Director – Strategy & Development
Listed among the 40 most influential people in South African media under 40, Executive Producer/Director, Odette Schwegler has 18 years of experience in directing and producing award-winning television.
Owner of bl!nk Pictures, Odette has specialised skills in all aspects of production – technical; creative and business. She has applied these skills with success to hundreds of productions for local and international clients.
She has led production teams, managed multi-million rand budgets, negotiated broadcast contracts and driven executive-client relations in the execution of feature-length films, entertainment series, reality shows and current affairs programming, including: Idols Give Back; Glory Game: The Joost van der Westhuizen story; Living It Africa; You’re Hired and Carte Blanche.
Odette has been the recipient of several prestigious awards, including: the CNN African Journalist of the Year (Television); the Taco Kuiper Award for investigative journalism; the USA/South African Health Journalist of the Year; the SAB Environmental Journalist of the Year; the WWB Legal Journalist of the Year; and Best Foreign Film (LA All Sports Film Festival). Odette’s reputation in the industry has earned her positions on the judging panels of the South African Film and Television Awards (2010 and 2011) as well as the International Emmy Awards (2012, 2014 and 2015).
She is a founding executive member of the Branded Content Marketing Association of South Africa.
Director – Production
Bernadette Maguire is a passionate television producer who simply loves a good story and fighting for the rights of animals, children and the underdogs. A Rhodes University Journalism graduate with a keen interest in environmental, consumer and investigative stories, Bernadette seeks out the truth and objectivity in every situation. She has covered stories around the continent and thrives on danger – which may explain why she often signs up for gang, underworld and drug stories.
Her career started on the talk show The Felicia Show in the ‘90s, after which she moved on to consumer journalism, working on the popular Isabel Jones’ Fair Deal show.
Her mainstay to date has been M-Net’s flagship current affairs show, Carte Blanche. In addition, she has worked for several international news agencies including PBS, Sky, CNN, ITN, Al Jazeera and CBC.
She enjoys sinking her teeth into in-depth longer format documentaries and recently produced documentaries for Wildaid, The Public Health Enhancement Fund and Multichoice Zambia.
Bernadette loves a challenge, thrives on the adrenalin and quite simply loves the myriad creative opportunities that comes with her job. There are few other jobs where you can meet new people every week, learn constantly and have no idea where you will be from one day to the next.
Director – Formats & New Programming
Billy White, a tireless creative, has produced across most genres of television from reality and game shows to soap, factual and drama. The bulk of his work has been producing international hit formats such as The Apprentice, Idols, and game shows such as Thirty Seconds to Fame! and Whammy!
He has produced work for clients such as Fox World, Turner Broadcasting, Fremantle Media and Disney, having conceptualised and produced the one-of-a-kind reality series capturing the grueling behind-the-scenes process of the casting and production of the stage adaptation of The Lion King with Grammy Award winner Lebo M.
As a Development Producer he has conceptualised, produced and sold a number of reality, game show and factual formats for the South African market. Conceptualising and producing original television is a key passion – he was the Executive Producer and Key Creative for various original South African game show and reality formats such as Zing! (a music talent search show), Tweestryd (an original game show format) as well as reality shows Dans! Dans! Dans! and Dance Club South Africa for The Cartoon Network.
Billy previously negotiated and brokered the option representation rights in the South African and in some cases the greater African markets with clients such as Mark Burnett Productions for The Apprentice and Rock Star as well as with All3 Media for hit Emmy Award-winning formats such as Cash Cab and with Warner Brothers for the South African option for The Bachelor.
In addition, on-the-ground production is a key skill having successfully managed big budget productions and the challenges they come with technically, creatively as well as dealing with large production teams and demanding clients.
Billy has also, to a lesser degree, been active in the advertising production industry, having creatively produced various Loerie Award-winning ad campaigns for Terraplane Films.