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From Farm Life to Fugitive: CEO Chris Gernon Shares His Childhood Dreams Turned to Fruition

From Farm Life to Fugitive: CEO Chris Gernon Shares His Childhood Dreams Turned to Fruition

Chris Gernon
As a child, Chris Gernon was given every opportunity to create any project he could dream up. Some were farfetched and seemed unattainable, but nothing was out of reach or off limits when it came to filling his imagination. Chris spent most of his childhood working on a peaceful 80-acre farm in the depths of Louisiana. The farm was considered a “gentleman’s farm”, as there weren’t any horses or livestock at the time, but the infrastructure remained with several barns and chicken coops that are now empty. In order to escape from burdensome chores, Chris spent his free time hiding in the hayloft which had a large open area and old wooden beams with sidings. He spent many hours here dreaming of how one day he would make this exact space a home. Many years later in the city of Los Angeles, he had the opportunity to buy a warehouse. It wasn’t like the barn that he had grown up in, but it contained a large open space with a soft light. He knew exactly what he had to do to convert it into not only an office but a home where he could see all of his childhood dreams come to fruition. Paying close attention to the qualities of the space and accentuating them completely, he mixed the old and the new in order to tell a unique story. It was important to pay homage to the original industrial space with the original concrete floors, but infuse the space with modern touches. Designing the space himself, he created the centerpiece of the warehouse: a hayloft made out of his own reclaimed wood which is now his bedroom. Below his bedroom, he designed the space as an office with computer servers and an equipment room. Chris also designed the warehouse for an easy transition from work to home with an open floor plan kitchen, living room, and conference room. The separation maintains privacy, making it easy to step into and out of work. Every day, Chris focuses on the relationship between dreaming and execution. Twenty years ago, he started a video post-production agency called Fugitives Editorial. Fugitives Editorial creates digital content for several world-class companies, including several divisions of Disney Parks and Resorts (Disney Vacation Club, Aulani, and Adventures by Disney and all of its parks). Chris explains, “Most people think it’s about running away from something. Instead, it’s actually running toward a problem and finding a solution. We think about how to solve problems better. The primary focus at Fugitives is content creation.” Wanting to expand his enterprise even further, he opened a boutique advertising agency in 2018 called Fugitives Creative, a company that offers a complete package of creative services. Through Fugitives Creatives, he recreated the SAHARA LAS VEGAS brand from the ground up. In the year since opening the project, he helped build the brand’s strategy, name of the property and its entities, logo design, hotel and business collateral, as well as all marketing campaigns for the following year. The combination of these two divisions of the creative and the execution has been a lifelong goal that is not just beginning to be realized. “Every day, running a company, managing creative, and paying the bill can sometimes feel like you’re pushing a rock up a hill with your nose, but to have the ability to create your own path and be in charge of your destiny is everything. It takes work, you struggle, and there are many sleepless nights. But you know what? I wouldn’t change it for the world.” For more info about Fugitives Editorial, visit fugitives.tv.

Content retrieved from: https://homebusinessmag.com/success-stories-lifestyles/farm-life-fugitive-ceo-chris-gernon-childhood-dreams-turned-fruition/.

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5 things I wish someone told me before I became CEO

5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became CEO of Fugitives,” With Chris Gernon

