Sponsor Profile: Matthew Byrne | PRG
By CFC Staff February 01, 2018 00:00
Our ongoing series profiles the movers and shakers in the Canadian and international screen-based industries. This month’s Sponsor Spotlight features Production Resource Group (PRG), the world's leading provider of entertainment and event solutions, and a new partner of the CFC's 2018 Annual Gala & Auction. To learn more about PRG's innovative services, the CFC spoke with the company's Director of Sales for Canada, Matthew Byrne, CSEP.
CFC: What are three things that everyone should know about PRG?
Matthew Bryne (MB): PRG is the world’s leading provider of event and entertainment technology solutions with the ability to scale talent, resources and equipment specific to the needs of our clients’ events. PRG made its start in Broadway Theatre and leveraged that creative experience to break into different markets over the last 29 years, including live music and concert touring, film and television, as well as meetings and special events.
When we partner with an organization, we aim to support our partner’s overall objective(s) and mission. We strive to be more than just gear in a box; we work with our partners, suppliers and clients to achieve something remarkable while maintaining the artistic vision and objective(s) of the event, while respecting and working within our partner’s budget.
Our strength is our people. We have some of the greatest talent in lighting, audio, video, scenic and staging working with us on a daily basis. Whether it is for a large-scale television broadcast production, like the Oscars or the Super Bowl halftime show, or a 500-person gala dinner in Muskoka, ON, our people are what make the show a success.
CFC: What does PRG do that makes it so innovative?
MB: We are constantly investing in technological innovation that is scalable and replicable. Each year, we invest more than 5 million dollars in new product development in entertainment technology. We approach each challenge and development with two mandates: 1) how do we solve the particular challenge that is presented to us in a reasonable and affordable way, and 2) how do we create a solution that is scalable and affordable in the long run. We create custom solutions for large touring shows all over the world, but we also make sure that when that tour is over, the technology that was developed for a specific need can adapt to all of our clients’ needs.
CFC: Tell us about PRG’s partnership with the CFC.
MB: PRG has a history of supporting the film and television industry worldwide and in Toronto for more than 20 years. This is our first year supporting CFC at the Annual Gala & Auction and we are looking forward to working with them for years to come.
CFC: How has PRG grown as a company as event technology has changed?
MB: Twenty-nine years ago, entertainment technology was just on the brink of an explosion. Back then, we recognized that technology that had typically been either too expensive or to complex for “established” entertainment practices would soon reach a tipping point that would open up great possibilities. Over the years, as video, LED lighting and audio technology developed and evolved, we remained open-minded and open to change to ensure that we never hold ourselves or our clients back in terms of trying something new. Couple that with a strong foundation in production knowledge and expertise, and you have a winning combination for innovation that lasts.
CFC: What advice can you give about working large-scale events and with tight timeframes?
MB: The best advice I would give to anyone producing an event, film shoot, concert or wedding of any scale, is talk early and often – make sure you communicate everything you want to up front. Trust your partners and share as much detail as possible. Too often we see producers wanting to keep their cards close to their chest for fear of revealing too much or waiting until “things are ready” to get us involved. By that time a few decisions have been made that really hamper our ability to offer solutions. When I went to theatre school, I learned there were two types of lighting designers out there: one that would print one copy of the script and tell everyone where to hang each light, or the type of designer that would bring a second copy of the script, cut it up in to four pieces and hand it over to their team, telling them that they were available for questions and advice. Try to be more like that second designer and trust and communicate with your partners.
Learn more about PRG's innovative event solutions here.