When back in November last year they accepted the contract to shoot the shortlist videos for the inaugural Tees Tech Awards, the team at Wander Films had no idea they would eventually be in the running for four awards themselves.
The shortlists – created via a uniquely democratic scoring system with five different sponsors scoring each category – were kept firmly under wraps.
Wander discovered the exciting news via social media posts that it had been shortlisted in the Small Business and Best Newcomer categories, with creative director Chloe Clover in the final three for both Business Leader and Rising Star awards.
“It was such a shock when the shortlists were announced,” says managing director Lou Tonner.
“It was great to see we had been shortlisted for one award, but when it got to four, we couldn’t believe it! We are so humbled and fortunate to have so much support.”
Chloe eventually walked away with the well-deserved Rising Star trophy, to the delight of her colleagues.
“We were all buzzing,” admits Lou.
“We are very proud of Chloe and the way she leads Wander Films. She motivates us all to be the absolute best we can be. She was blown away and wasn’t expecting to win at all.”
Watching their work being streamed as part of the virtual awards was another proud moment for the team.
“It was so much fun watching the event,” says Lou.
“We had our team together at Wanderland, enjoyed pizza and drinks and captured some of the night, which we posted a few days later. It was great that we could celebrate together.”
Lou couldn’t be happier with the way the evening came together and how everyone collaborated.
“We hadn’t seen anything like it before. It felt very exciting and fresh. It made sense, with it being the Tees Tech Awards, that it was fully digital.
“Many of our friends and clients were watching online who wouldn’t have been at the event because they’re not from the area, so that was incredible. We just feel so excited for the next awards.”
The demand for the Wander team’s skills has certainly skyrocketed in recent months and they are proving to be a beacon of light in a dark Covid tunnel.
Their eye-catching and unique videos, as well as their dynamic presence on social media, has set them apart and their stable of talent continues to grow.
“Things have been very busy at Wander,” says Lou.
“We have employed three new guys – Dean, a fast-talking and creative social media manager, Heather, who is a very talented and experienced filmmaker, and Jay, a content producer who is a crazy-good illustrator too.
“Simon Petett and Charlotte Mitchell have super stepped up, too, and it’s so amazing to see.
“We’ve been introducing them to the Wander ways, but they already fit right in and it feels like they’ve been part of the team for months.”
After an admittedly weird spring/summer due to the pandemic, things are certainly picking up in the region and especially for Wander Films.
“Things are exciting again,” agrees Lou. “If we keep going the way we are then we will definitely be recruiting again by the end of the year.
“And we have some exciting plans we’re working on behind the scenes, including mega enquiries from companies overseas, which ties into our conversations with the Department for International Trade.
“2020 is proving to be our year.”