Making History: The Inaugural Barbados Surf Pro 2017


That’s really the only word fit to describe how we feel. We succeeded in attracting over 80,000 views for the livestream of the recently held inaugural 2017 World Surf League QS 3,000 Barbados Surf Pro. Whoo-hoo!

“...overall it's a really good return in numbers, particularly the webcast and social media outreach....the initial numbers are coming back pretty great compared to some other QS3,000s." - Andrew Nichols, Media Manager, World Surf League

Pre-comp session at dawn. One of the 157 international pro surfers that descended onto Barbados' shores for the 2017 Barbados Surf Pro QS300

Some of the production crew of Crucial Productions & NPI Productions. 

See, it’s not often that you’re asked to help make history. So, when Louis Venezia and Christopher Clarke of Surf Promotions Barbados tapped us to act as official media partner for the event, Team Crucial welcomed the opportunity.

Immediately following the official launch of the event on March 27,  at the Barbados Tourism and Marketing Inc. — the event’s major sponsor — it was all systems go.  We dove headfirst into an exciting  3-week long production schedule.

What a ride!

Tight deadlines are nothing new to us but this was a beast of a different nature. Our tasks included crafting and executing a bespoke digital media strategy, designed to engage sporting enthusiasts from around the globe. And, successfully broadcasting the thrilling feats of over 150 visiting pro surfers — all of them determined to win. Our wish-list was swiftly streamlined into a to-do list and with only a limited window of opportunity we pulled it off. (Actually, scratch that, we nailed it!) We managed to conduct competitor interviews, coordinate public appearances, drive the social media outreach programme and, with support from the incredible team at NPI Productions, deliver a world-class livestream of the 6-day event.

Local surf pro, Chelsea Roett going vertical at the Drill Hall. Photo: Jim Hogan

This defining chapter in local surf history played out at the Drill Hall Beach and attracted viewers in Australia, U.S.A. Brazil, Portugal and France. They logged on to the WSL website daily, to follow the event. And, to eventually witness the triumphant wins of Claire Bevilacqua (AUS) and Keanu Asing (HAW), over local favourites like Chelsea Roett, Chelsea Tuach, Josh Burke, Tanika Hoffman, Alessa Quizon and more.

Now, while we succeeded in pulling off such an awesome feat , it wasn’t all fun and  games. Every production comes with its challenges. That’s just part of the job.

Like, sprinting on sand. Trust us when we tell you, it is nowhere near easy as some people make it look.

Particularly with cameras and cables strapped to your body while you try to teleport from one location to the next, trying to  capture everything in sight.

In one memorable incident, we lost access to our broadcast bus just hours before the event started. The hunt for an alternative began in earnest. After one eureka moment and a phone call later, the show was back on track — the good people over at Crane & Equipment happily sponsored the event with one of their superb office containers as our mobile webcast media control center!

2017 Barbados Surf Pro Mens Champion, Keanu Asing (HAW)

Image: NPI Productions Inc.

We’re still putting the studio back together and for some reason there’s  STILL sand in places we don’t even want to talk about.

That said, we wouldn’t change the experience for the world. We came, we saw, we conquered. That’s what Jay-Z kinda’ said in that song, right? Well, we did that Jay!

We’ll be back to bring you even more surfing action in November, for the Independence Surf Pro  — stay tuned!

And, despite some other similarly bizarre incidents that occurred throughout the course of the run, our commitment to delivering the best viewing experience possible never wavered. In fact, it was consistently bolstered by the upbeat attitudes and positive feedback of the competitors, judges, sponsors and viewers themselves.

2017 Barbados Surf Pro Womens Champion, Claire Bevilacqua (AUS)    Image: NPI Productions Inc.

2017 Barbados Surf Pro Womens Champion, Claire Bevilacqua (AUS)

Image: NPI Productions Inc.

Sagicor 175

One of our more recent creative ventures was the commercial for Sagicor’s 175th anniversary campaign. From pre-production and casting to location scouting, film coordination, art department, props and Digital Imaging Technology, Crucial Productions collaborated with the amazing teams at Gatehouse Media in Barbados, Grey Canada and Someplace Nice, out of Toronto, where the post was done.
It was such a pleasure working with so much talent!

Directed and shot by: Chris Muir - Someplace Nice
Executive producers: Chilo Fletcher - Someplace Nice & Phil Archer - Crucial Productions,
Line producers: Jennifer Walker - Someplace Nice & Lisa Harewood - Gatehouse Media