Carly Martinetti
Carly Martinetti
Feb 4 · 9 min read
Running a business 50% relationships and 50% work. That the relationships are equal to that of the work you produce. And it’s not necessarily that the work can’t speak for itself, it is the relationships and how you handle the client and whether you’re a nice person to work with. You know, that’s also the bottom line too, is do people like you and do they relate to you? Today I had the pleasure of interviewing Chris Gernon, the founder and CEO of Fugitives, a creative agency that develops visual content for some of the world’s most influential brands. Chris is at his core, a storyteller and marketer using every medium possible as a canvas to create branded content. However, his passion lies in helping others by using his marketing skills to affect social change throughout the world. As a child, Chris spent countless hours working at his father’s hardware store in the depths of Louisiana where he was given the freedom to build anything he could dream up, no matter how far-fetched or difficult. Sparking his creative spirit at an early age, Chris went on to study film in college After college, he started his career in Los Angeles at the legendary production houses of Propaganda, Satellite Films and Mojo Editorial, where he specialized in video editing and visual effects for national television and cinema campaigns, music videos and long-form branded content.In 2005, he launched the International Music Feed with Universal Music Group, as their Executive Producer. After the network was launched Chris turned his entrepreneurial spirit towards launching his own creative solutions agency.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us the story about what brought you to this specific career path? I think it’s probably that I grew up in a family of entrepreneurs. I never really planned to own a business though. It was just kind of like in my DNA. It happened when I was with some friends and colleagues and we were looking at the industry as a whole and realizing that the current way of doing business was never going to work. And so we decided that a more streamlined and economical approach was the way the industry was moving. We started a business together, all three of us, and they backed out, and I ended up with the company. So, it was really just out of a conversation that we had that we started something that they didn’t want to complete, and I took it on and finished it out. Can you share one of the major challenges you encountered when first leading the company? What lesson did you learn from that? The major challenges I had in the business was sales. How do you go about selling yourself in a way that you’re able to talk about yourself? The hardest thing in the world is how do you talk about yourself and as a creator and as more of a creative person and not a business person, I always struggled with the sales aspect of my business, and I had many people along the way tell me that the only way to sell a business is for me to do it myself. And then I tried different paths of hiring people to sell or getting managers to sell or other people to do the work for me. The biggest lesson that I learned, is that the only way to do it was to sell yourself. And that you had to learn how to talk about yourself in a way that people can understand it. What is your message? What are you selling, and how do you talk about that? The other challenge is really in team-building and in personnel and understanding how to keep people motivated in a project, but then also get the work to move in a certain direction. So, it’s really in the negotiation, the creative minds and how you inspire and lead as opposed to dictate and mandate objectives. What are some of the factors that you believe led to your eventual success? Perseverance, determination, and never giving up. Never accepting no as an answer. Always believing that there’s another way to approach something and never feeling that the first approach is the best approach. Sometimes you have to go about in a different way to get where it is you need to go, and that’s been true for sales as it is to creative objectives, as it is to everything. There’s many ways to go about tackling a project or a goal or something else, and it’s never that the first way you go about it. You have to constantly think about it in different ways and being open to the idea that the initial approach is not always the final approach. What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became CEO”?
  1. How difficult it is to run a business. If I would’ve developed a business plan and had gone about starting the business, I don’t know if I really would have done it to be honest. I ended up this way. And I’ve struggled along the way and it’s not an easy path, but it’s a path that is the most rewarding. And when you’re in control of your destiny, that is probably the most rewarding. But had someone told me how difficult it was to get there, I would’ve questioned whether I wanted to do it or not.
  2. That sales would have been as difficult as they were. As a creative person, just to understand how to sell yourself is the hardest part of everything that I do. And I wish someone would have told me a better way of doing it, but I learned the hard way, which is sometimes the only way.
  3. That running a business 50% relationships and 50% work. That the relationships are equal to that of the work you produce. And it’s not necessarily that the work can’t speak for itself, it is the relationships and how you handle the client and whether you’re a nice person to work with. You know, that’s also the bottom line too, is do people like you and do they relate to you?
  4. Funding is always a difficult thing because most of the business now is project-related and not retainer-based. And so, cash flow is always really difficult in the business, especially now that clients are getting a little bit more strict about their payment terms, and it does affect the bottom line into how businesses run when they’re relating on a business to business level. It becomes difficult with cash flow, definitely. It’s good to have a line of credit basically that can handle the cash flow issue that’s coming up. That’s probably the biggest. That if you had a line of credit associated with your business that could cover you through the times that the client has an extended payment period, then it could help keep your business afloat in a longer way.
  5. Have a good attorney. That’s another really key thing and that contracts are drawn up that protects yourself through the course of payment terms and delivery and what’s expected, what one person is doing versus what another person is doing and what are the terms of within that agreement.
What advice would you give to your colleagues to help them to thrive and not “burn out”? Patience. Patience. Never taking no for an answer and understanding that the business is cyclical. Just because you’re not in line for something now doesn’t mean you won’t be in line for that project later. Things have a cycle to them, it’s important to understand and prepare for that cycle so that as one client is phasing out you have another client that you’re able to sort of put it in the wings. You never want to be overextended with one client. So you’re constantly having to build your roster of clients that you can rely on to help keep the business afloat. None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story? His name is Chuck. Chuck was a partner at a company that I worked for and I always respected his insight and his ability to bring organization to particular problems. I gravitated to him because of his intelligence and his work experience. He was like me, he didn’t go to business school at first, but he went back to business school after he ran a business. His insight was first textual or more academic but then it was also real-world experience because he had ran a business. His insights were key to helping me out. Another person that helped me out was a guy by the name of Chip. Chip was the one who sat me down and basically set me straight legally, like through lines of credit. Overall, to show me how do you physically run a business. What kind of team do you need around you behind the scenes to help orchestrate all the stuff that you need to get it done? Attorneys, bookkeepers, legal tax people, just business associates that you need to have on your team to help facilitate what it takes to run a business. What are some of the goals you still have and are working to accomplish, both personally and professionally? Definitely to sign a new client, Ideally, it would be a re-brand, but typically how these things work is that you get smaller projects upfront to sort of test it out. So, it’s really just about isolating and building that client and then trying to negotiate and get work in the door. That’s the biggest thing in any sort of sales and the hardest thing in the world to do because you have to break the shell of a company and get introduced to them in a way that opens up their idea that is accepting new vendors. So it’s about wedging yourself into a situation or trying to find associations that will allow them to understand you. It took me close to two years to get The Sahara as a client. So, it doesn’t happen overnight, it’s a slow, slow burn. When you say build a client, that’s a full-time job along with all the other work that you have to do. What do you hope to leave as your lasting legacy? I would want a foundation set up that promotes and allows other entrepreneurs to have an ability to learn what it is that I learned through scholarships, an entrepreneur program, or a foundation. The foundation would be something that would link people together to give them a leg up in the industry to not necessarily have to go through all the steps that I went through. I want to be able to help others to potentially start off on an easier path to success than it was that I had to get there. Even more so, I would like the foundation to be for LGBTQ kids or entrepreneurs that have a similar background that i had. Kids that don’t come from a wealthy family who need to start something from the ground up and grow in a business-oriented way. Helping them meet the right people, move in the direction with the right resources and the right infrastructure to overall support them. You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would enhance people’s lives in some way, what would it be? You never know what your idea can trigger! One of the things that someone told me as I was growing up in the industry was that you have to know what it is that you do really well, how your brain thinks, and what comes naturally to you and your instincts. What comes naturally to me is problem-solving. If I were to start a movement or something that would trigger a change in people’s lives, it would be through giving them tools on how to go about solving a problem. To train your brain to think in a way that doesn’t create problems but solves them. To train the brain to have empathy, look at things from many different perspectives, and understand them from many different points of view. If I could give someone those lessons to help them move forward, then I would. How can our readers follow you on social media? Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fugitivescreative/ — @fugitivescreative Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fugitiveseditorial/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cgernon/
 

