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Alice Nell
August 27, 2013

Startup of the Week: Global Eyes Production

Global Eyes Production, a new film and video production in Berlin, is based on niche expertise. The customers are NGOs, foundations, ministries, embassies and organizations working in the international field. The main focus of Global Eyes Production is to promote democracy and human rights, based on the expertise of its founder Josephine Landertinger Forero. All products are offered in five languages.

Hello Ms. Forero Landertinger. What makes Global Eyes Production unique and where does your potential lie?

J. Landertinger Forero, Global Eyes Production: GLOBAL EYES PRODUCTION is a media company that promotes intercultural dialogue and raises awareness of human rights issues through documentaries, video workshops and online journalism. As a result, we are interesting for institutions working in human rights and democracy work, which are looking for video productions that can implement their concepts visually. Recently a staff member of UN Women said to me: "We had commissioned a video production to produce a film about women's rights, but we first had to invest a lot of time with our contractor explaining the subject matter." That wouldn’t have happened with us.

How did the idea for Global Eyes Production originate?

J. Landertinger Forero, Global Eyes Production: My father worked for the United Nations for more than 30 years. This experience, the international environment and other less pleasant events in my life influenced my interest in human rights, women's rights, international cooperation, diversity and migration. As a child to binational parents, I grew up speaking five languages and had an interest in communication processes from early stages. Moving images fascinated me most, because images are often understood without the need for specific language skills. After several years working as an employed video producer for an organization, starting up my own company was the right step for my career. The cutting point between visual storytelling and democracy/ human rights/ immigration is my great passion.

So what have you been able to achieve at the beginning?

J. Landertinger Forero, Global Eyes Production: In the beginning it is important to have good and trustworthy partners who can recommend you or who can give your company a certain "standing". I was fortunate that well-known companies, such as Sony Latin America or the Investment Bank Berlin believed in my idea from the very beginning. Alliances with Irrepressible Voices and Humanity in Action are very important for the NGO sector. As for the documentary production, I am very committed to working with Colombian film productions and want the world to experience other stories than the commonly known about this country.

Finally: Where will Global Eyes Production be in about 3 years?

J. Landertinger Forero, Global Eyes Production: I definitely want to expand and build up two solid offices in Berlin and Bogotá. We want to be the partner of choice when it comes to overcome stereotypes, cross borders, to explain human rights visually and produce high-quality socially relevant documentaries – for cinema, the web, TV and transmedia. The latter is where I see a lot of growth potential. Transmedia is the future of documentary, and thus of Global Eyes Production. Projects such as "Alma" by Arte and Upian are pioneers and great examples. We want to follow.

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Toni: Currently, we’ve somehow ended up in this niche of building a lot of internal tools for startups and teams. But this is not the only thing we want to do. What I like about it is that we’re starting projects from scratch and we have full control over them. 

Martin: The first project we worked on was a tool for a large scale real estate development company. What they needed was a tool for their Sales people - to be able to mark their different spots and locations at different stages of the sales funnel. So we created a tool that helps them in this process.

Toni: And this one actually served as a starting point for the tool we’ve developed for  betahaus, which aims to allow the Sales and Management team to see which team rooms are occupied right now, which ones are free or will be occupied in a few weeks or months, so no double bookings appear. 

Alex: These two projects were more focused on real estate, let’s say, but we’ve also done more design-heavy projects like the one we did for Artique which is an online artists agency. For them, we built a whole website and an online system to present their artists starting only from their logo. It had to be very flexible, because the artists needed to be able to edit their own profiles, putting their resume, changing colours.



Toni: Honestly, we have skillsets that you don’t usually find in developers. Because we've had lives that were not just about computer science. I think to some extent this is what makes us different. 

Martin: I believe one of the reasons why people pick us over other studios is because it can be very hard working with developers. If you’re not understanding their work, if the communication is not flowing, you, as a client can feel lost. We're easy to communicate with and we’re always open to feedback and we're open to discuss anything. In the end, after all iterations, if you say we need to start the website from scratch and that you don’t like the idea, we won’t take it personally. 

Alex: Also, I think, since we all work as coding teachers, we are officially qualified to explain what coding is to people who don't code, which is actually really rare because a lot of developers, as Martin says, don't want to, or literally just don't know how to articulate what they're doing. Whereas we are trained in articulating what it is that we're doing, why it's meaningful and why it takes a certain amount of time.

Photo by Lea GK


Alex: Zimt & Mehl - the Turkish bakery around the corner. It’s just soo good.

Martin: Oh, there is this Italian restaurant called Ristorante del Arte

Tony: Oh, my God, this place is so funny. It looks like a pretty average Italian restaurant, but the whole interior design inside is just decorated in such a weird way. The entire place is covered in frescoes. They have crystal chandeliers and Easter bunnies. Some Greek columns. It has a different name on the menu, on the side and on the Internet. And it was an ex-shoe-store.

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