves blacking out windows with views of stunning snow-capped Southern Alps to shoot interior scenes! Strange but true.

What else about the TBM model helps to make it such a success from the small town of Wanaka?
Beards: We’re adaptable. We love to work on jobs of all shapes and sizes and we love to work with Clients & Agencies to come up with the best solutions to their problems.

We also run a Stock Footage library which is a great bolt on to our business. Stock footage has traditionally had a bad name, as it was known for generic, boring and stale material. Not the case any more! We have a library of of many genres from all over the world.

It’s great for clients who don’t have the budget to shoot, or need to fill a few scenes in a commercial.

You boys have a lot of drive! What keeps you going and what may we see from you in the future?
Beards: I think what keeps us going is the constant evolution to improve our craft, to be original, and come up with new angles for our clients. We’re definitely driven by creativity and results. We’re always trying to stay ahead of the game and keep innovating, playing with the best ideas and latest tech.

Production is such a great blend of creative and business coming together in one radical melting pot. I think we’ll always have a huge passion for this industry no matter what format we’re telling stories in.

The people we work with are also a huge part of what keeps us in this game.

As far as the future goes, our teams are expanding along with our territories and we’re gonna keep on telling good stories all around the globe.


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