• An interview with Jonathan Yeoman, from Yeo Creative Solutions

Yeo Creative Solutions are APDG’s newest Awards sponsor, joining us in 2017. Managing Director Jonathan Yeoman attended and presented at the Awards in Melbourne.  Many of our APDG members and practitioner friends are familiar with the design, services and products supplied by Yeo Creative Solutions. We caught up with Jonathan recently to learn more about Yeo Creative Solutions.

Jonathan Yeoman – Vacform Showroom

When did Yeo Creative Solutions start and can you explain what you do?

It all began in 2014 as a design and 3D visualisation studio for the event and entertainment industry. We built up an impressive client list from corporate events to television productions and soon people were saying “the images look great – can you just make it happen?”. So, with my production management background we started to project manage the scenic elements of productions and quickly realised that many of the products I’d relied on when working in the UK were not available in Australia. By 2016 we were developing the idea of Yeo Creative Solutions which has three major areas of business – Design, Projects and Supplies. Our Design business provides drafting and 3D visualisation services. Our Projects business works primarily in the corporate events arena – this is a sector filled with audio visual companies and event stylists, but without a corporate facing project management supplier specialising in scenic construction. Finally, our Supplies business has become a central part of the organisation and we are well on the way to fulfilling our vision of being the ‘go to’ supplier for scenic solutions. I have worked in the industry since the late 1980’s and living in the UK until 2009 I had built up a strong network of contacts among the manufacturers who service the busy European theatre industry. It is these connections that allow us to provide such a wide range of quality products for the mechanists, prop makers, art directors, set decorators, construction carpenters, scenic artists and of course, designers.

BAFTA Awards

Can you give some examples of productions that have used your products or services?

It’s an ever growing list that includes Home & Away, The Checkout, Channel 7 News, Channel 9 News, Big Music Quiz, Logie Awards 2016-2018, A Place to Call Home, TVCs for Optus, Birds Eye, Holden, K Mart, Alien:Covenant, Pacific Rim, Australian Survivor, The Voice, The Footy Show, Sydney Theatre Company, Bangarra Dance Theatre, Queensland Theatre, Hughesy, We have a Problem…..

How do you choose the products you sell?

I was a theatre production manager in the UK for companies such as the Royal National Theatre, a number of West End productions, English Touring Theatre and Birmingham Stage Company. It was my job to work with my team to turn the designer’s vision into reality – or at least into a fully functioning theatrical production – almost the same thing! I was always looking for products to solve one challenge or another, usually in a hurry and always on a budget.

Unlike Australia, the huge scale of the European theatre industry means that over the years it has generated its own support industries. The products we sell must all be a ‘solution’. They must be accessible to all – if a school production wants 7 metres of 8mm black polyester sash cord then they shouldn’t need to order by the 100m reel and give 4 weeks’ notice. We hold these items in stock and sell by the metre. They must be reliable – a castor should work as well a year into a tour or production run as it did on day one. If it bends or the tyre comes off after 2 months – that’s not designed for this industry. Finally, if there is a demand, we’ll look at meeting it – if there is anything that you wish you could get your hands on or you would rather find locally than have to look after the freight and duty yourself, then let us know.

Jonathan Yeoman – Fabric Showroom

Price or quality – what is more important?

Both! We are about quality solutions. We are lucky, we usually have a number of products that can help – we always work with our clients to find the most appropriate solution for them.

What is your favourite Yeo Creative Solutions product?

I love them all! Each product, whether a service or physical product has been especially selected because it represents a quality solution that works well for this industry.

The J&C Joel products, both fabric and flooring, are excellent – we have direct access to their specialist technical support, their quality control is top class and service second to none, Triple E drape and scenery tracking systems are in my opinion the best in the world – straightforward and well engineered, I toured Triple E systems for years with no issues, I’m delighted to be representing Triple E in Australia.

I think the Varaform thermoplastic mesh is amazing – there are so many applications. Rubber Glass fools the experts every time. The theatre castors we bring in from Germany are exceptional – brilliantly engineered and designed specifically for the entertainment industry.

Our gaffer tape range is the widest I’ve seen in Australia – multiple finishes, colours, adhesive strengths, widths, fluorescent, glow in the dark or matt black ‘can’t see me in the dark’ – your choice. Scenic Paints from Scenic Studios in Melbourne – an Australian product for scenic artists, by scenic artists – we’re thrilled to support Scenic Studios by holding their products in Sydney.

Vacform scenic panels – undoubtedly the widest selection of stock moulds in the world and a range of the most popular 25 to 30 designs in stock at any time in Sydney.

And don’t forget of course, our drafting and 3D rendering service – high quality 3D visualisations of scenic concepts – created by industry experts, to scale, that amaze designers for their realism and accuracy when compared to the actual completed set.

Do you have everything in stock?

We try to hold our most popular items in stock. We have a range of almost 2000 products so for practical reasons we sometimes have to order things in when required. Please check with us though as we do everything we can to keep lead times short and have a huge stock of samples in our showroom.

How can people contact you?

Call us on 02 9460 8159 or email jonathan@yeocreative.com or visit us at our showroom 59 Hume Street, Crows Nest, NSW 2065.

We look forward to introducing Jonathan to more of our members and sponsors at the 2018 APDG Awards in Sydney on 16 December.

© | All content copyright APDG or its respective owners