Content retrieved from: https://medium.com/authority-magazine/5-things-i-wish-someone-told-me-before-i-became-ceo-of-fugitives-with-chris-gernon-e223d1a94254.

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Fugitives CEO Chris Gernon On The Future Of Marketing And Technology

Q&A: Fugitives CEO Chris Gernon On The Future Of Marketing And Technology

By Patrick Gorman -May 8, 2018 Chris Gernon is the founder and CEO of Fugitives, a Los Angeles-based marketing agency with a “we-can-fix-it” attitude that fills in the gaps when companies need help. He and his team have developed visual content for some of the world’s most influential brands (think Disney, CNN, and Nickelodeon, to name a few). Gernon and his team at Fugitives are also focusing on how brands can effectively leverage cutting-edge technologies such as virtual and augmented reality, and he is a seasoned TedxTalk presenter. Chief Executive caught up with Gernon to talk about launching his own agency, the role technology will play in marketing moving forward, and what common traits he looks for in leaders within his organization. Q: What were some of the things that inspired you to launch Fugitives? A: That’s a great question and one that I’ve thought a lot about through the years because I think it’s evolved. As I get deeper into it, the way I started is not what I think about it at the moment. And I think that’s key to anything as you start and you move through a good business solution is that, when you look at something at the very beginning, what drives you to start is not necessarily what motivates you to continue with it. And that’s probably been key for me, is that it has evolved, it has changed through the years. But what it was initially, was that we saw a change in the marketplace, friends of mine and I, and it started with a conversation about how we felt that we could do things differently. And not better or worse, but just more cost-effective. We saw that the model was shifting to more in-house agencies with large corporations, and they were looking for resources to help augment their current staff and situation. And that’s really how it started. We saw a need in the marketplace and something that no one was really doing. Everyone was focused on building big, behemoth sort of agencies, and working with a nice set of clients who would come and go, depending on what they felt about that one agency’s work, and they would shift agencies, and that’s how the model would sort of work. But what would happen is that you would end up with a whole slew of work that would fall off the table. And that’s why these large corporations were sort of building in-house agencies to sort of help pick up this slack, but then also, hold more of those agency contracts in-house. But they needed a team in-house to sort of work on those things. It had to do also with procurement, and how you staff up a team like that, and how you manage a team like that, and how you keep it rolling through. So, it was a little bit like, “How do we solve a problem of giving our clients a full-service agency that they would come to expect with all of the expectations and creative control, and being able to guide and lead a brand, an agency forward, but still keep it under this new model?” So, it was all these conversations that sort of happened.
And I say all of this, and yet, my model has shifted back to sort of a brick-and-mortar type of facility, where I’m now doing the things that I felt I was working against. And I think that that’s kind of the way the model is shifting, as well, is that once these corporations have sort of figured out that it’s not such a good model to work in-house, although most of them are still sort of moving in that direction, there is still a need for smaller, project-based agencies to run. I think the idea of adding an agency on retainer and having an agency of record is sort of outdated and obsolete. I think most corporations now are moving to project-based situations. And that’s probably better for them. I think the creative stays fresher. I think the agencies are more on their toes. I think there’s a better-aligned process, and moving through a creative process, that makes that mentality a little bit better for the client. Not necessarily for the agency, but certainly, for the client, it does make it better. And also it could be argued for the agency, as well, because it keeps them fresh. It keeps them coming up with new ideas. It keeps them challenged to work better, smarter, and faster. “I’M LOOKING FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE THINKERS. I’M LOOKING FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE OPINIONS, AND WHO BELIEVE THAT THE CREATIVE PROCESS IS BUILT THROUGH GOOD CONVERSATION.” Q: How did you pull your team together when launching the company, and how have you managed growth? A: I like people who are self-starters. I like people who are thinkers and have opinions of their own. And so, I really look for that outside of just their creative ability and their roster, I really look for someone who can think outside the box, who can do things in a different way. And that sort of follows in line to the big philosophy of Fugitives—we think outside the box and we look at overarching ideas, and then we drill down. We don’t start looking at the nuances of something before we have an idea. And that big idea is really what drives the conversation. And so, to have a team around you that is constantly looking for those things, that is always going back and re-evaluating what the big picture is, and then how everything fits in line with that picture, is really the key to finding a good team around you. And when you find them, I work really hard to keep them. Because I know that they’re rare birds out there, and I know that a good team is a foundation to any really successful company. And I’m not looking for button pushers. I’m looking for people who are thinkers. I’m looking for people who have opinions, and who believe that the