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Brodie Nero knows the RIGHT approach to digital marketing

Getting your business online is now more critical than ever before.  The pandemic has forced businesses to pivot online and those that already have an online presence are taking things to the next level.  Whether it is brand marketing, e-commerce, social media or copywriting, digital marketing is today’s way of doing business.   Those companies who are left to dry and don’t know where to start because it is all too overwhelming should look towards making those small steps in digitizing their business.

Digital Marketing Strategist Brodie Nero is here to assist you in making this crucial step that will have your business in the digital universe in no time.  The brand marketing expert from Toronto has worked with major companies like Audi, Zara, Nike and OTR Meals to reinvent their marketing strategies and create new relationships with their customers.

Not to mention that Brodie Nero founded Gram Surge where he helps entrepreneurs and influencers grow their Instagram followers who genuinely have an interest in their content.  He’s an expert in getting you in front of the right people by building proper infrastructure for your business online.  He is set to launch an online business ecosystem course in the new year which will empower you to use the right tools into making that seamless transition into the digital world.  We spoke with Brodie Nero on just how to do that and how to start making an impact.

FERNTV:  After reading RBC’s press release on “How to Navigate 2021”, it was found that half of all businesses did not have an online presence which brought more despair to their businesses during the pandemic.   Can you comment on why this is so?

Brodie:  I’m not shocked at all to hear that. We are creatures of habit. Slow to change. Especially older businesses and older business owners. It’s no secret that the internet is a place that you can create more brand awareness and turn that awareness into more revenue for your business. However, people are intimidated by the knowledge, technology and wherewithal it
takes to build a successful online presence.  This has crippled business owners from jumping full stead into the digital world. On top of that,  there are a lot of people working in this marketing space that is (in my opinion) doing incomplete work. Often, leaving their clients with a bad taste in their mouths about the efficacy of online marketing.  However, the time has obviously come for anyone who turned a blind eye to online marketing to put both eyes back on it. Everyone is scrambling. That’s why in life I’ve heard that it’s best to be as proactive vs reactive wherever possible.

FERNTV:  What are some of the main foundations that need to be planted to become a Digital Marketing Strategist?

Brodie:  Great question. A digital marketing strategist is someone who understands all the vital components that work together to help a client have more success online. They can help create unique strategies around how a client is positioned with their online presence. I feel that a digital marketing strategist should be able to help a business begin from scratch with their
online presence and also be able to ‘refresh’ one’s strategy that may have been online a while longer.

“It’s fair game for all out here. Not every business can have every customer. Meaning even if someone is selling the same thing as you, they may rather have the consumer experience through you if it’s better.”-Brodie Nero


FERNTV:  Can you give us an example of where you took a business to levels that you did not think were possible?

Brodie:  Yeah, I have 2. One I can talk about openly and one I’d like to keep personal as it’s an untapped ‘niche’ 😉

Currently, I head the social media and brand ambassador program for the fastest-growing meal prep company in the city, OTR (On the Run) Meals. It was founded by Galin Djagarov 5 years ago out of his condo.  The rate of growth in the last 2 years has been insane. My philosophy has always been that when you use the voice of your current customers and the avatar of your prospect, you will have a lot of success. Particularly, with content marketing. This strategy has yielded massive, massive success for OTR Meals as we continue to dominate the market by servicing the community so well.

The other one is a traditional business that historically has never done any social media marketing. As a matter of fact, almost no competitor in the industry has EVER done social
media marketing, properly! I applied the same strategy that I mentioned above and 10x’d the number of application forms they receive in the month.  To give you an idea, I was told that they only use radio ads and spend upwards of $5K for those ads. From those ads, they get 1-2 leads MAX and these leads don’t always convert. That is a terrible ROI, to say the least. I set up a social media ad connected to a campaign that was a combination of both SMS and Email marketing. I brought them over 40 applications the first month. They have now had to hire someone to handle the number of new inquiries they’re getting.

