Basil Gelpke & Ray McCormack
Basil Gelpke was born 1962 in Basel, Switzerland. After his studies in Social Anthropology, Economics and in the production of scientific films, Basil soon became fascinated by all kinds of moving images. He started his career in advertising but soon changed profession becoming one of the youngest journalists to ever work for Swiss television. Among his first assignments was a highly acclaimed interview with Lisa Minelli. In 1987, at a time when CNN had just started to broadcast, Basil became interested in round-the-clock television news coverage and joined Europe’s first TV news channel, the European Business Channel where he was soon promoted to become EBC’s Paris correspondent. During his time at EBC, Basil also reported from South-East Asia. He was one of the first journalists to venture into Cambodia after the fall of the Khmer Rouge. In 1990, he moved to Cologne to become the producer of Tacheles, a weekly political talk-show on German television. There he worked closely with host Johannes Gross, a legendary personality in German journalism. Whilst in Cologne he also compiled his first one-hour documentary “The Artificial Paradise” on behalf of Germany’s WDR channel. This film, about thehistory of LSD and its Swiss inventor, Albert Hofmann, later got nominated for Germany’s prestigious Grimme awards. In 1992 as an advisor and senior editor he became involved in setting up Germany’s first truly 24-hour news channel, n-tv, in Berlin. In 1993 Gelpke returned to Zurich, Switzerland where he was one of the journalists to start NZZ Television, the TV department of Switzerland’s oldest and most respected newspaper. Basil also has a track record in producing reality TV programs. Through his company Lava Productions Ltd he was the Executive Producer of the legendary “Survivor” TV series in Switzerland (“Expedition Robinson”) and Germany (“Inselduell”). The three series he was responsible for attracted record-breaking ratings between 1999 and 2001. Basil became interested in the state of the world’s dwindling oil reserves after reading a paper from a Sydney-based hedge fund back in 2002. He’s been laughed at about his obsession with the peaking of oil production many times but lately more and more people seem to understand and share his concerns.

Ray McCormack

Together with Basil Gelpke of Lava Productions AG, Zurich, he has recently made his feature directing debut, completing the documentary, “A Crude Awakening – The Oil Crash” which has screened at a host of festivals around the world including SXSW (World Premiere), HotDocs, Galway (Audience Award) Melbourne, Edinburgh, T-RIFF (Best of the Fest) and AFIFest. Since 1996, Ray has produced commercials and corporate films for many of the worlds leading advertising agencies and their clients, including Audi, Ford, Nestlé, Pepsi and Mercedes. Since 1989 he has produced, and occasionally directed, music videos, arts & entertainment programmes for TV and documentaries including producing the award winning, feature documentary, “Welcome to The Cheapseats”. His clients have included the BBC; Fugitive TV; and Propaganda UK - where he also worked as head of production. Artists he has had the pleasure of working with include Sir Paul McCartney, Queen and Kylie Minogue. Ray is a graduate of the MEDIA training and development programme, EAVE, and has an Honours degree in Environmental Policy and Management from Guildhall University.


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