Our Story – 2006-2010- The Early Years
Our story – gassProductions was established in 2006 by childhood friends Dan Radford and Andrew Smith.
Their dream was to make TV programs that would wow audiences the world over.
Andy and Dan began their journey creating web videos for the youth and student travel market.
Within a year they’d filmed all over the world.
The increased popularity of using video to market gap year travel ensured Andy and Dan travelled to some of the worlds most remote locations.
Within 2 years Dan and Andy had trekked the amazon jungle.
They had filming wildlife rehabilitation and animal conservation projects.
They’d journeyed to the galapagos islands and filmed several conservation projects. These projects focused on protecting the island’s rare and delicate wildlife.
Their travels took them into the searing heat of the outback, filming cattle mustering in the Australian bush.
Other testing shoots include filming “the big five” in South Africa, and diving to study plankton bio-luminence in the night time waters of Ecuador.
Building on their experience in youth and student travel video gassProductions expanded their client portfolio.
Andy and Dan began filming for international language schools, work & travel companies, travel agencies and hotel groups.
Whilst filming snowboarding in Canada, Andy encountered a young Englishman called Guy Elson at the bottom of Whistler mountain.
Guy had an idea for an TV show; travel meets adventure fishing.
Our Story – 2010 – 2012 – Rod and Rucksack
Fast forward a few months. Our story continues with Guy and gassProductions developing a pilot episode for a TV show; Rod and a Rucksack.
In this adventure fishing show, Guy travelled to Costa Rica in search of giant tarpon. A highly prized, monster game fish.
The premise was a TV show that fused far away lands and remote destinations with cultural discovery, drama, action and adventure.
Guy would venture into the back and beyond on a series of challenging quests to catch some of the worlds most coveted game fish.
In 2010 Andy and Guy filmed the pilot in Costa Rica before returning to the UK to complete post production. In late 2010 the pilot was screened in London and attracted the attention of Cinesite Studios, an award winning post production studio.
Rod and Rucksack : Costa Rica – Pilot Trailer
In 2011 gassproductions formed a co-production with Guy Elson and Cinesite Studios. Together they developed Rod and Rucksack into a TV series.
The series comprised 5 x 60 min episodes. In each episode Guy would travel to a different location, often remote and isolated.
The goal was to catch a variety of large and unusual game fish. The show would also show Guy immersing himself in the environment, food and culture.
Filming the series took Guy, Andy and Dan just over 4 months to complete, the photos below feature just some of the many highlights!
Making of Rod & Rucksack Slideshow
The team began post production back in the UK. Guy’s brother Chris Elson came aboard the project and provided some of the excellent artwork for the graphics in the series.
Guy introduced Andy and Dan to Ben Argyle. Ben was the talented composer hired to write and perform all of the music for the series.
In December 2012 the series was finished. Rod and Rucksack was acquired by the Discovery Channel and broadcast internationally.
Network Trailers & Youtube Clips
Completing Rod and Rucksack was a huge marker in our story, marking our very first TV series.
Our Story – 2013 – 2015 – Ocean Vet
In early 2013 gassProductions was approached via its website by a man called Neil Burnie.
Dr Neil Burnie was a veterinarian from Bermuda who swam with tiger sharks.
Neil was part of the Bermuda Shark Project. This voluntary organisation is funded via donations and was established to help save, protect and learn more about Bermuda’s sharks.
Neil sent several videos of himself swimming with huge tiger sharks, in the wild, with no cage, in the open ocean.
Neil and Choy Aming (friend and local marine biologist), were collecting video footage of tiger shark behaviour. Choy was compiling photographs to identify the different tiger sharks feeding on the Bermuda platform.
They were also attaching satellite tags to tiger sharks. Neil and Choy were collecting data on the positions and migrations of these animals.
All of this data was being compiled into a conservation study. It’s objective was to ensure better protections for these animals in Bermuda and the wider Atlantic Ocean.
Neil wanted to make a TV show about the incredible work he was doing with these animals.
So, in true Neil Burnie style he wrote a song and made a video to pitch his idea to us.
Andy and Dan were immediately interested.
This unique and dangerous research had immediate televisual appeal.
In November 2013 gassProductions shot the pilot for Ocean Vet.
Ocean Vet : Pilot Shoot Slideshow
In late 2013 gassProductions and Neil developed the concept into a series of 11x30min TV programs.
In each episode Neil, Choy and the Ocean Vet team were set to embark on a mission to help save, protect and learn more about several iconic marine species around the island of Bermuda.
The project had significant scientific value and aimed to map the local and long range migratory behaviour of several species using sophisticated satellite tags.
Other research scientists and experts were drafted in to work with the team and to enhance the projects scientific value.
In 2014 the concept for Ocean Vet became a reality, the production was budgeted and scheduled, finance was sourced and filming began in March 2014.
Ocean Vet : Filming the series
After 6 months of filming, the team had collected some incredible footage and conducted some groundbreaking research. In October 2014 Andy and Dan headed back to the UK to begin post production.
On November the 11th 2014 Andy and Dan received the tragic news that Neil had drowned in a freak diving accident.
Not only was everyone who knew Neil devastated, the entire island was too.
Neil Burnie was a man who touched the lives of everyone he met and his funeral was a testament to this.
Neil will always be a legend to his ocean vet crew. Neil was an eclectic character, addictive to be around. He was the type of man you enjoy telling your grandchildren about. The type whose time you shared brings a tear to your eye. A genuine legend.
Neil was the voice of Ocean Vet. It had been planned for him to narrate each episode, guiding audiences through his watery adventures.
A new voice had to be found. The challenge was to find a voice that could mimic Neil’s unique style, enter Michael Douglas.
Neil had been Michael’s family vet on the island for many years.
Michael recognised the positive impact that Neil and the Ocean Vet team’s work was doing for Bermuda.
Michael kindly agreed to help finish what Neil had started and agreed to be the narrator of Ocean Vet.
Andy and Dan finished editing Ocean Vet in December 2015.
It was delivered to Cineflix in the same month.
Our Story – 2016 – Ocean Tech
With the series now complete, gassProductions was inspired to create Ocean Tech as it’s next major TV project.
The Ocean Tech documentary will reveal wildlife to a global audience in way they’ve never seen before.
Our cameras will go where no cameras have previously recorded and use revolutionary methods and technologies to bring our audience a landmark viewing experience.
Our Story – 2017
To see what we’re up to right now, head over to our blog and checkout our social media channels.
We are currently developing several TV ideas, but we’re always on the lookout for more!
We want to make TV shows with a strong narrative that will educate, inform, entertain and promote positive action.
These are the core values of film making at gassProductions, creating film4good.
If you have an idea for a TV show or documentary why not pitch it to us?