FERNTV:  It’s disappointing sometimes that in the entertainment industry especially in the film industry where there is not enough online presence for them to get the word out there with their film.  Why make a product anyway if no one knows or is made aware of it?

Brodie:  Social Media has certainly disrupted a lot of industries. In film/entertainment the ‘gatekeepers’ have lost their authority because anyone can create a piece of digital media. Albeit a movie, music, skit etc. This piece of content can suddenly get all the views in the world and the individual who created it a ‘success’ in their space.   It’s fair game for all out here. Not every business can have every customer. Meaning even if someone is selling the same thing as you, they may rather have the consumer experience through you if it’s better. It’s all about how you tell your story and position yourself online. I read something the other day about a woman creating a video course on knitting and earning a multiple 6 figure income. KNITTING! Come on. There’s room out here for everyone.

FERNTV:   For most entrepreneurs and start-ups, it’s difficult to have that income to budget into marketing.   What do you advise those to do at this point?

Brodie:  All the information for you to learn marketing with little to no budget is out there for free. What I’ve noticed that works best is to find one unique person/resource that you connect particularly well with. When they speak/share, you feel it. Then follow everything they say and start to build what I call, your online ecosystem.
There’s a LOT you can get done on little to no budget.

FERNTV:  What are your thoughts about digital marketing boot camps?让你尝尝又痛又爽的滋味让你尝尝又痛又爽的滋味,日韩电影一中文字幕日韩电影一中文字幕,少女高湖表情图片少女高湖表情图片

Brodie:  Anything around online education I am in support of. I particularly like to study and learn on my own. I don’t really care if someone is learning with me at the same time. But anyone who enjoys the opposite, I’m sure would love the concept of a digital marketing boot camp.

FERNTV:  What can one look forward to when taking your online business ecosystem course?

Brodie:  Fantastic question. My main objective with this course is to give brand and business owners alike a complete overview of the most important pieces to put together to take your business online. Also, how to make them all work at the same time to help you acquire more customers/awareness about what you’re offering.

There’re so many moving parts to digital marketing. There’s no way you can master them all.  However, if you know about the most important ones and how they work, you can potentially
do them yourself and/or know who to delegate the work to. Such as your staff, freelancers or an agency. I want to make the students who take my course feel self-empowered. An added benefit is that this course will reduce the chances of you being taken advantage of for any online services you try to hire for.

IG: @iambrodienero


Fernando Fernandez is a graduate of Environmental Studies at York University. He became passionate about the arts when interning for many internet startup magazines focusing on music and film. Inspired by the work of Stanley Kubrick, Fernando created FERNTV for everyone to become inspired and motivated about the arts and culture that surrounds them. As hard working as he is, Fernando still has time to be funny as Private Joker from Full Metal Jacket.





Director J.R. Giurissevich is full of surprises in mysterious thriller

Iain Belcher, Cassandra Ebner and Shawn Blair McKinney in A Deadly Place

By reading the synopsis of this film A Deadly Place you would think this is another one of those thrillers where a woman returns home and all hell breaks loose from the minute the film starts.  Maybe the film Alone featuring Jules Wilcox would remind you that A Deadly Place is going to be the same type of film.  Well, that is certainly not the case here with Director J.R. Giurissevich‘s latest thriller as she really gives the audience a run for their money by keeping them on the edge of their seat and even the smartest and geekiest of cinephiles guessing as to what is going to happen next.

Hailey Adams, played by Cassandra Ebner, returns home after her father Samuel, played by Douglas Chapman, has passed away.  As she is about to collect her thoughts and grieve, an unexpected visitor comes knocking on the door.  It is an old family friend Ben Tinson, who is played by Iain Belcher, who has noticed that Hailey has returned after several years away.  Ben invites Hailey back to his house where his father Gregory, played by Shawn Blair McKinney, is going to have dinner to celebrate his late daughter’s birthday Tressa, who is played by Rachel Renaud.  Hailey agrees despite the awkwardness and antisocial characteristics of Ben but having known him for a long period of time is her saving grace.