creative process is built through good conversation. And so, having a good team that can really inspire you in the sandbox to play better, smarter, and faster. You know, I think that’s really what inspires me every day is coming in and working with a team of people who do that for me. I had a guy in here just the other day, and he’s not on this project, but he came in with some ideas to help foster a new approach to that project that he was not even on. I really admire that because that is what it’s all about, right? It’s not about ego, it’s about saying, “Hey, I’ve thought of something and I want to see what you think about it.” And from that conversation that he and I had, it built into a whole new revelation for the client that spurred on a conversation that grew into something else. And that’s key. It’s key to have that work environment with your team. And it’s also key to have that work environment with your clients as well. Because I believe that clients give you little kernels of information that lead you to a better place, and it’s important that you listen to those, and you investigate them A lot of times, people write off the client as not knowing what they’re talking about. And I value their opinion because I believe that they’re saying something that I’m not completely understanding. If they’re making a comment, it needs to be investigated. Q: When it comes to marketing and communicating branded messages, how will brands make the most of emerging technologies moving forward? A: I think that’s part of the mission of Fugitives is to think outside the box and come up with new, different, and interesting ways to further a marketing campaign. And that might mean virtual reality, or it might mean something else, like we just got a huge contract for a casino where we are creating a video installation inside of their casino to bridge and to help meld these two areas of the casinos together, but it also becomes a marketing approach. And now we’re able to give the brand a position inside their own casino. We also started some new bingo sites that many people are loving. And that is another way to move the needle forward—what are the marketing tools we have available to us? VR is one, traditional media is another, social is another. But then we also have these outliers which are just coming into our focus, which are the experiential type of experiences. That’s what we are doing with the casino. These are things that are on the perimeter that are just now coming into our vernacular when it comes to what’s available to us as marketers and how do we get the brand message out there in a viable and interesting way? And so, I believe the days of traditional advertising are over. I think that we’re at the tail end of any one of these commercials or print campaigns and I believe everything will move to social or virtual reality, which I still think is a new technology. I don’t think they're a lot of eyeballs or a lot of viewers in that realm, but those numbers are growing. And as they grow, you have to be positioned to know how to handle the technology and know that you’re not blind-sided at the very beginning of an emerging opportunity, such as this. You have to stay cutting edge. You have to stay aware of what’s happening technology-wise, and also what’s happening throughout the internet so that you know and you’re aware of things coming forward, and that you start playing around in those areas, and finding ways to tell those brand stories in a new medium. And that’s kind of key to the success, I think, of any company, is to move and stay top of the line. And really stay aware of what’s happening in the marketplace, and what are the newly emerging tools available to us as marketers to tell our company’s brand story? Q: What do you look for in leaders within your organization and what do some of your best employees have in common in terms of leadership skills? A: I’m not one for a lot of ego and bravado. I like people to be, at least teams of mine, to be thoughtful and considerate. And to not just speak because they’d like to have their voice heard. If I find that there’s too much bravado, then I find that it limits the actual process and the actual means of communicating with one another. So, no ego is a big thing for me and I will always have an open-door policy. I will sit anywhere, and I love being approachable. And I think everyone should be approachable because things come up, and you have to be able to switch gears and have a conversation with someone to be a good leader. And I look for that in the leaders that surround me, as well. You have to have an openness about you to be able to roll with the punches and understand how to deal with situations that are changing right in front of you. And be able to deal with them straightforwardly and just focus on getting the work done. And a good mentor of mine said this to me once, and I truly wholeheartedly believe it, a job of a leader is someone who says, “The goal, guys, is over here.” And he points them all in that same direction. And then throughout the journey, getting to that result, people will inevitably have problems. And it’s up to the leader to minimize those problems. To keep everyone focused on where the goal is. And to keep everyone charging for that goal. And until you have a focused team, that goal is unattainable. So, the goal of a manager, the goal of a leader is to keep everyone focused on that one goal and keep everyone understanding, and also having ownership of that goal. It’s their product as much as it is yours. In fact, it’s actually more their product than it is yours because they’re the ones creating it. You’re the one inspiring them to move forward and move in a direction. And I look for that in all of the people that I work with. Leaders, staff, everyone, all the way down the line, because it’s important that we all work towards the same goal.
Grabbed from https://chiefexecutive.net/qa-fugitives-ceo-chris-gernon-future-marketing-technology/
 

