Export- 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year Awards

Jill Knox Gosse & Lynne Wilson

Co-owners of Wreckhouse Productions

Jill Knox Gosse and Lynne Wilson (not pictured) are co-owners of Wreckhouse Productions.

Jill and Lynne met when they were working on the mini-series “Random Passage” in 2000. They hit it off immediately and have been friends and colleagues ever since. In 2010 they established Wreckhouse Productions, a company whose films are now distributed worldwide.

Jill realized early on that she didn’t want to work for other people; she loves being her own boss. For Lynne, her desire to be an entrepreneur was born when she started working in film and realized it was the business she was meant for. She enjoys the freedom to make decisions: “the buck stops with me,” she says, “and I like that responsibility.”

Jill and Lynne discuss every aspect of the business, and one reason they work so well as a team is that they bring complementary skill sets to their projects.

“Being passionate about what you do helps you succeed”

 

Winning this award means a lot to Lynne and Jill. They know how hard it is to run a business and they particularly value recognition from their peers. It helps keep them going in a tough industry. Working in film in Canada is rewarding, they say, but it’s not easy. It remains a male-dominated industry in which perseverance is crucial to survival.

Lynne is inspired by trailblazing filmmakers from Newfoundland such as Gordon Pinsent, Mary Walsh, Andy Jones, Cathy Jones, and others. “They’re a lot to live up to,” she says, “and Jill and I do our best to keep the tradition going.” The pair are also inspired by great stories and the knowledge that films made from those stories can engage audiences everywhere.

Wreckhouse Productions does business all over the world. They’ve recently finished a co-production with counterparts in Ireland and Norway and are working on a documentary with a German company. They sell films in Spain, Thailand, the Philippines, China, the US… “The world is a smaller place now—you can make films wherever you want,” says Lynne. They have learned that a quality product will travel anywhere. For them, that means starting with a good story.

Lynne and Jill began doing business internationally though co-productions with other countries. They make a point of attending festivals, meeting people, and networking. Building relationships is key, as is keeping abreast of international industry trends.

Next steps include a feature film to be shot in Australia in February, another in Canada in May, and a number of projects in development. They are shifting increasingly toward television rather than feature films because that is the way the industry is headed. “We’re open to expansion and trying new things,” Lynne says, “and that’s what keeps us moving forward.”

The Export Award recognizes an entrepreneur who has excelled in export and can demonstrate notable growth in her overall business as a direct result of entering new international markets.

The 2016 Export Award was sponsored by Export Development Canada.

For more about Jill Knox Gosse and Lynne Wilson, check out their 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year Award winner video.

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