A film and television production company working across television, theatrical, corporate, education and government communications, Wild Bear is a distinctly Canberra business.
With offices here as well as in Sydney and Brisbane, Wild Bear works with international and Australian broadcasters including National Geographic, Discovery, ZDF, Arte, CCTV9, FINAS Malaysia, PBS, Beijing TV, ABC TV, Seven Network, SBS, FOXTEL and the Nine Network.
It specialises in genres such as natural history, wildlife, factual entertainment and documentaries. The bulk of its work is for export with key markets in the UK, US, France, Germany and China.
The business was the big winner in last week’s Chief Minister’s Export Awards, picking up the ACT Exporter of the Year award (see a list of category winners below).
Wild Bear CEO Michael Tear says the company, which started in Canberra in 1989, is very much export-focused because it’s the only way to build its business.
“If you think about genres in Australia, there’s a fairly small number of slots and times available in the programming schedule,’’ Mr Tear said.
“To grow, you need a niche globally. When you look at the global market, it’s bigger, particularly China. That’s why we chose the export path. We could see Australia is always important but there are only so many opportunities here because it’s a relatively small market compared to the rest of the world.
“If you do natural history, there’s very little natural history commissioned out of Australia. Buyers for that type of show are typically global and they might be based in the US or UK.
“You really have to cultivate those sorts of buyers.”
While much of the work has an Australian element, Wild Bear producers have to keep in mind that it’s for a global audience.
“One of the key things is you need to make it for the international market, you can’t be too parochial,’’ he said.
“You’ve always got to see it as how this story will travel across borders.”
And running this kind of export business out of Canberra makes perfect sense, he said.
“Our business is based on the input of people, their creative work and it’s a very smart, well-educated creative community here,’’ he said.
Other categories and winners in the awards were:
Agribusiness: Kokonut Pacific Pty Ltd
Business Services: Cogito Group
Education and Training: iSimulate
Health and Biotechnology: Aspen Medical
Digital Technologies: Seeing Machines
Manufacturing: Red Robot Pty Ltd
Regional Exporter: Shaw Vineyards Estate
Small Business: IE Asia Pacific
These companies will go on to compete at the upcoming national awards.
Canberra Business Chamber CEO, Robyn Hendry said these businesses had played an important role both locally and nationally.
“They have opened doors across the globe, not only for their own goods and services, but for Canberra Region businesses as a whole,” Ms Hendry said.
“Securing export sales helps local companies expand and employ. Our businesses trading overseas play a role in ensuring we have a diverse, strong economy here in the ACT region.”
Pictured above are the team from Wild Bear. Photo: wildbear.tv