When Mark Bishop and his business partner Matt Hornburg created their business model for marblemedia at Mark’s dining room table in 2000, little did they know their venture would put them at the cutting-edge of Canada’s interactive media community only a short time later.
Mark and Matt embraced the idea of the Internet in 1994 when they got their first email accounts while studying at Ryerson University. They had been learning about the impact the advent of radio had in broadcasting history and similarly, the pair saw the explosive potential that the on-line world would have for storytelling.
“When we started there were about five thousand production companies in Canada,” says Mark. “How could we be different? What point of differentiation could we provide? We decided our goal was to build a company that would focus on telling compelling stories on any platform.”
As partner and co-founder of marblemedia, Mark is responsible for building strong relationships with broadcasters, content developers, technology partners and investors. He plays a key role in developing both television and interactive projects that tell unique stories across multiple platforms. At the 2008 Canadian New Media Awards Mark was named Producer of the Year and marblemedia was named Company of the Year. Mark has also been honoured by The Hollywood Reporter as a Next Generation Producer.
In 2010, marblemedia joined forces with Alberta-based SEVEN24 Films to form Distribution360: a full-service entertainment distribution company for multi-platform content, focussing on the monetization of video and interactive properties. Distribution360 focuses on children’s, youth, drama and factual programming, for distribution to international audiences. To differentiate itself in the current marketplace, the company takes a full-service approach by offering value added Brand Integration, Interactive Content Creation and Executive Producer services; a great solution for producers seeking a centralized distribution hub offering multiple resources.
Mark is the co-creator of marblemedia projects including: The Adrenaline Project, a high-energy reality series and website for tweens; Taste Buds, a kids cooking and food adventure series that provides a hands-on television and Gemini Award-winning interactive experience for kids in the kitchen and beyond; The Dating Guy, an animatedseries and Gemini Award-winning website that follows the laughs and perils of the dating world (currently airing on TELETOON at Night; the North American version of Skatoony, a live action/animated game show for kids on TELETOON; and Splatalot, a medieval-themed physical game show geared to the tween audience, which airs on YTV and TÉLÉTOON in Canada, the BBC in the U.K. and ABC in Australia; Splatalot is now in production for its second season. marble’s newest project is What’s in a Name?, a factual entertainment series for History Television about the history of names and naming practices.
Mark is the Executive Producer and Producer of This is Emily Yeung and This is Daniel Cook, now airing in over 90 countries including Treehouse in Canada and Playhouse Disney in the U.S, Germany and Japan. The two This is... projects have a seven volume DVD collection, a series of six books and a This Is Daniel Cook CD available at retail locations across North America. Combined, the 2 shows, have two award-winning websites, six ACT awards, a Prix Jeunesse web prize, four Gemini nominations, have been named Webby Award Official Nominees three times and the “This is Daniel Cook. Here we are!” CD was nominated for a Juno Award (with Daniel, the youngest Juno nominee).
Another marble project, Shorts in Motion: The Art of Seduction won a GSM award for Best Made for Mobile Film, Video or TV Service, a Banff World Television Award for Best Mobile Program Enhancement Award and a Silver W3 Award for ShortsInMotion.com. The project was also nominated for and an International Interactive Emmy for Best Interactive Program and a Canadian New Media Award for Excellence in Cross Platform.
marblemedia won the Lions Gate/Maple Pictures Innovative Producer Award, was selected as one of the Top 10 Groundbreakers by the Bell Broadcast and New Media Fund for deafplanet.com.
Past credits include: two seasons of deafplanet.com, Toothpaste, and its award winning follow up Burnt Toast.
“When we look back at this time in our industry’s history, these will be regarded as the golden years of innovative thinking,” says Mark. “The recession has forced us to change. There are many opportunities for new and emerging producers to break into the industry. People who have fresh ways of thinking will develop new and unique ways to leverage public, private and international funds to develop compelling content on all platforms.”
In 2007, Mark and his business partner Matt, along with Corus Entertainment Inc., established an educational initiative for Ryerson University’s new Masters of Arts in Media Production program - The Innovative Storytellers Award. The award is a $20,000 contribution over a five-year period intended for an outstanding Ryerson University graduate student whose thesis explores how content creators can best use new technologies to connect with audiences.
The duo has gone on to receive the Isadore Sharp Award for Outstanding Recent Graduate, presented by Ryerson University and the Emerging Producer Award presented by the Alliance for Children and Television.
Outside of marblemedia, Mark guest lectures at numerous Universities and Colleges, sits on the OMDC screen based advisory committee, and acts as a curriculum advisor at Sheridan College, Confederation College, Ryerson University and the Dean’s Advisory Council at Centennial College. He is the Chair of the Board of Directors at Interactive Ontario, as well as a member of the Youth Media Alliance, the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, Film Ontario, the CMPA Ontario Producers Panel, the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television and Women in Film and Television. Originally from Saint John, New Brunswick Mark was also appointed a New Brunswick Ambassador.
He also sits on the Board of Directors of the CMPA (formerly the Canadian Film and Television Production Association).