January 31, 2023 | By Bronwen Largier | All images: April Josie Photography

AV1’s annual Long Summer Lunch, held last week at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, was a showcase of the production company’s capabilities and culture. And it really works from a stakeholder perspective.

The event for 120 of AV1’s clients, plus media and suppliers, was part year-in-review and part thank you with a dose of AI-generated dream-following encouragement.

“I’d really like to thank everybody in this room, for all of the faith you put in us and all the opportunities you gave us in 2022,” said AV1’s managing director Keith Wootton to those assembled.

“This time last year we were back down in uncertain kind of lockdown – we ended up having the Long Summer Lunch in February.

“Beyond the 25th of February, we went crazy,” said Wootton. “The industry just picked up and didn’t look back.

“What an absolutely wonderful year it was, 2022. A shakey start, but from March through to November we had so many great opportunities, thanks to everybody here, and one by one, despite global staff shortages, we pulled out all the stops and made pretty much every event happen. A couple of bumps and scratches along the way for our crew and our staff but we got there.”

The theme of Wednesday’s event was dreams and the room, looking out over Sydney Harbour, was all pastel purples, pinks and blues, with foliage hanging from the lights, creating a sense of being on some kind of new-age, soothing, ethereal plane. If AV1’s designers were hinting at some approximation of a future utopian landscape, they got there.

A lovely touch at the lunch was an AI-generated poem on the back of each personalised menu card, based on a request made to each guest when they RSVPed to provide a glimpse of their dreams for 2023.

“This is about taking technology and making it meaningful, not just having tech for tech’s sake,” said Wootton.

The explanation of the personalised poetry led neatly into talking about AV1’s dreams, which are becoming a reality – the business recently relocated to a larger space, moving from Waterloo to Alexandria, which has allowed the company to indulge in its aspirations: they’ve begun a training program to upskill a group of 12 willing and talented staff, offering full time roles and dedicated training time over 18 months and the new facility has rehearsal space and dedicated training space with gear.

Due to the rocketing up of business, AV1 has also been investing in more technology and more vehicles.

AV1 and Sprintr by AV1 staff had their moment in the spotlight in the dreamy lunch landscape too, with Wootton calling the whole team “an absolute dream to work with”.

“We’ve very, very appreciative… of all the opportunity you guys give us to allow us to live our dreams,” said Wootton, of AV1’s client base.

“To the year ahead, please try and follow your dreams. Don’t forget to live your life as well as live your work life.”

Will do.