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20 years of Dream Team Televison
Posted by: Editor
Posted on: Tuesday 18th November 2014


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Last month we brought you a 'blast from the past' in the form of the TV coverage from the 2002 Half Ironman UK in Llanberis.

The event represented the first triathlon production from Dream Team Television (www.dreamteamtelevision.co.uk), who are celebrating their 20th year of covering endurance and adventure sports. Since that first triathlon event, Dream Team have produced countless TV programmes over the years, and chances are that if you have watched coverage on Channel 4 (and indeed many other channels), it was probably from the Dream Team studio.

So how did Dream Team start (and where did the name come from?). We asked founder Ron Isles about how a hobby turned in to a family business.

Check back tomorrow when we'll have a full interview with Ron Isles, looking back over the Dream Team years.


Dreamteam Television 20th Anniversary

How did Dreamteam Television start?

The interest in Adventure filming started when my wife, Angela and myself, having moved to live in Wales, became associated with the Barmouth to Fort William Three Peaks Yacht Race, an extreme race combining Sailing with Mountaineering.

We were both interested in Photography and Cinematography, and the race seemed an ideal subject to further what was then a major hobby.

We became closely involved with the event, producing several presentations designed to promote the race. Eventually using the then innovative format of Video 8, helped by some press-ganged, climbing and sailing friends, we celebrated the 10th anniversary by producing a video.

The video sold well, and we realised that we were able to recover some of the costs involved in what had become much more than a hobby.

We started to cover other adventure events, producing souvenir videos, and then came a commission from Karrimor to produce a souvenir for the 25th anniversary of the Karrimor Mountain Marathon.

Dream Team 20th Anniversary

Following this came a definitive break when I was offered a job commercialising a purpose built TV production facility at Coleg Harlech, a College which specialised in providing the qualifications for mature students to gain University entry.

Still with an eye on adventure, while developing the unit, the opportunity arose to document the then highest marathon in the World, The Everest Marathon. I raised a production budget through sponsorship and pre sales of the documentary, particularly to the Fox Network and London Weekend Television. The production team comprised myself, Richard Uridge a BBC presenter, Al Hughes a high altitude climber and cinematographer, and significantly our son Stephen.

Following the filming Stephen became closely involved in the post production edit, his storytelling and photographic skills coming to the fore, further to this he was able to follow the technical process of putting the programme together.

The resultant documentary was very successful, being shown widely in the UK and overseas. However at that time swinging cuts were being made in the National education budget, and although successful the unit was axed.

The College had no interest in maintaining what was a valuable association with major companies, and ongoing decommissioning work for ICI and British Nuclear Fuels, and so were grateful when I decided to become independent and take on the work, forming my own production company.

Dream Team 20th Anniversary

At this time Stephen's father in law, Raymond, an accountant, who had previously worked for a film company, and who had experience in sound engineering with the BBC, was running Dolphin Computers, a successful software company which he founded.

With Raymond’s accountancy background and computer knowledge coupled with Ron's skills in production, and with future work assured, the two families joined forces and formed Dream Team Television with Ron and Raymond as co-directors. Stephen started to work full-time in the business, his creative ability in narrative and editing, being complemented by Raymond’s knowledge of the emerging computer technology.

In the course of time, the business became truly a family one when Stephen's wife Katharine and her brother Christopher, joined the business. The principle directors are now Stephen and Chris.

And the name, Dream Team?

It started on the Everest Marathon. "Look out here comes the Dream Team" said the wags whenever we appeared on the scene with our cameras, and it stuck.

Check back tomorrow when we'll have a full interview with Ron Isles, looking back over the Dream Team years.


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