Each year, Playback puts out a call for the industry to recommend its best and brightest
up-and-coming talent for our 10 to Watch list. With over 100 nominations this year, including only 10 seemed impossible — virtually every nominee deserved to be on the list. The selection represented here is the culmination of careful consideration by Playback‘s editorial jury, in association with film, TV and interactive industry execs and organizations. Having already made a splash, these talented 10 are poised for great things.
Andre Dupuis & Scott Wilson / producers
Company: Echo Bay Media
Hometowns: Andre: Carlisle, ON; Scott: Brantford, ON
Upcoming projects: Descending for OLN
The buzz: Dupuis and Wilson launched Hamilton-based Echo Bay Media in 2001 right out of school, working on corporate and agency video gigs until a job on a travel show sparked the idea for a show of their own. The duo financed the demo for Departures, a true-to-life international travel show that Dupuis shoots and in which Wilson co-stars, with student loan money and sent it to OLN in 2007. Today, Departures is three seasons deep, won three Geminis and airs in 45 countries, becoming widely regarded as a successful and innovative take on a well-worn genre.
Did you ever expect to see Departures become so successful?
Wilson: I remember Andre and I saying at one point, “Who the hell is going to watch this?” We went into it thinking, “this is how everyone travels, this is what reality TV should be, regardless of whether it’s glamorous or not.” But I think what people really saw in it was the ability to connect. We’re not actors, we are who we are and we try to get that across.
What’s up-and-coming for Echo Bay?
Dupuis: Descending. We like shows that start with the letter D! When Scott and I were doing Departures in Brazil, we were scuba-diving and and once you’re in the water, you’re exploring the last frontier of the planet. We thought, “wouldn’t it be great to do a travel exploration show that has to do with diving?” So we shot a demo ep, OLN greenlit it and we’re halfway through shooting. (Editor’s note: Descending is slated for a February 2012 delivery on OLN.)
What are some of the crazier things that have happened while shooting?
Wilson: Recently in South Africa on Descending, there was a crazy current that caught us off guard — you have to control your ascend or you get the bends. Our Red camera is a 75-pound beast and getting it in and out of the water is like lifting a submarine. Basically, Andre was caught in an upswell and went up like a bullet. It looked like he was trying to decide to save the camera or save his life. It was scary at the time, but now it’s almost comical.