Content retrieved from: https://chiefexecutive.net/qa-fugitives-ceo-chris-gernon-future-marketing-technology/.

behind the scenes featured /
Fugitives steps into the world of animation with Q-Wunder.
Fugitives Q Wunder Season 2 EQtainment Sofia Dickens
​Fugitives steps into the world of the animated series ​Q-wunder​ as the lead creative editorial, character animation, and visual effects team. The 12-Episode series aiming to sharpen children’s social and emotional skills​ brought back to life Q the genius monkey, his side kick Q-bot and over 1000 props and backgrounds to tell this clever and fun season. Each episode combines live-action ​green screen footage with animation,​ music videos, games, and interactive content. ​The show features celebrity guests such as Michael Strahan, David Arquette​, ​Nick Lachey, & Wiz Khalifa​. ​Fugitives partner​ed with OraTV & EQtainment, to work on the animated series​. Fugitives ​collaborated​ with Nomad​, ​A new ​​animation ​studio​ ​based out of Sao Paula, Brazil. ​ Rafael and his animators were instrumental in ​bringing​ the animated series to life ​and is a continued commitment in ​​our efforts to find and cultivate relationships that work no matter where they are stationed. ​Here is a look behind the scenes into the production of Q-wunder with Fugitives.
Creative featured mentions /
Annual TEDx Talk returns with Uncharted Waters theme

