It’s been just over a year since Director, Creative and Photographer Anthony Bila partnered with Executive Producer Dale Love-Ballantine to expand Indie Village into a full end-to-end production offering. We checked in with the two about the impact the move had on the production company, how the industry has responded and how positive transformation drives their success.
Let’s get you up to speed; Indie Village is different from your traditional production company. They operate more like a boutique content company that offers a full production team who can collaborate or plug-in with agencies and brands where they are needed – from concept, production, post, edit, animation – the perfect addition to an overextended agency in need of stable production support and creative talent. In some cases, they also work directly with brands like Investec who they do content, commercials and animation work for. The ability to offer a full end-to-end model like this means projects can be completed cost-effectively with a streamlined production process because you’re cutting down on those pesky excess fees by dealing with just one company. Indie is not relying on external freelance costs, in fact, everything from gear rental through to final edit can be done in-house (with dedicated editing and animation suites and sound recording studio).
Read more about the offering here in the last story we wrote about the team.
(Behind the scenes on Thirsti Water and Hyperion commercials.)
Since Anthony joined the then 14-year-old Indie Village a lot has changed. 12 months on and the company is celebrating its busiest year yet! ‘Anthony has taken us to places that I could never have imagined, not only with our commercials work but our internal culture. There is such a mutual love and respect and the work and the employees and growth speak to that.’ Says Dale Love-Ballantine of the partnership.
The company has hired an additional 10 permanent staff members, which means they now boast an impressive 20 full-time employees including Producers, Editors, Gaffers, Sparks, Director, ADs, Executive Producer, Photographer and two full-time Animators, with animation being the fastest-growing part of the business.
(BTS Director Anthony Bila on set.)
The last time we spoke to Dale and Anthony the two both shared their passion for making sure Indie Village not only delivers great commercials work but makes an actual positive change in the industry through upskilling young black talent by developing and nurturing them. One thing they are more excited to talk about than their commercials growth is the success they’ve had in the internal transformation at Indie. For the first time Indie has more people of colour employed than white people, they have their Level 1 BBEE, are funding projects internally for their young talent and according to the duo there has been a lot of focus to make sure they are representing the country both in race and in sex.
‘Creating opportunities for young black people in the industry, nurturing the talent and making sure they have the tools to set out on their own, Ant is driving that. Having him on board means this much needed change is coming from the top and he’s implementing it in the correct way. We are very proud of our first year and excited to see where we are headed.’ Says Dale, with Anthony adding: ‘When you look under the hood of Indie Village, the engine is in great shape. That’s really important to me. This industry is great but it can be really exclusionary in many ways. To have a business partner that sees the value in opening up the industry, I don’t take that for granted and that is in the DNA of the business because it’s in the DNA of who we are.’
INDIE VILLAGE DID THAT
In just over a year, the Indie Village team has delivered on many projects. Because of their agile and modular model they have been able to adjust to the needs of any agency and brand. Like for the spot for Palladium; the brand is based in Paris, agency in the UK, Indie Village in Joburg and the spot was shot in Cape Town. For many projects, Anthony also handles the commercial photography while directing, as seen in the below campaigns for Yoco and Palladium. ‘Because we have a whole team of dedicated full-time staff, we can bring a stable and reliable support structure which is invaluable. It also means we really have enough time and resources to focus on the creative and making sure the work is of the highest standard.’ Says Anthony.