Bessies: The Craft Awards

For over 41 years, the Television Bureau of Canada has been rewarding excellence in Canadian commercial production through the Bessies Craft Awards, awards specifically designed to recognize those in the trenches who turn creative ideas into consumer focused reality.

For over 41 years, the Television Bureau of Canada has been rewarding excellence in Canadian commercial production through the Bessies Craft Awards, awards specifically designed to recognize those in the trenches who turn creative ideas into consumer focused reality.

This year, if there is a big winner in terms of Craft Award honours, it would have to be Lowe Roche’s ‘The Story of Raymond,’ created for client Mercedes-Benz. That spot not only won the only two Best of Series awarded for 2004 – for South African cinematographer Paul Gilpen and writer Gerald Kugler (now with Ogilvy & Mather) – it also garnered Craft Awards for Carlton Chase’s direction and Rosnick MacKinnon Webster’s music.

In terms of appearances in the Craft Awards roster, AGF Financial Services and agency TBWAToronto also did very well this year, landing nine awards for four spots in its 2003 ‘Film Festival – Cinema’ campaign: four Craft Awards in the performance category, three in direction and one each for writing and casting.

Perhaps the biggest surprise at this year’s Bessies was the fact that Halifax’s Extreme Group scored nine Craft Awards for its ‘Great Reasons to Smoke’ PSAs for the Nova Scotia Office of Health Promotion. Four selected spots from the campaign garnered writing Crafts, and performance Crafts for actors Paul Spence and Dave Lawrence (who also won the Kari Award for outstanding performance). One of those four also snagged the only editing Craft Award presented.

Finally, Bessie’s lifetime achievement prize, the Fritz Spiess Award, went to Cossette Communication Group’s Bill Durnan, president and chief strategic officer of the agency’s Nucleus division, while Mary Beth Odell of Toronto’s Flashcut Editing walked away with the 2004 Bob Mann Post Production Award for her contributions in the field of post-production.

The Winners

The Fritz Spiess Award

Bill Durnan, Cossette Communication Group

The Bob Mann Post Production Award

Mary Beth Odell, Flashcut

The Walter Bell Memorial Award

Peter Ignatiou, Humber College

Best of series: Writing

Title: ‘The Story of Raymond’

Advertiser: Mercedes-Benz

Agency: Lowe Roche

Production House: Radke Films

Writer: Gerald Kugler

Best of series: Cinematography

Title: ‘The Story of Raymond’

Advertiser: Mercedes-Benz

Agency: Lowe Roche

Production House: Radke Films

Cinematographer: Paul Gilpen

The Kari Award for Outstanding Performance

Paul Spence and Dave Lawrence

‘Great Reasons to Smoke: Better Manners/Communication/Save Money’

Nova Scotia Office of Health Promotion

For full Craft Award winner listings, please see the appropriate categories within this report