Dale Parmenter formed DRP FILMS in 1980, having worked in a video production unit ever since he left school. He was also a keen amateur cine maker, reaching the final of the B.B.C. Amateur Movie Making Competition in 1978, and again in 1979. Dale's first semi-commercial film, "Is Bewdley Being By-Passed", marked the start of DRP FILMS. It premiered at a public function on 25th June 1980, two days after DRP FILMS was registered.
The company's first camera and video recorder, a Sony, was bought in the spring of 1981. This was the start of the DRP FILMS wedding service, which grew to be the largest (and considered the best) in the West Midlands.
Dale produced his first corporate video in 1981 for the Kidderminster-based international carpet company Brintons, who are still drp customers today.
The company started to move into commercial video production and more work was coming from Brintons Carpets.
In 1982 contact was made with a new client, Thomas Cook, in Peterborough, who are today one of drp's longest-standing clients.
In early 1983, two Sony industrial cameras, a vision mixing facility plus monitoring and location lighting were purchased.
On 19th September, DRP FILMS appointed its first full-time employee.
The company continued to expand and acquire new clients, such as McLean Homes, Hereford and Worcester County Council, IBM and Severn Trent Water Authority.
By the summer of 1984, the wedding service had continued to develop with over sixty weddings filmed that year.
It was apparent in 1985 that the level of work and expansion of the company meant that more room, equipment and permanent staff were needed, so a second office was established in Bewdley.
This relieved considerable pressure from the existing studio and made way for the installation of an automatic editing suite.
In 1986, DRP FILMS was commissioned by Hereford and Worcester County Council to produce a video programme on the construction of the Bewdley by-pass which was extremely fitting as the first by-pass film was DRP FILMS' maiden project.
The business' brand image continued to change as a new logo was designed and a brochure produced.
New clients continued to work with DRP FILMS such as Vax, and Bruff Rail.
As the company developed, it began to diversify into new business areas as Dale adopted a strategy which would become the foundation for the company's growth for years to come.
Dale began expanding the services he provided so as to deliver the best value and quality to clients from under one roof. Equipment hire, consultancy, duplication and conference staging became part of the offering.
In 1989, the company underwent a period of dramatic change. The business was completely relocated to the ex-RAF base, the Ikon Estate.
The size of the business' original premises was 72sqft so a move to the new facilities fuelled rapid business growth. Since then, drp has slowly been taking over the whole estate with the current drp facilities covering 4.2 acres.
DRP FILMS employed nine people and the conference business had expanded to cover 60 per cent of the company's total sales.
This year also saw DRP FILMS celebrate its 10th anniversary at the West Midlands Safari Park. Clients and suppliers attended the day, and 100 guests were entertained at a gala evening.
New major clients were won this year, including Warranty Holdings, British Telecom and Dolland & Aitchison. The company invested heavily over twelve months, with conference equipment upgraded and also new premises for the conference department sourced.
A full-time graphic designer was employed to support all areas of the company. Throughout the year, staff training stepped up with service, quality and creativity at the heart of this training.
The conference department grew at an alarming rate and very quickly, large projects brought the two main departments of video production and conference staging together, resulting in a totally integrated presentation service.
The growth of both departments meant current premises were overcrowded and unsuitable, so in October, work commenced on the conversion of a large unit on the Ikon Estate. In just two months the new premises were up and running.
Due to the rapid increase in the size of the business, changes had to be made to the way it was run. New procedures were implemented through BS5750, teamwork and staff training. In May, the company won the Small Business Award for Training and Development.
The year also saw the conference department, staging roadshows in France, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands.
Dramatic expansion took place in 1994 with the conference department working across Europe and employing new technology such as intelligent lighting, hydraulics and virtual reality. The highlight of the year saw the business win the CENTEC Business of the Year Award. DRP FILMS also won the coveted Award for Business Growth.
Towards the end of the year, the brand image was transformed with an updated logo; the word FILMS no longer took centre stage and was replaced by Presentation and Communication.
The plans were now in place to take DRP Presentation and Communication into 21st Century as a major force in the industry.
1995 was another milestone in the company's history as Dale celebrated the business' 15th Anniversary. Celebrations were even bigger and better than the previous anniversaries as staff and client numbers both increased. DRP was asked to stage the International Marketing Conference for Sun Valley's owners, Cargill, in Minneapolis. For the first time, a dedicated sales and marketing person was employed by the company. This year, Future Teams was launched in response to the demand for team development activities linked to a series of objectives.
1996 saw DRP drive forward in the areas of Multimedia. The company knew it needed to start taking e-commerce seriously, as it was going to be the cornerstone for the company's growth towards the end of the century.
In 1997, the time had come to look closely at development. In its present structure, the business could not sustain the existing growth level. A strong management team was needed to take the company forward. DRP was no longer simply a video production company.
