The evolutionary concept of survival of the fittest evolves with human beings and their relationship with technology.
While specialization allows some to survive, it seems a diverse skill set is key to climbing the ladder to success. Consider Butter Pictures Inc.’s co-Presidents Micah Martin and Kerry Gamberg.
Butter Pictures is an indie film production company and rental house owned and operated by Martin and Gamberg, both familiar faces on local film and TV sets. Martin is most often a vital member of the province’s second-to-none grip crew, and Gamberg’s gigs range from stints as production coordinator for Republic of Doyle and Frontier to fixer for VICELAND Canada’s “Newfoundland Coast” episode of their documentary series Abandoned.
“When a local production company shifted gears a bit, they sold off a bunch of their film equipment, so we invested some money into buying up their equipment,” explains Martin. “It was both an asset to have for our own projects, and a good way to make a bit of money from the rentals.”
On the equipment rental end, Butter Pictures are keen to work with Atlantic Studios Co-Operative (ASCO), the province’s key source of lighting and grip equipment.
“You kind of have to find those specialty items for productions, for example the DJI Ronin, or DJI Osmo series and my jib crane are all items we rent on a regular basis and are things that ASCO doesn’t offer,” explains Martin.
“Basically, we feel that it’s our responsibility as film and television professionals to work together in offering existing and future productions the highest level of quality equipment and service without having to go to the Mainland.”
As for the production end of things, Gamberg couldn’t be more optimistic. Following trips to Los Angeles and New York to participate in their respective 2016 Produced By Conferences and meet with U.S. film and TV producers, executives, and distributors – not to mention attending talks featuring Tina Fey and Chris Rock – she’s now focused on seeing Butter Pictures’ first comedy series to the TV screen.
“The Hallidays has been my main focus, as a creator,” says Gamberg. “It’s a half-hour comedy about a family who quit the internet and hit the open road in an RV. Originally it was designed to be a road trip across Newfoundland and Canada, with each episode being set in a different holiday destination.
“I’m now developing it to be about a family from Newfoundland who roadtrip across America, which has enormous comedic potential and would net a much larger audience. We’ve also got a short film script we’re hoping to produce in the next year, and I’m currently in talks with VICE Media to produce a 20-minute documentary called SKEET. 2017 is shaping up to be a busy year for us!”