- LOS ANGELES
Production houses Interrogate and Sweetshop have joined forces in the U.S. Interrogate, with bases of operation in Los Angeles, New York and Sydney, has been in business for 10 years while Sweetshop--maintaining offices in L.A., NY, London, Shanghai, Bangkok, Melbourne, Sydney and Auckland--is nearing the 20-year milestone.
The partnership was born out of the longtime friendship between George Meeker, executive producer and partner of Interrogate, and Wilf Sweetland, CEO and partner of Sweetshop. Alongside Jeff Miller, Interrogate’s managing director and founder, the alliance among these three industry veterans and their teams not only strengthens each company, but offers clients access to trusted global production pathways--a huge advantage given the current circumstances.
“I first met George in 2006,” remembered Sweetland. “I’ve always admired his emphasis on craft; it’s a standard that has really underpinned my relationship with him, since everything Sweetshop does is centered around craft and representing the best directors in the world. Over the years that mutual respect has continued to develop. Then I met Jeff in 2011, and have followed as they’ve built Interrogate to be what it is today. I’m incredibly impressed by their business model and acumen, and the ongoing commitment to artistry above all else.”
The longevity of both companies is the result of seeking opportunities to consistently move forward, explained Miller. “Having a partner that exists globally in such strong terms is a wonderful thing, but at the end of the day, we are two companies aligned in our ways of working and cultures, and it has led to an opportunity that was too perfect to pass up.”
Meeker chimed in to say, “Collectively, we represent some of the best directors in the world. And uniting just amplifies that quality across the board. After speaking to Wilf about this for some years, in the end it became too hard to avoid. It was as simple as, why don’t we just join forces already?”
The inaugural production since partnering was huge--literally. Shot in the Nevada desert, Sweetshop director John S. Park collaborated with Leo Burnett Detroit to introduce GMC’s 2021 Yukon by spelling out the World’s Biggest Tweet.
The campaign is a prime example of the added muscle Sweetshop directors gain having two experienced heads of companies based in the U.S. For Interrogate, having a partner established in Australia (where Meeker knows the territory well), as well as New Zealand, London and Shanghai, adds strength and versatility to its resources with a broader global footprint.
For Sweetshop’s roster of directors in the U.S., Sweetland said, “They understand it makes total sense, as it ultimately brings more to the table for them. They know they’re in safe hands and that the alliance will only open up more opportunities.”
Meeker added, “Our directors admire Sweetshop. They jump at any chance they get to partner with like-minded companies with a reputation like theirs, plus they love watching us do something fresh and finding new ways to expand.”
Meeker sums up the level of comfort the partnership provides clients with at a time when people are working with those they know and trust. “The needs of our industry have changed holistically, and we are excited to rise to this occasion and meet them.”
“And what better way to do it than with people whom you have long trusted and admired?” added Sweetland. “We recognize this as a crucial time to expand support systems and, in turn, be able to offer clients our diverse roster of directors bolstered by an extraordinary sense of security.”
Brands and agencies the trio has spoken to are enthused over the expanded offering. “Everyone we’ve spoken to agrees it’s a no-brainer,” says Miller. “Clients know we have their backs and that they can lean on us as a global production partner and as a reliable source of top directorial talent. That’s worth its weight in gold right now.”