With events, technical, video, multimedia and print divisions all in full operation the drpgroup was born.
In 1998, a significant advancement for the drpgroup arrived with the formation of a new senior management team.
This introduced greater discipline and structure to the departmentalised group business and would lead to a formal board of directors assuming control of each division, reporting into Dale.
This year saw the largest growth period in the company's history and the formation of a middle management team.
Profits reached record levels and the Hartlebury complex doubled in size with 9 new team members joining.
The year 2000 brought a lot of success, lots of change, many challenges and opportunities for the team and the company in its 20th year.
March saw a dedicated creative division launched to look after clients' creative needs.
The 2001 trading year marked the start of a new vision and a bright future for the business, promising to be the most successful ever. What couldn't be foreseen were the atrocities of 11th September, 2001.
The drpgroup lost 60% of its business almost overnight. The whole drp team became part of a survival plan, adopting new efficiencies, and aggressively looking for new markets and clients.
Come January 2002, the company was on its knees, with discussions about receivership in full flow. A total restructuring of administration and accounts functions was undertaken to streamline the operation and increase efficiencies.
The drp team pulled together however and through strength of resolve and hard work, avoided making a single redundancy and bounced back as the year ended.
In 2003, after the damaging effects of world events, the drpgroup saw a fantastic recovery in all areas of the business. New team members joined and production levels returned to normal. 6 months were spent preparing an ambitious 5 year plan.
This would be realised through new ways of working, new structures and a huge investment in clients, people and facilities.
2004 saw the drpgroup implement the largest ever training and development plan in the business' history to support the needs of the growing team.
This was reflected by the group achieving the coveted Investors in People Award, an accolade still held today.
The drpgroup's 25th anniversary celebrations kicked off, this time with the creative force of all of the company's brand-new divisions behind it. The new drpgroup structure included drpvideo, drpevents and drpprojectmanagement. thevenuepot and drpprint were also launched this year. Celebrations were held in June 2005 while the group launched a new PR strategy, focused on winning industry awards to cement its standing in the marketplace.
The new look corporate identity was launched, with new stationary, new brochures, video, website and a promise which would become the beating heart of the business, anything's possible.
2006 became an exciting year for the group as massive investment began into in-house technology. Almost completely wiping out reliance on third party suppliers, the group maximised its cost effectiveness for clients by bringing even more conference, video, editing and recording facilities and equipment totally in-house.
This year, the group also added Corporate Media Displays to the growing business.
2007 saw drpinteractive launched to meet the growing demands for dynamic online content. A brand new website was developed, bringing the drpgroup's online presence up to date with the latest in flash animation and video streaming technology.
Individual sites representing the group's divisions were also created sharing case studies and each division's promise to clients.
In 2008, when the worst recession since the great depression of the 1930's took hold, the bold decision was made to triple drpgroup's marketing spend and invest heavily in new staff and facilities.
This recession-beating strategy ensured the group continued to win new business while other firms cut back. This year also saw the opening of our London facilities in Covent Garden.
2009 saw the recruitment of six new team members and the opening of an additional 10,000 sq ft of production space in Hartlebury. A customer survey was carried out in late 2009 with the group using the positive feedback from this document to further improve business processes to best deliver for clients.
A rebrand of drpinteractive was also carried out this year and the division became drpdigitalmedia.
30 years on and the group's work was seen in every continent across the globe, from video and multimedia programmes across the UK and Europe, to events in the Asia, Canada and South Africa.
2010 marked the 30th anniversary of the company with numerous social, environmental and business focused projects and initiatives, culminating with an anniversary celebration.
This was the year of investment, particularly in our digital business. We recognised the significant impact the new technology would have on all areas of the business so we acquired Birmingham-based digital company MS Internet.
The MS team were integrated quickly into drp's existing digital team. The process was hugely successful and has continued to grow significantly.
A fantastic year for the UK and for drp. We were immensely proud to play a significant role in delivering projects for the Golden Jubilee and the 2012 Olympics & Paralympics. We produced Olympic-based projects for five of the major sponsors, from films to digital solutions and events.
The largest involvement was staging the flame festivals and torch relays for Sainsbury's and the Paralympics.
This year was hugely successful with the largest series of improvements and investments in the company's history. In January we moved into our purpose-built new studio complex, creating the largest corporate communication and production facility of its kind in Europe, positioning us as the only company in the UK that can boast a fully integrated, totally in-house service.
The new facility was officially opened in June with a spectacular launch event.
The year started with the acquisition of GROSVENORFILM, a well-established Soho based film and video production company. We also launched our exhibition division, formalising a service we have been offering for some years. drp has grown and developed enormously during the year, expanding the team to include 150 communication experts.
We also won a record number of industry awards 37 in total, including Agency of the Year twice! In the build up to our 35th year it was time to update our brand, with a cleaner, fresher look and feel.