One thing leads to another: Augusto's role in getting Discovery's Everest Rescue off the ground

  • Media
  • March 10, 2017
  • Damien Venuto
One thing leads to another: Augusto's role in getting Discovery's Everest Rescue off the ground

Quite often, the best ideas are spurred on by a seemingly innocuous moment that sets off a chain reaction of events.

For Augusto, such a moment occurred several years ago when the cousin of co-founder Leon Kirkbeck found himself sleeping on the sofa of a rescue helicopter pilot who spent every climbing season saving mountaineers in the Himalayas.

“Woody [Mark Woodward, the cousin] told us that Jason Laing [the helicopter pilot] is an amazing guy and that we should do something with him,” remembers executive producer Cass Avery.

Not long thereafter the team at Augusto met legendary pilot Mike Allsop, something of a legend in the rescue space, and they decided to get the ball rolling on an ambitious series about helicopter pilots in Nepal that would eventually come be known as Everest Rescue (currently airing on Sky).

But things didn’t exactly go according to plan from there. In 2014, the year they intended to start filming, the avalanche struck, taking the lives of 16 sherpas and mountaineers. Then, in April 2015, an enormous earthquake wreaked havoc in the lives of thousands living in the around the Himalayas.

Fortunately, none of the Augusto team were present during either of these events, but there were some serious question marks over whether or not they would pursue the project at all.

However, the team didn’t give up. The team at Augusto believed there was still a story worth telling—particularly, given the horrors of the previous two years.  


(Sealy and Avery shortly after landing at Lukla, Nepal, often dubbed 'the most dangerous airport in the world') 

“The whole thing sounded completely nuts,” says Sealy. “Pilots flying as high as camp three with people dangling from the bottom of helicopters that have had the doors and seats removed so as to fly even higher. We knew we had to make this show.”

Discovery agreed that it was an idea worth backing, especially in light of the dearth of documentary footage caused by the fact that filming became incredibly difficult in the aftermath of the earthquake. 

Adding further intrigue to the whole scenario was the fact that it follows a collection of protagonists—one of which is Kiwi—mad enough to risk their lives every time they suit up for work.

As Avery says: “They all do it for different reasons, but they generally have very altruistic motivations.”

She says that the job for many pilots doesn’t end when all the rescues have been made. Because the roads are in a constant state of disrepair—or sometimes non-existent—helicopters play an important role in transporting people and goods from one area to the next. This, in turn, leads to the pilots being very involved in the day-to-day lives of everyone on the ground. All of which adds additional layers of narrative perspective to a concept that’s already strong enough on its own.

This is, of course, not the first documentary series that Augusto has worked on. Just last year, the agency worked closely with Richie McCaw to produce the hugely successful Chasing Great feature-length film (also set to air on Sky this Sunday).

Avery says the team is eager to do more long-form work in the coming years.

“It’s definitely been one of our focuses,” she says. “We’ve already done a lot of comedic pieces, TV shows and documentaries, and we have more in the pipeline.”

In addition to providing an additional source of revenue, Sealy also points out that this kind of work also benefits the commercial side of the business because of the talent it attracts.

He says the best talent joins Augusto because they know they’ll have the opportunity to work on big, ambitious projects in the future.

This same talent can then also applied their carefully honed skills to the ads and content produced for brands.

Sealy believes that this point of difference helps Augusto to have conversations about quality rather than price—something which hasn’t been easy, at a time when many clients want as much content for as cheap as possible. 

“It’s been a real struggle in recent years to have that discussion about quality, but we are now finally seeing clients approach us because of the quality stuff we’ve produced,” Sealy says.

And in terms of those big quality projects, Sealy says there’s another pretty substantial project on the cards.

“We’re in late discussions with another US broadcaster about the global release of another project,” he says.

Asked for additional information, Sealy laughs and simply says: “We can’t confirm or deny anything at this stage.” 

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.

Third quarter strongest so far in 2019 for out-of-home sector

  • Media
  • October 21, 2019
  • StopPress Team
Third quarter strongest so far in 2019 for out-of-home sector

The Out-of-Home Media Association of New Zealand (OMANZ) has reported the continued growth of the out-of-home sector with net media revenue in the July – September 2019 period increasing by 22 percent year-on-year.

Read more
TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards: sKids and Nestlé get kids cooking, win Best Collaboration
features

TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards: sKids and Nestlé get kids cooking, win Best Collaboration

sKids and Nestlé proved the perfect pair to get Kiwi kids cooking healthy meals.

Blind & Low Vision NZ hopes to opens up visual world

  • Advertising
  • October 21, 2019
  • StopPress Team
Blind & Low Vision NZ hopes to opens up visual world

Blind & Low Vision NZ, YoungShand and Pead PR have teamed up to make the Internet more accessible by asking individuals and businesses to use the ‘Alt Text’ function when publishing digital images in the ‘#AltTextForAll Movement’.