Annual TEDx Talk returns with Uncharted Waters theme

By Emily Berryman Published Oct 19, 2017 11:32 pm
Chris_Apr2017_0063_flat copy
Chris Gernon will speak at this year's TEDx talk under the theme of "Uncharted Waters." Gernon is the president and CEO of Fugitives, a marketing company in Los Angeles, which works with virtual reality. Courtesy Photo The annual TEDx Talk returns with a variety of speakers telling stories relating to this year's theme, "Uncharted Waters.” The TEDx talk will take place in the IU Auditorium at 6 p.m Oct. 26. Ticket prices start at $15 for students and $25 for the general public. Tickets are available for purchase on the IU Auditorium website. “The theme has many interpretations, conversations people don’t want to talk about or are difficult to talk about, just like a sailor has never been into uncharted waters,” said IU TEDx president and junior Alyssa Osborn. “These would be issues like mental illness, an issue that never came up in the past. The speaker we have curated to touch on this subject is using virtual reality to help with mental illness.” For Osborn, other topics to include in the theme are innovations, new technology, climate change, and anything new and undiscovered. The speaker Chris Gernon is the president and CEO of Fugitives, a marketing company in Los Angeles. He includes mental illness, new technology, and innovation in his work with virtual reality. “Our speakers are curated by a team,” Osborn said. “The reason we chose all of our speakers is that they are doing something with their time, their life that adds value to the world in such a way that we believe is not as recognized as it should be.” Gernon works primarily in advertising. Disney is one of his biggest clients. However, one day he got a new request. “I got a project from a nonprofit organization, they wanted a film on mental illness that they could show at this annual event they were a part of,” Gernon said. “They had no idea of what they wanted, so I thought, let’s tell a story.” Gernon’s film is a virtual experience. In the movie, the viewer is sitting with one man in Ghana as he tells his story about dealing with mental illness. Gernon sees virtual reality as a tool to create empathy. People are placed in the hut with the man as he speaks, seeing what he has been living like for the last two years. He is tied to a log and unable to leave. “We are able to pull mental illness out of the shadows and onto the stage,” Gernon said. “Ghana as a country does not understand mental illness. They use very spiritual healing that is not rooted in science.” There is only one therapist to treat 2 million people, Gernon said. Whole communities are suffering because people simply do not understand. Gernon said he drew parallels with his own struggle with depression and anxiety as he was creating the film. He said he saw himself as an example of someone who was able to receive help with his mental health issues, whereas the man in Ghana was not. Gernon said he was now able to help this man even if the help was late in coming. “If no one is there to give him another option the situation takes a downward spiral,” Gernon said. “We all have tools, I am a fixer, I get into the nitty-gritty. What would help, funding a film? If you want to help, capitalize on what you have.” ​ At the TEDx talk Gernon will continue to speak about his time contributing to this film and how he makes a connection bridging mental illness and technology together. His fellow speakers will also have unique stories and solutions to offer on a variety of subjects ranging from fake news to pianists and sustainable food sources.

Content retrieved from: https://www.idsnews.com/article/2017/10/annual-tedx-talk-returns-with-uncharted-waters-theme.

Creative featured mentions /
Hollywood Spotlight: Chris Gernon of Fugitives
Fugitive's CEO: Filmmaker Chris Gernon

