Jonathan Beepat : Taking the local entertainment industry to higher heights with Wildfire Productions
After diligently and professionally serving the local entertainment industry for close to ten years with its creativity and projects inspired by love for country, it is clear that Wildfire Productions has earned its place as the nation’s leader in quality media productions, artiste development and events management.
And according to the entity’s proprietor, Jonathan Beepat, it is only going to get bigger and better in the near future.
Beepat explained that Wildfire Productions which was conceived in November 2006 and established in 2007, consists of a team of promoters and event managers who not only come from a business and entertainment background but truly understand the need for professionalism in Guyana’s entertainment landscape.
Beepat said that with this mindset, he and his team were able to execute concerts and events that were of
the highest quality over the years. Because of their unique blend of backgrounds, Beepat said that his
team was also able to supply the demands of the corporate clientele as well as meet the desires of the
crowd who attended these events.
The successful businessman asserted that the artiste development programs were designed to promote and develop those artistes who the Wildfire Productions team discovered and determined had potential. He said that they arranged everything from music production with studios, music videos done by their production unit, radio and DJ airplay, music distribution, and even international collaborations.
Currently, Wildfire Productions is mostly focused on video productions and management of entertainment related events. But the essential elements of its work, being creative ideas and structured plans, remain at the core of what they do.
Here is a look at his interview with the News Room.
News Room (NR): Which of your accomplishments are you most proud of under this brand?
Jonathan Beepat (JB): It’s difficult to say one specific thing, but I can give them in three different aspects of the brand. Under the events management aspect, I would say it is a toss up between managing Digicel’s entire summer promotion where they gave away two BMW’s one summer and the ICC world T20 party stand management. In film production it would definitely be documentary production for WWF in Guyana, and music related project would be the Golden Children Project.
NR: Is the Wildfire brand your main job or just a project that you do part time?
JB: It is a bit of both. The company is setup so my partner is there to handle the daily activities for whatever is needed, and then we collaborate on projects as required.
NR: What projects are you working on?
JB: We are working on our Golden Children Project as well as freelance video production works.
NR: Do you have any regrets as far as the entertainment industry is concerned?
JB: Yes, some artists in Guyana should have never gotten the light of day of my time.
NR: What is your take on the 2: am curfew?
JB: I think the thought process by the Minister to implement it is all wrong and ineffective. He has hurt an industry by making the decision. As we are clearly seeing… crime is still rampant, domestic abuse is still rampant, and these are all happening way before 2am.
NR: What is the core passion for you in being involved in the entertainment industry? What drives
JB: I think seeing a budding industry that hasn’t taken full shape provides the motivation to actively be involved. Videography is a passion for me as it involves taking a concept and bring it to life which may influence others is challenging and rewarding.
NR: Your business involves constantly being on top of current trends and creating new ones which resonate with the mainstream demographic, how do you do it?
JB: By keeping up to date on current trends and having our ears to the ground as what people in Guyana
like or don’t.
NR: What are some of the challenges you’ve faced in the entertainment industry?
JB: There’s no real camaraderie and cooperation. You find that people always have this notion that they “know” and sometimes it is quite to difficult to get through to them. Another thing is that many in the
industry have a selfish concept of working. The entertainment industry in the world over is fluid, and if
you aren’t prepared to let people make money with you then you should not be in it. That said, each
person does need to be able to bring something to the table.
NR:How would you say music has evolved in Guyana since you started with Wildfire Entertainment?
JB: It has taken a lot of strides with better production, better writing, better sound. Yet, we still have a long way to go.
NR: There are two countries that have a distinct identity with their music; Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago. However, there have been contentions that Guyana's music industry is still struggling
to find its identity and still searching for a firm placement outside of its shores. What do you think
has contributed to these contentions and do you agree with them?
JB: I think that there is TOO MUCH emphasis on Guyana needing to have “a sound”. We are a budding industry and we have diverse artists that can sing and write great music in different genres which are tuned into across the world. The more we try to cordon off and limit ourselves with a new genre the less we can get out there. It takes years to build something like that, and I believe we should work within what is established for now.
NR: What has disappointed you the most about Guyana’s music/entertainment industry?
JB: Lack of structure. There’s no collaboration between the government and the entertainment industry.
So because of this, we have no copyright laws and then no real solid investments from players in the
industry to create avenues.
NR: In spite of the shortcomings of the industry, do you believe that the sector has made some
JB: Yes, each person doing something helps to build it in one way or the other. Even though we are
disjointed, and doing things individually, it still adds value to the sector itself.