The New Collaborators: Holiday Films

The full-service production network adds ease and value
The H.U.G Collective: (front row) Derek Sewell and Josefina Nadurata, Holiday Films/H.U.G co-founders; (back row) Michael Corbiere, Nimble Content/The Cavalry exec producer; Mike Hachey, Recess Post exec producer; and Andrew Lynch, Nimble Content/The Cavalry exec producer

The H.U.G Collective: (front row) Derek Sewell and Josefina Nadurata, Holiday Films/H.U.G co-founders; (back row) Michael Corbiere, Nimble Content/The Cavalry exec producer; Mike Hachey, Recess Post exec producer; and Andrew Lynch, Nimble Content/The Cavalry exec producer

Everything happens for a reason. For Holiday Films, helping clients make the most of their budgets, regardless of size, was reason enough to package its various offerings and off-shoots under one neat banner.

Holiday United Group (H.U.G.) launched in July 2019 as a one-stop production network designed to help clients work in increasingly flexible and creative ways. It formally unifies Holiday Films (broadcast production), Nimble Content (online video and digital projects), Recess Post (editorial, colour and VFX), and The Cavalry (stills photography), offering clients end-to-end service while delivering faster turnaround times.

The idea for H.U.G. grew out of Holiday’s experience with Nimble Content, which it launched in 2014 to provide a production solution for clients in need of maximizing small budgets for digital projects.

“We saw with Nimble Content that to make budgets work, we had to include post,” says Josefina Nadurata, H.U.G. co-founder and executive producer. “So when we were looking for ways to be creative problem-solvers for agencies at all budgets, we knew we had to include a wrap around approach to production.”

This model appeals to small agencies and clients that don’t have the infrastructure to manage a complete production process, adds Derek Sewell, H.U.G. co-founder and executive producer. But the H.U.G. offering also brings the efficiency developed with Nimble Content to the largest broadcast productions.

“Agency producers can take one budget and give it to us to figure out,” he says. “We can borrow from post and put it into production if that’s what the project needs. It allows for flexibility and ensures the highest-quality end product.”

Clockwise from top left: HelloFresh “Hungry Hearts,” directed by Jesse Senko for Taxi; President’s Choice Children’s Charity “Raindrops,” directed by Melanie Chung for John St.; Sonnet “Exercise,” directed by Bob Rice for Whitney Creative; “RBC Training Ground” directed by Adam Azimov for RBC

Clockwise from top left: HelloFresh “Hungry Hearts,” directed by Jesse Senko for Taxi; President’s Choice Children’s Charity “Raindrops,” directed by Melanie Chung for John St.; Sonnet “Exercise,” directed by Bob Rice for Whitney Creative; “RBC Training Ground” directed by Adam Azimov for RBC

Now operating out of larger offices in Toronto’s Distillery District, H.U.G. is attracting global business including U.S. and U.K. agencies.

“We’re not trying to be an agency, but we tend to see outlier projects that don’t fall into an agency’s scope,” Sewell says. “We see scripts from senior freelance creatives and from clients who have developed their own scripts. We’re in a position to guide them through the entire production process and we’re transparent and supportive throughout. We recognize these may be uncharted waters so we do our best to simplify the process.”

Nadurata says the H.U.G. model is especially valuable to charities and not-for-profits and the agencies that work with them. In 2018, Holiday set up Holiday for Good, a division dedicated to creating work that promotes positive change.

“We are proving to be that go-to place to help social purpose clients better tell their stories, and in turn align with and drive their capacity to generate significant revenue” says Nadurata, noting that relationships with charities can help develop the reels of newer Canadian directors from Nimble Content while also giving back.

Delivering great service and creative is also of utmost importance. “Being all under one roof, we’re able to bring the culture of Holiday and Nimble across all divisions,” Nadurata says, noting that she and Sewell work closely with Nimble Content EPs Andrew Lynch and Michael Corbiere and Mike Hachey, EP for Recess Post. “Our team does things purposefully; we’re hands-on across all companies and approach each job as one voice.”

“We’re not about being cheap, either,” Sewell adds. “We’re about better value. Whether it’s a smaller or larger budget, we make sure we put our clients’ money on the screen.”

CONTACT:
Josefina Nadurata
Executive Producer
josefina@holidayunitedgroup.tv