Hollywood Spotlight: Chris Gernon of Fugitives

Jacqueline Maddison
Music and Entertainment
October 3, 2017
  All of his life Chris Gernon, Founder/CEO of Fugitives, has been a fixer, creative, and innovator. Developing visual content for some of the world’s most influential brands, Chris and his Fugitives team have been sharpening their marketing skills on social change projects on a global scale. Fugitives are considered the “we-can-fix-it” marketing agency that fills in the gaps when companies need help. Chris is a storyteller and marketer using every medium possible as a canvas to create branded content by developing visual content for some of the world’s most influential brands. However, his passion lies in helping others by using his marketing skills to affect social change throughout the world. One of Fugitives Creative projects, Francis, is a virtual reality short documentary that sheds light on a global problem of treating mental health, which premiered during Sundance earlier this year. It tells the story of a Ghanaian man and his journey into isolation after being locked in a hut for 2 years. The viewer is guided through Francis’s story by his first-hand account of his experience. The film shows that Francis, like so many who suffer from mental illness around the world, is valuable members of society who can lead full, productive lives if they receive mental health treatment. The goal of the film is to help move mental health out of the shadows. Beverly Hills Magazine: Why is video marketing essential for any brand’s success? Chris Gernon: People respond to a visual image more than to text. Video gives texture and flavor to what that brand is all about. Every visual image is a clear representation of that brand. One image can tell 1,000 words. That’s the power of really good visual marketing. Video and visual marketing are inevitably representational of a brand and its tone. Every element of a video: color, rhythm, texture, pacing, plays a part in the telling of a brand story and relates to the bigger picture of the overarching brand. Every detail and every aspect has to be correct for the right impression, both the written tonality and visual tonality. There is nothing haphazard about a brand marketing video. Everything has to have a purposeful choice behind it. Those choices have to be strong in order to be distinguishable. Beverly Hills Magazine:  What sparked the idea to tell the story of Francis? Chris Gernon:  This project came to us because we’re troubleshooters and problem solvers. It was our first VR project but the team knew we were the guys for the job. Our mentality is, “Let’s dive in and figure it out and do it.” I feel very fortunate in life, and I think it is our social responsibility to help others who are less fortunate, so I felt compelled to be a part of telling his story for that reason as well. Beverly Hills Magazine: How is Virtual Reality revolutionizing filmmaking? Chris Gernon: VR is an empathetic platform for storytelling. It has the ability to put the viewer in a place and time and have a visceral response to the world around them. It’s one of many mediums by which to tell a story. It’s certainly a useful tool in itself, but others, like augmented reality, are just as powerful, as well as new technologies that are yet to be discovered or utilized to their fullest capabilities. Beverly Hills Magazine: What did you discover about the creative process through this project? Chris Gernon: For us as filmmakers, first we started to look into all the elements of VR and then use them to get the viewer to feel and immerse themselves into his real experience. Every element became a tool used in the telling of his story. The colors, the lighting, the settings; all of these visual components are necessary to create what we needed to create. It’s an intensive creative process, where you cannot skip steps. You have to let the creation become an organic process in order to get the best result. As we journeyed to discover VR, we learned so much and realized the importance of every detail that ultimately resulted in a more powerful finished product for viewers to experience and be emotionally moved by. Beverly Hills Magazine:  What do you want people to take from the film and the story of Francis? Chris Gernon:  The biggest take away from Francis’ story is that mental illness is a very real problem that many human beings are faced with. This film does one thing really well, it gets the conversation started. It doesn’t give a solution but brings the problem the light. This is just one story of many. Watch The Making of The Film Now Beverly Hills Magazine: What advice would you give to other aspiring filmmakers? Chris Gernon: The greatest advice is the same advice that was given to me, that shaped my entire career. “Know what you do, and do that that one thing really, really well.” For me, my expertise is troubleshooting and problem-solving. It becomes your passion. I will lay awake at night thinking about a project. I excited about these things. Your determination for anything is always connected to the love you have for it, and I love what I do! Beverly Hills Magazine:  Have you discovered a personal purpose in what you do? Chris Gernon:  There was a time in my life where I didn’t have the resources but I needed emotional support. So a generous man gave me an opportunity to heal myself through a process, and it changed my life for the better. Now, I want to be able to help others who do not have access to the resources or the support they need in order to be set on a better path; the path of recovery, the path to healing. Now I am in a position to do so, and that is purpose enough for me to do whatever I can to help. When we typically think of virtual reality, we often think about video games, however, Chris Gernon takes a new approach by raising awareness issues that may otherwise go unnoticed. Chris has decided to use VR not just for entertainment purposes, but for social good. His passion lies in helping others by using his marketing skills to affect social change throughout the world.
 

Content retrieved from: https://www.beverlyhillsmagazine.com/music-entertainment/hollywood-spotlight-chris-gernon-of-fugitives/#.WdVhLRMrI1-.

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Fugitives in Shanghai
Fugitives team and Chris Gernon spent 75 days on an international project in Shanghai.
Fugitives spent their summer embarking on on a 75-day Amazing Journey (迪士尼神奇之旅) to Shanghai to lead the campaign for Shanghai Disney Resort’s Grand Opening.  Fugitives was tasked with editing and finishing a six-episode reality tv show promoting Shanghai Disney Resort,