Focus on Leadership | Joe Media meets pandemic’s test

November 30, 2021
Leadership Team Calgary Film, TV & Creative Industries
Focus on Leadership Joe Media meets pandemics test

Matt Gillespie is president and CEO of Joe Media Group Inc. Photo by Wil Andruschak © Postmedia Network Inc.

Joel Schlesinger © Postmedia Network Inc.

From a crisis often comes catharsis.

That certainly applies to Calgary’s Joe Media Group Inc.

When the pandemic struck more than 18 months ago, the producer of video content — from television dramas and documentaries to commercials and live events — became more nimble and resilient.

Central to its success amid this new normal has been Joe Media’s ability to adopt new technologies.

“We really looked to technology critical to continuing to serve our clients through this really challenging time,” says Matt Gillespie, president and chief executive officer of Joe Media Group Inc.

Still, the video production company, founded in 2003, wasn’t immune to the challenges the pandemic presented — at least at first.

“When the pandemic hit, we were like, ‘Now what?’ ”

For several days uncertainty prevailed, given that video creation generally involves working in person.

Joe Media Group quickly found a solution by embracing new technologies and virtual tools. As an example, Gillespie cites working on a project with renowned singer Tom Jackson called Almighty Voices.

“That was all done with singers using their phones at home to record and stream themselves.

“Ten years ago that would have been near impossible,” he says about the virtual concert, which raised money for the Unison Benevolent Fund that provides counselling and emergency relief services to the Canadian music community.

At the same time, the ability to stream high-definition video for events, including conferences, became essential during COVID-19 as many events were moved online.

“Instead of sitting in a room full of thousand people, the question became: How do you engage people sitting in their office?” he says. “It’s not just a meeting; it’s more like a television show.”

Additionally, Joe Media Group — like so many other organizations — shifted to a work-from-home model. This also led to the company significantly increasing its server capacity, allowing remote access not only to its team, but its clients, too.

“Why not protect their video assets by archiving them, so they can access their content for future campaigns?”

More broadly, Gillespie adds that he is proud of the city’s video production industry, which banded together, putting in place safety measures to prevent COVID-19’s spread so production could continue.

“We just feel so blessed and thankful that we could use technology to help our clients, keep our doors open and our staff employed.”

This story was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division, on behalf of Calgary Economic Development.

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