When Hailey is invited to the house, Gregory is enthralled to see her and excited to hear about the many stories that she has in regards to her journey away from home.  This is where the discomfort and uneasy level of the audience sets in as all three of them seem to be uncomfortable with the situation but it is the right thing to do.  With Ben’s awkwardness, Gregory’s passive-aggressiveness and Hailey’s unemotional presence and nonchalant attitude towards her father’s death, the slow burn of this film goes much deeper when they finally get to the dinner table.  It is as if all three desire something from the other but don’t know how to quite get there.  It is like the three of them are playing Texas Hold’em Poker as they are all bluffing to see whether who is going to go in first to uncover some sort of truth.  With a much break in the uneasy purgatory of instability, Hailey asks to go to the washroom but decides to go inside the wrong door as she sees a vigil for Tressa in Gregory’s room.  He then walks in unexpectedly and is surprised that Hailey is in there and that she has invaded his privacy.  This is the turning point amongst several points in the film that really makes you think twice as to what the hell is really happening.

The journey that director J.R. Giurissevich puts you on is quite eventful and it really messes with your head because you try to find some comfort in all the discomfort that you are feeling.  All the P.T. Anderson like shots and close-ups that make you absorb what each of the characters is feeling or seeking really sets up the slow burn process but builds up that climax to the story.  You have to hand it to Iain Belcher who really sets the tone to the film with his awkwardness which becomes so annoying yet is relative to the mood of the film.

A Deadly Place is that type of film where you have one of those “what the fuck” type of moments.  It is similar to the movie The Departed where everyone gets shot and you go “what the fuck?”  Not that everyone gets shot in this film A Deadly Place but it is that unexpected moment that creeps up on you which is just thrilling.  It is almost as if this film which is set in a linear non-linear format which brings all these moments that no one saw coming.  If the movie A Deadly Place was a song then it would be Phil Collin‘s “In The Air Tonight” because the beat does come unexpectedly at more than halfway to the song.  The audience in this film knows it’s coming, but they just don’t when and where.



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Tony Burgess and Greg Collins in To Hell With Harvey

A writer’s world is always mysterious and most of the time chaotic which happens to be the narrative most of the time.  There have been several films already this year, ironically during a pandemic, where the film focuses on a writer who is seeking their next published book, their next inspiration or even the next right word to use in their story.  A writer’s world is alluring and it always has been and has been stirring the curiosity of bookworms since the dawn of time.  Wouldn’t we like to know what was it like to be in the world of J.D. Salinger, D.H. Lawrence or Hunter S. Thompson?   For these writers not to fall head over heels or go stir crazy because they are illustrious there is that saviour.  It’s the assistant who must keep their writer in check so they can take advantage of the opportunities that might head their way after a reading or a book signing session.  Without the assistant, where would all these writers be today?

Director Liv Collins‘ takes this writer and assistant tandem story to appeasing heights rather than to the depths of despair in her film To Hell With Harvey.  The film begins with a young high school graduate Greg, played by Greg Collins, who is an aspiring writer who gets involved with a writing group to progress his craft.  After telling reading his short story, the clan of writers immediately starts berating the story and Greg’s writing skills.  Knowing that he has a lot more learn, one of the group members tells him that renowned writer Harvey McCoy, played by Tony Burgess, needs a personal assistant.  This is an offer that a struggling writer like Greg could not refuse so he contacts Harvey right away and goes to his house to start this job as a personal assistant.

