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Production talent-sourcing website launched

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Talent website idea: Nikki Fagan with her daughter Logan Grae (Photograph supplied)

As local businesses find greater need for production teams, the island’s brightest stars are burning out.

Nikki Fagan has found the solution — Raawr Talent is an online directory that houses Bermuda’s talent on one “simple” site. As the creative director of The Brand Lion, it was often up to her to pull together complex productions, but she didn’t know where to look and would turn to Facebook.

“We source talent all the time, from radio to TV to graphic designers to photographers. We use a steady stream of freelancers, so we run into problems with trying to find who’s out there, who’s available at certain times.

“People [will post] ‘Models needed for a shoot in two days’.

“That’s literally how casting calls go here. It seems like such an arduous process when you can house it all in one place.

“If you listen to the radio, you’ll probably hear the same four voices over and over again,” she continued.

“They’re great voices, so these superstars in Bermuda’s voice acting world keep getting all the gigs, but if we have a client who wants to have a distinctive British accent or unique unheard-of voice, then we need to have a deeper resource.”

She said it was an idea in the making. She and partner Zina Edwards Malcolm were always making lists of local illustrators, actors, models and graphic designers, among others.

“This is something every agency in Bermuda has been doing haphazardly — this is the answer,” she said.

The pair’s main objectives are to push Bermudian talent and to simplify the hiring process.

“Gathering” marks the first phase of the venture and they are encouraging users to click on “Be a Star” to upload their portfolios and profiles.

Sign up is made “easy” with Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus. Personal contact information remains private, only available to a subscriber.

The public profile allows users to showcase their work by uploading images, videos and sound files.

“The BTA has helped facilitate the new film commission, hosting a plethora of visiting producers, commercial producers, film-makers, so the resource that Raawr Talent can provide will be useful for those types of people as well.

“This product is going to be a key service for more than just the local ad agencies but also for visiting international producers in the creative field.

“If Burrows and Lightbourn, for example, were doing a promo and they needed 20 promo girls to pack up product, you can source that.

“If there’s a company that doesn’t want to hire a full-time graphic designer but they need a graphic designer for a single project, there’s room for that.

“It’s developed into something that’s not just for advertising agencies, which we know is a really small market here. It can be used by anyone.”

Voice actors, illustrators and set designers are also welcome. She said it is already proving to be a great resource. The site’s first client, Bermuda Security Group is casting for a summer campaign on Saturday.

“We want to build up the numbers and the diversity of talent and in the next phase we will shop the site around to the key agencies and the companies that can take advantage of this service.”

Ms Fagan emphasised that “this is not a talent agency”.

“We’re not making commission off of the talent. The talent can house their portfolios for free,” she said.

While they will not vet the talent before they post, they are constantly monitoring what is being uploaded.

“It’s absolutely not just for if you’ve been in the market for 20 years — it’s called Raawr Talent, so we’re looking for people of all experience levels.

A ranking system has been implemented for users to select their level of experience. A strong portfolio will go a long way and subscribers may also submit reviews.

Ms Fagan said this type of service site is becoming the standard outside of Bermuda and used British site People Per Hour as an example.

“It’s not a groundbreaking. We took this common need and turned it into something,” she said.

“It’s exciting that there will be a centralised resource that’s online and can evolve as new talents evolve.

“Something that’s tangible, that creates jobs and opportunities and that is in demand by more people than just us.”

The website can be seen at https://raawrtalent.com/

The Raawr Talent homepage (Photograph supplied)