NZ Story announces the eight agencies to make up its ‘Creative Collective’

NZ Story has announced the first eight production companies selected for the ‘Creative Collective’, a pre-qualified supplier list for local businesses looking to share their message globally.

The listed companies that met NZ Story’s criteria include 90 Seconds, 99, Cadre Productions, Fisheye Films, Satellite Media, Socialize, Transmit & Cine Timore and Toybox. 

At the end of July, NZ Story sent the call out to production companies to apply for the ‘Creative Collective’ after it found many businesses didn’t know where to start when looking for a production company. They found that many were apprehensive about how much it would cost and finding one that had the right skills for the job.

“For some businesses it’s quite scary,” says NZ Story director Rebecca Smith.

She says before the ‘Creative Collective’, NZ Story would offer businesses names of production companies, but it was a hard task with no criteria in place.

“So we said, let’s put together a collective of producers and people who we can vet to a degree and who meet our criteria. And then we can pass that list onto our customers who ask for that information, in the knowledge that those people are going to be able to suit their needs or meet their needs, and provide for them in a way that is trusted by us,” Smith says.

But apart from providing the list, NZ Story is not involved in the selection process and Smith says businesses may choose two or three production companies to pitch for the work, or just select one from the get go.

She does, however, say there is some fall back on NZ Story and if issues arise, businesses can get in touch with it for support and advice.

45 production companies answered the call with submissions and Smith says all were fantastic, but the panel was able to bring that down to eight according to the criteria.

“We were looking for businesses who were able to really bring the New Zealand story to life,” Smith says, so it met with the production companies to see examples of work and hear their pitches.

As well as a proven track record of storytelling, the panel were looking for those that could operate at a range of levels (from low-end low cost to medium and higher level) and value for money. It also wanted to ensure there was a spread across the country and verify that every production company in the collective was New Zealand based – a vital aspect for the New Zealand story.

And while eight production companies have been selected so far, submissions remain open. However, Smith says once NZ Story has had a chance to assess how much work is involved and get comfortable with the process, it could look to increase that list. This means that production companies that have applied may still have a chance of making the list in the future.

“It is a constantly evolving and refreshing list of providers,” Smith says.

While the production companies in the ‘Creative Collective’ have met NZ Story’s criteria, Smith says it should not be seen as an endorsement for those companies.

Instead, she says for the production companies involved, it’s an opportunity to be seen and another place for businesses to find and choose them. Of the 10-13,000 New Zealand businesses exporting overseas, NZ Story has 7500 registered with it, and while some of those may already have production companies, they are potential business for production companies in the Creative Collective.

“These are businesses that are exporting with high growth ambitions, so for those video production companies on the list, the businesses are exciting, interesting and in growth mode.”

Adding to the appeal, particularly for businesses, is the opportunity to apply for a co-investment payment from NZ Story of up to half the cost of the video production for projects completed with a production company in the ‘Creative Collective’.

Business owners seeking co-investment are invited to apply directly to NZ Story, via nzstory.govt.nz, from mid- December this year. Up to 20 businesses will be selected for co-investment payments in each funding year.

The ‘Creative Collective’ will be available to all businesses, via the above website, irrespective of whether co-investment is awarded. 

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