Tony Burgess as Harvey McCoy and Greg Collins as Greg Gifford

Harvey starts to mentor Greg to becoming the writer he wants to be by telling him that he needs to write every day and live a little more to write.  Harvey is in or nearing his last chapter in his life and to boot, he is a reclusive alcoholic and separated from his wife.  That gives him enough reason to be snarky and crass with Greg and at times treating him like a little child when he mocks him.  All Greg wants for Harvey to do is read his short story and get feedback from him but Greg becomes Harvey’s scratching post.  When they begin Harvey’s book tour celebrating the 15th anniversary of his book The Great Affliction, Greg gets to know Harvey’s dark but charming side and his difficult past.  The two do have a unique chemistry and they both play off the dichotomy of good and bad or young and old or trainer and trainee.  The audience does feel for Harvey despite his flaws that make him careless but the tough love that he expresses to Greg makes you chuckle and engaged.  Once Greg convinces Harvey that he should start caring once again, we have “A Star Is Born” like moment but for writers in the last stanza of the film.

The film is simple and the characters develop in this film.  There are not too many aggressive tones in the script that make it overbearing in which many Canadian films do to stand out.  Director Liv Collins rather keeps the film pleasant and appealing by having these two carry the film and it is just right.  We think here on FERNTV that this is a film that is paying homage to none other than Tony Burgess himself.  The man who wrote more for the Canadian genre film side with his resume stacking up to films such as Pontypool, Septic Man, Hellmouth and Ejecta is quite the legend himself.  Who better than to play the role of Harvey McCoy than Tony Burgess and it is so nice to see his acting chops in a film not considered genre.  If To Hell With Harvey is paying homage to a man who has worked so hard to raise the levels of Canadian cinema then congratulations to Tony Burgess because he has probably been to hell and back a few times by doing this.  At least its on a highway.

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Lee Lawson in Speak Your Mind

They say that you are only as good as the people you hire which holds true for director Cyrus Baetz‘s film Speak Your Mind.  He put all these great actors and actresses in this dialogue-driven dark comedy about a man named Jacob, played by Steve Kaszas, who is a struggling actor himself who needs to get his **it together.  He is having problems with his girlfriend Cassie, played by Angeliki Athanassoulias, and his new seedy boss, Anthony hilariously played by Justin Darmanin who is supposed to show him the ropes in the acting industry.  Jacob does look for help in his life and career by taking some deep method acting lessons by Robert Williams, played by Paul Nicholas Mason, who tells him to level up his acting and take it up a notch.  Jacob also consults his lesbian therapist Iris, played by Lee Lawson, consistently and tells him to try to do something new by speaking his mind whenever he gets the chance.  This method is what she calls the “mind speaking method” and it brings him to a whole bunch of chaos but new levels of understanding of himself and where his life is.

All of these great supporting actors make this film enjoyable and we here on FERNTV were impressed with the performance of Lee Lawson.  We thought there was a lot of chemistry between her character Iris and Jacob in the film.  Despite the dark and dry humour amongst Jacob’s other counterparts, Lawson brings the charm and hope into the character of Jacob allowing the film to balance itself out and cut into that dryness.  FERNTV caught up with actress Lee Lawson to discuss her pivotal role in the film Speak Your Mind and the industry during this pandemic.

FERNTV:  Briefly describe your character in the film Speak Your Mind and the experience in the casting process? 
Lee:  I play Iris, she’s an old, nurturing soul; good at reading others, not so much herself. I introduce Steve Kaszas’ character, Jacob, to an experimental therapeutic technique and hijinks ensue. As for the casting process, it was a good old fashioned audition.  I like auditioning, it’s one of the only times where screen actors get to “perform live”, which always adds special energy to the mix.
FERNTV:  You are the supporting actress to the main character Jacob played by Steve Kaszas in the film. For those who are not in the know can you explain what it means to be a supporting actress or actor in a film?

