Content film wins $1million for small start up company

26th April 2017 - William Falconer

How a savvy brand content company and  a major high-tech mining player came together to make a film and win a jackpot.

Content film wins $1million for small start up company


That scenario, in script form, was what Massey and the Clark Stanley team presented to KORE management on Tuesday morning. Gerrie was elated, “We were in stitches. It was funny, it was poignant and it told the story beautifully. So we ended the conference call to confer and everybody on my team was two thumbs up. I called Jamie back 15 minutes later.  All I said was, ‘We gotta do this!’ ”

The excitement and enthusiasm dissipated once the hard reality of a January 19th delivery date set in. Although it would be a “crunch”, it was do-able. So with everybody on board, the production of Prospector launched into full-speed-ahead mode the following day.

Bringing it all together

On January 11th , with cast, props and wardrobe  assembled,  Massey and his four-man crew headed 3 hours north to sneak in a location and tech scout before it got dark at a remote area he thought would work. The  location was ideal: a barren, snow-covered field 30 km outside Parry Sound. The next day, the crew, with Massey directing, began shooting mid-morning. The conditions were cold, depressingly grey and absolutely perfect. By working with a small crew, their own equipment, no clients, and no “video village” (an industry term for the area of a shoot where a portable grouping of TV monitors are located for clients and agency personnel), Massey had it all in the can in just under 4  hours. He was even able to get a majestic drone shot that perfectly captured the bleak, unforgiving environment.

The next day the crew returned to Toronto and Massey settled in for a weekend of cutting with Clark Stanley ‘s in-house editor, Matt Sutherland. By late Sunday they finally had a cut they were happy with – 3 minutes, 4 seconds long and pretty damn good if they did say so themselves. All that remained was to bring the French Canadian voice over talent in to the company’s editing suite on Monday to read the final script.


On Tuesday, January 17th the KORE team assembled at Clark Stanley to watch The Prospector. Tension in the room was slightly heightened by the fact that if the client wasn’t happy and significant changes were required, there simply wouldn’t be time to do them and still meet the entry deadline in 2 days. Instead, Gerrie and his team were ecstatic. “I was gobsmacked,” Gerrie said, “My first reaction was that I couldn’t believe the quality of the production. They absolutely nailed it! But then I thought since they conceived it, shot it, edited it and finished it, what else would you expect?” And the bottom line? “Even though we had a very small budget they stayed within it and pulled it off, big time!” he added.


KORE Geosystems - Branded Content / Short Film


Once the high-fives were over the real grind set in with only one day left before the deadline expired. It was Matt Sutherland’s job to finish what was left of the impossibly ambitious post production schedule. Yet somehow by the morning of January 18th, The Prospector had been colour corrected and the SFX and music tracks had been laid down. “The client had one last screening around noon, signed off and then we submitted it,” adds Sutherland.


The final evening of the PDAC convention was held on Sunday, March 7th, at The Carlu, one of Toronto’s poshest special event venues. There, in front of a sold-out crowd of more than 400 mining executives, investors and financiers, the 5 finalists of the #DisruptMining competition  were presented. In total, over 150 submissions had been received.  “Shortly after we submitted we were notified by show officials that we were already on the short list,” Gerrie explained, “But when they announced that KORE and one other company would share the top award, we couldn’t believe it. And the first call I made was to the guys at Clark Stanley.” By the end of the evening, KORE Geosystems had been awarded 3 Golden Envelopes and over $500,000. So while the crestfallen prospector from Quebec may have discovered that he was a relic, he did manage to strike gold at the 2017 PDAC convention.