What would it be like to be a part of a group, a company, where everyone involved not only loved what they were doing, but also knew what they were doing? Where experienced professionals with a diverse background in the arts – from writing and acting to post-production and animation – were present and ready to take projects to the next level? These do not have to have be cursory daydreams and hopeless wishes.
Patrick Berwise Jr. and Freia Titland realized that few organizations in the entertainment and creative sectors were providing the total package: support and understanding from the artist’s perspective, combined with the experience of working in a professional industry setting. You would normally get one, but not the other. These two artistic entrepreneurs partnered to develop and launch Wiseland Entertainment – an up-and- coming production company that creates and produces thought-provoking material.
Based out of New York City, these two have vast knowledge of the entertainment industry and the credentials to boot. Freia is an actress, model and arts educator who is currently working towards her Master of Arts in theater. A multi-talented and multifaceted artist, Titland can help guide projects through their artistic phases. Berwise Jr. is deeply rooted in the technical and production aspects of filmmaking, with skills in cinematography, editing, animation, graphics, motion design, and illustration.
Titland always had a deep love for the arts saying, ‘My mother was an actress and is the co-founder of the Rockland Shakespeare Company. Her father was the runner-up for the original ‘Alfalfa’ character. My grandfather on my father’s side gave up a potential career as an opera singer to be with his family. Basically from birth I immersed myself in the performing arts. When it came time for college, I knew a B.F.A. in acting was the only way to go. After graduation, I set my sights on a career in the arts and secured professional representation for both acting and modeling.’
As for Patrick, his father was a musician in a reggae band and his mother was an entrepreneur who would film his gigs as a hobby. ‘Genetically speaking, it’s only fair that I marry the two; art and business.’ Of his interest in the arts he reminisces, ‘Growing up in Jamaica, we used to watch the afternoon Disney cartoons via the satellite feed. However, the cartoons would never be in sequence and we would have to fill in the plot holes ourselves. Eventually my brothers and I decided to bring our ‘plot filling stories’ to life and create our own comic books. I always thought an artistic industry was meant to be a community that came together like a family to create art that people wanted to see more of.’ That is what he is looking to do with Wiseland.
So, why start a production company? According to Patrick, ‘With the advent of social media and analytics, oftentimes numbers dictate what gets made.’ Patrick says that he would love to create content that is not only socially relevant, but meaningful to him as well. Ms. Titland added that as an actress, she wanted to provide more opportunities for herself and fellow actors by creating new and exciting work.
Patrick and Freia both have extensive industry experience that they feel will carry over into their professional efforts with Wiseland. Among his vast experience, Patrick said working for a music publishing company as a member of their new media and consultation team helped him gain experience working with industry professionals in a fast-paced, ever-expanding environment. Freia added, ‘As a working actress and model I have a great deal of experience being on set and in front of the camera. On the business front, I sit on the board of directors for an off-Broadway, award-winning theater company. Through this position I have learned, in great detail, how to make a company breathe and flourish.’
Wiseland has only been active for about six months. In that short time they have been busy developing content and establishing an efficient work flow. Their first project, ‘Shakespeare’s Magical World‘ explores the magical and ‘unnatural’ elements found throughout all of Shakespeare’s work using photography and film as their medium. The first segment, ‘Midsummer’ based off of Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream,’ garnered some attention from Shakespeare Magazine UK. The project highlights the ‘fanciful’ and mischievous faeries and was placed in a perfect woodland setting.
In addition, their second project, ‘Woman of the Wood’ starring actress Erica Becker, was featured online by Faerie Magazine. This sort of ethereal and other-worldly work is something Titland loves and specializes in; however, it is not their main goal. Berwise says, ‘We want to entertain on all fronts. Our main goal is to produce thought-provoking and engaging material that will entertain a diverse audience. For example, right now we’re working on our ‘Shakespeare’ projects, but we’re also in the pre-production phase for a slasher film.’ Berwise feels as an artist you shouldn’t be pigeon-holed into one genre or creative title.
Oftentimes companies have to outsource creative talent and support to help bring a project to fruition. Uniquely, Berwise and Titland have crafted a one-stop shop to support project growth. Thinking about what the future of Wiseland Entertainment might be, Berwise joked, ‘Well, I would love to just walk into Marvel and say ‘I’m directing Black Panther.’ However, it doesn’t really work that way. So, in the meantime, we will continue to expand and produce an extensive body of work that represents who we are as artists, and as people.’
By Courtney Antonioli
Courtney likes words and people. She writes plays (produced in New York City, Connecticut and Massachusetts). She has two web series: The Courtney and Chris Show and Courts Shorts. She has a letterpress card company, Honest C Cards, does lots of Tough Mudders and tells stories on stage.