Lee:  For sure! I think playing any character, be it a lead, supporting or itty-bitty-bit-part, is much the same process from an acting point of view. You analyze, feel out the beats and commit.  The real difference is the way the director sculpts those performances to best tell the story of the central character.  The peripheral characters give the protagonist something to bounce off of; they help or hinder or teach or reveal something… And when a film is clicking, you feel the supporting characters as fully dimensional people as well. I think Cyrus did a beautiful job balancing the perspectives in the film.
FERNTV:  What was it like to work with Cyrus Baetz and what has he taught you when working on this film? 
Lee:  Cyrus is an incredibly giving, collaborative director.  Throughout the process, he was right there with us (the actors); rehearsing, running lines, checking in.  Oftentimes, once you’re cast in a project, your contact with the director is extremely limited until you get to set.  Speak Your Mind was different, Cyrus made himself available so we weren’t working in a vacuum. As for lessons learned…I learned a lot about how far you can push a moment.  There’s a pivotal monologue in the film and when we shot it Cyrus let me do it 11 times. 11! It was amazing to be able to work through a chunk of text like that and to have a director take the time to find it.
FERNTV:  This film Speak Your Mind comments on the industry and the difficulties and struggles in being an actor/actress. Can you comment on this as well?
Lee:  Nope. I’ve never struggled one bit. 😉 Though I have heard from others that it can be difficult to remain truthful and open while outside voices dictate what you’re allowed to do and how much you’re worth… So potentially that aspect of the film checks out.
FERNTV:  There are a lot of scenes in the film where I caught myself laughing hard because of that Toronto sarcastic humour which is prevalent in the film. Do you feel that the city is being recognized for that type of comedy? 
Lee:  Torontonians are very, very serious. We never joke. Only people from Scarborough.  Canadian humour in general tends to be pretty quirky and dry… Not mean… Just dry.  Canada Dry. But in all seriousness, I think it’s lovely that Drake and the Raptors have made us at least 20% more relevant to the rest of the world. Thanks, Drizzy.
FERNTV:  What are your thoughts on the current state of the Canadian film industry?
Lee:  Hmmm…  That’s a tough one… If you had asked me pre-quarantine times, I would have said; “it’s a vibrant, growing, exciting scene to work in.” Now? I think we’re in the same recovery process as everyone else.  I don’t know if bigger productions from the states will shoot here more or less.  If independent production will go up due to cheaper rental costs or down due to safety concerns… It’s hard to say how social distancing will affect sets and even the stories being produced.  We’re just going to have to wait and see. Although I have to say, I’m enjoying the BTS pictures from productions that have started up again; whole crews in PPE, plastic wrap draped over everything… Very sci-fi.
FERNTV:  When it comes to acting, who are you influenced by and why? 
Lee: There are actors I love; Cate Blanchett, Catherine O’Hara, Catherine Keener… All of the famous Cates and Catherines… And Elisabeth Moss… But I try to let the story and aesthetic of the project be my inspiration. To let each film organically inform my process.  I try to find music, or films or even literature that “vibes” with whatever I’m working on. To draw maps, or write backstory or sometimes even do movement exploration to find unique things.
FERNTV:  How do actresses like yourself move forward or maintain inspiration during this COVID-19 pandemic? 
Lee:  You know, it’s funny…I spent the first part of the shutdown feeling restless. I kept trying to push forward, develop, reach, grow, and be disciplined. But one of the most valuable things that have emerged from our…collective compulsory holiday… Is a sense of calm. For the first time in my adult life, I feel like I can be still and breathe. Perhaps periods of lower output are important too, I think they help reset your sensitivity to the world around you. Sometimes it’s okay to just be.
FERNTV:  What are some of your future projects at this point?
Lee:  I have some cool ones on the horizon!  One of the interesting aspects of the shutdown is that all of the things I’ve been working on have been bottlenecked and will all be coming out simultaneously in 2021.  There’ll be a really neat period piece called Of Wise and Earnest Men that was shot on 35mm, A quirky economic comedy called Think About a Dolphin for Once. A western horror called The Young Wife, and my hyper-visual, tactile, short called Sit. I’m excited about all of them!
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