CSD SVF is growing! Bus Door Films (BDF) is the fifth business partner of our Social Venture Fund. Deaf-owned BDF is an early stage creative production and filmmaking business focused on providing quality video services for both deaf and hearing clients, and increasing the deaf artistic talent pool behind the camera.
Bradley Gantt and Ruan du Plessis, BDF founders, started their collaboration when they were just fourteen years old. “I had just moved from South Africa when I met him,” says du Plessis, “And we experimented with cameras like the webcams on our computers. Then we began working together professionally after we graduated from high school.”
BDF is a new startup providing comprehensive and high-quality creative production services for both deaf and hearing clients, including advocacy groups, nonprofits and corporations. The two former CSD employees have compiled an extensive list of video and film production credits, including work with ASL Films and CSD’s recent “Beyond Inclusion” film starring Nyle DiMarco. They are also joining a new feature-length film shoot this fall.
“Bus Door Films is poised to become an exemplar of the values held by the CSD Social Venture Fund,” says Christopher Soukup, CEO of CSD. “We have known Bradley and Ruan for several years and continue to be impressed with the quality of their creative work. Bradley and Ruan have already proven themselves with their previous work at CSD, working on contracts with government agencies and other private and public organizations with a high degree of client satisfaction. More importantly, their vision to expand deaf talent behind the camera is beautifully aligned with ours in addressing critical gaps in employment, and their presence will help increase authentic representation and the numbers of deaf people working in the creative production industry.”
Key BDF services include: film and video production both in-studio and on-location, editing, sound, visual effects, live event capture and streaming, and consultancy and advisory services.
“We are very honored CSD has named us as one of its SVF partners,” Gantt and du Plessis say. “We recognize that while onscreen deaf talent is becoming increasingly visible today, it is equally important to have deaf talent behind the camera to help drive the creation of content that more closely includes real deaf perspectives, and not just for deaf audiences only. CSD’s support will allow us to accelerate our vision and we are very excited to be working with them.”
The CSD Social Venture Fund (CSD SVF) is the first-ever social impact fund and incubator for deaf-owned businesses in the United States. CSD created this multi-million dollar fund in 2017 to help address the 70% unemployment and underemployment rate among deaf Americans.
“We really enjoy seeing the people who come to work with us hone their own skills,” says Gantt. “That creates a larger pool of talent. I want us to push our quality level even higher, and show people that we can be as qualified as HBO or Netflix – the kind of quality you see in Hollywood films. It’s our goal to get there – not just us two, but everyone collectively. I want us all to make things happen.”