Alchemy hopes to strike gold

New Dubai-based production company hopes natural chemistry will be the formula for success. The company, founded by three friends, will operate out of Media City.

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By  Marcus Webb Published  February 24, 2003

Three Dubai-based filmmakers have teamed up to launch Alchemy, a new film and video production company operating out of Dubai Media City. Nick Davidson, Craig Secker and Tom Hare Duke formed the idea for the company while in Pristina. “We first worked together about three years ago on a film about the UAE’s Armed Forces in Kosovo and we formed a rapport,” explains Duke a writer/director whose work includes Jim’s Story and The Zebra Man which starred Minnie Driver and was financed by British Screen and Channel 4. “Straightaway, I knew these were people I could share those half formed ideas that all creativity springs from.”

Although the three continued to develop their careers as freelancers they kept finding themselves working together whenever they could. “It was a natural thing, I suppose. We have complementary skills,” says Duke. Davidson, a cameraman and editor whose work includes Cultural Voyages, currently being screened on CNN, says the success of Dubai Media City encouraged them to take the plunge and launch Alchemy. “It’s quite hard to remember how different the media scene was just two years ago. DMC has made not only made it so much easier to set up and own a company, it’s also created a secure future for Dubai as a media hub,” he claims.

Not that it’s all been plain sailing. “In my case, I’ve had my own personal demons to beat,” says Secker who trained and worked as a news and current affairs cameraman for 9 Network in Australia before moving to Dubai nine years ago. “And having done that I’ve got a lot of energy to pour into a new venture.”

Alchemy anticipates its core business to be the production — from conception to delivery — of documentaries for their existing clients and attracting new business. However, in view of their skills base and investment in equipment Alchemy will also offer all production services.

In the long term, the company plans to develop and produce a raft of projects with broadcast and theatrical ambitions, preferably with a regional angle. “I think the media in the region will only really mature as the society does,” says Duke. “To take the metaphor of Alchemy a stage further: this a melting pot in which a lot of the elements have only just begun to react with each other. What will emerge, we can’t say.”

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