Read more
topics
Story IQ
Story IQ
Story IQ is a brand story consultancy. We help brands uncover the hidden, untold stories ...
Up-and-Comers
Up-and-Comers
We give the mic to the industry's future leaders to hear their thoughts on media, ...
Insight Creative
Insight Creative
Insight Creative specialises in shaping business stories out the core insights that often lie under ...
The Stoppies 2018
The Stoppies 2018
In February (Valentine's Day to be exact), StopPress gathered the industry for an evening of ...
Follow The Money
Follow The Money
Follow the money. It’s an axiom that journalists have believed in for years and a ...
Regional Rundown
Regional Rundown
StopPress takes a trip down the country to see who the audiences and agencies are ...
Beyond the Page 2018
Beyond the Page 2018
In conjunction with the MPA, the Beyond the Page series shows how some of the ...
Beneath the Surface
Beneath the Surface
In this series, brought to you by Microsoft, we talk to a conceptual photographer, illustrator ...
20/20 (tele)vision
20/20 (tele)vision
Media consumption is changing. But by how much?
The Hot List
The Hot List
Our rundown of the hottest shows, brands and creators in New Zealand media. 1. magazine ...
Cannes Lions 2017
Cannes Lions 2017
All the winners, the shortlists and the drama from this year's edition of advertising biggest ...
Bauer Beyond the Page
Bauer Beyond the Page
When it comes to creating branded content, there are few better in the Kiwi market ...
Merger Mania
Merger Mania
All our stories on the nation's two failed mergers in one place
The Indies
The Indies
Over the course of this series of articles, we look at how always-nimble indy agencies ...
AdRoll on automation
AdRoll on automation
Marketing automation is tipped to eventually become the only way advertising is traded in the ...
Game Changers
Game Changers
It’s all about PEOPLE. Join us as we discuss global insights, ideas and innovations from ...
TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards 2015
TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards 2015
Celebrating all the winners of the 2015 TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards.
Future Tense
Future Tense
In a new series, StopPress talks to a range of newsmakers currently trying to shine ...
Beyond the Page
Beyond the Page
In conjunction with the MPA, the Beyond the Page series shows how some of the ...
Up Country
Up Country
In conjunction with News Works, the Up Country series talks with some of New Zealand's ...
Sounding off
Sounding off
As part of a content partnership with MediaWorks, we've asked a few of the company's ...
StopPress Podcasts
StopPress Podcasts
We sit down for a chat with industry leaders to find out what they're up ...

Tap to donate charity billboards hit the streets

  • advertising
  • October 21, 2019
  • StopPress Team
Tap to donate charity billboards hit the streets

The first-ever tap and go donation panel has hit our streets thanks to oOh!media. The bus shelter allows passengers to tap their eftpos card to make a three dollar donation to the Breast Cancer Foundation.

Read more

I'm still standing after BOTAB

  • Opinion
  • October 18, 2019
  • Courtney Devereux
I'm still standing after BOTAB

Last night our nations finest agencies gathered together at Galatos for the Battle of the Ad Bands (BOTAB) held by Flying Fish productions. There was singing, there was dancing, there was no lack of feathers and glitter, and most important there were some very deserving winners.

Read more
voices

Social scoreboard

Zavy and StopPress have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

Movings/Shakings: 18 October

  • Movings/Shakings, brought to you by Marsden Inch
  • October 18, 2019
  • StopPress Team
Movings/Shakings: 18 October

Industry happenings at Verizon Media, We Are Frank and MiQ.

Read more
“There will always be people to guide and help inform our decisions”: The state of influencer marketing in New Zealand
features

“There will always be people to guide and help inform our decisions”: The state of influencer marketing in New Zealand

Following the birth of social influencers, we speak to The Social Club’s Georgia McGillivray about how the industry is taking off in New Zealand as marketers see results.

Dean Buchanan departing NZME

  • News
  • October 18, 2019
  • StopPress Team
Dean Buchanan departing NZME

NZME's group director of entertainment, Dean Buchanan, has announced today that he will be departing the business on 29 November after six years in the role.

Read more

StopPress noticeboard: 18 October

  • Noticeboard
  • October 18, 2019
  • StopPress Team
StopPress noticeboard: 18 October

Launches, expansions and acquisitions across the Industry.

Read more

MediaWorks to sell TV business

  • Media
  • October 18, 2019
  • StopPress Team
MediaWorks to sell TV business
Michael Anderson

MediaWorks has announced it intends to sell MediaWorks TV as well as its Flower Street property which includes its television head office and studios. It will retain ownership of radio and QMS.

Read more

MediaWorks comedy cuts points to bigger TV problems

  • Media
  • October 17, 2019
  • Radio New Zealand
MediaWorks comedy cuts points to bigger TV problems
Jeremy Corbett - and a slice of cheese - on 7 Days / Photo: screenshot /3Now

Broadcaster MediaWorks is cutting key local TV comedies. Mediawatch says It’s a further sign of the company’s deepening problems and wider troubles in free-to-air television, and is also a headache for the broadcasting funding agency New Zealand On Air.

Read more

Battle of the billboards on Ponsonby Road

  • Advertising
  • October 17, 2019
  • StopPress Team
Battle of the billboards on Ponsonby Road
Photo: Vaughn Davis (Twitter)

On Ponsonby Road, a Lumo digital billboard has been spotted in front of a JCDecaux billboard. StopPress went to the players involved to ask what was going on.

Read more
Sparking authentic conversations with Populr
Sponsored content

Sparking authentic conversations with Populr

Influencer Month kicks off with New Zealand's leading influencer marketing platform, Populr. Here, managing director, James Polhill, talks about sparking authentic conversations between brands, influencers and their fans, while reaching millions of customers across all major platforms.

Lisa Fedyszyn and Jonathan McMahon to depart Stanley St

  • Advertising
  • October 17, 2019
Lisa Fedyszyn and Jonathan McMahon to depart Stanley St

Executive creative directors Lisa Fedyszyn and Jonathan McMahon have resigned from Stanley St.

Read more

Bridging the digital divide: New Zealand’s first Think With Google event

  • Events
  • October 17, 2019
  • Caroline Rainsford
Bridging the digital divide: New Zealand’s first Think With Google event

This week marked New Zealand's very first Think With Google event, 'Bridging the Digital Divide'. Here, country director of Google New Zealand Caroline Rainsford shares how these events will help create meaningful business connections.

Read more
Next page
Results for
Topics
Jobs
About

StopPress provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2019 ICG Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

Advertise

Contact Vernene Medcalf at +64 21 628 200 to advertise in StopPress.

View Media Kit