Who are GFS?

The GFS team is a combination of producers, facilitators, analysts, accountants, investigators and multi-skilled consultants, all working to find solutions for your project, anywhere in the world. We provide independent advice, analytical rigor and creative problem-solving to help you make your story a success story.

Julian Grimmond

Julian Grimmond

President and CEO

Through the co-founding and management of GFS, Julian has provided risk management services for clients in the US, United Kingdom, Europe, North and South Africa, Central and South Asia, South America and the Middle East.

As a Producer and Director, he has produced and directed shows for networks including NBCUniversal, BBC, Discovery, National Geographic, A+E and CBS. He is an Academy of Television Arts and Sciences member, winner of three Prime-Time Emmy® Awards and nominee for Television Producer of the Year by the Producers Guild of America.

Julian has a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in History from the University of Otago, and has held senior governance roles in the screen production sector, including previously being Chairman of Film New Zealand and a Director of Auckland Film Studios.

Frith OHagan

Frith O’Hagan

Vice President, Business Affairs

Frith is co-owner of GFS and oversees GFS Business Affairs.  Frith has an extensive business and production background, with a career in Clinical Nursing, and managing the Dunedin Public Hospital Oncology Treatment Unit.

Overseeing GFS's jurisdictional compliance, quality control, strategic relationships and medical standards,  Frith has managed projects and the deployment of teams in a diverse range of countries and environments.  

Frith is also an accomplished sailor with bluewater crossings of the Pacific Ocean and yacht racing.

As Regional Chair of Child Cancer Foundation, Frith oversaw the regional strategy for supporting children with cancer. 

Lisa Niedenthal

Lisa Niedenthal

Vice President, West Coast

Having previously held the position of Director of Productions for Viacom Pictures, and Vice President of Production for Showtime Networks Inc., Lisa has solid expertise in Network production and has an intimate knowledge of the ever-changing industry landscape.

In addition to representing GFS in Los Angeles, Lisa continues to work as a Production Consultant for Showtime and also for the British Film Commission.

Dennis Weaver

Dennis Weir

Security and Investigations

Following an extensive career in the armed forces and commercial sector (including major oil and gas facilities), Dennis has proven experience in security, project and operations management, investigations, close protection operations, surveillance operations, leadership, training and policy development. 

Dennis' work in production has included coordinating the close protection detail for A-List celebrities filming internationally and ensuring the implementation of production-wide Security Plans for large-scale network productions.

Beatrice Diller

Beatrice Diller

Business Affairs

Beatrice has a degree in Business Administration from Munich University of Applied Sciences. She has worked in accounting, finance and administration for the re-insurance broking, tourism and transport industries. Beatrice was head of the finance and accounting team for Guy Carpenter GmbH in Munich, reporting to the global head office of the Marsh McLennan Companies in New York.

At GFS, Beatrice steers GFS’ business growth, development and the management of day to day business operations.

Beatrice is a successful climber - her ascents include the February 2011 Argentine expedition that summited Aconcagua, the highest peak of the Americas at almost 23,000 feet.

Lucy Williams

Lucy Williams

Accountant

Lucy is our in-house accountant, has a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Business Management (Honours) from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

With strong expertise in all aspects of financial management, she oversees the day to day management of GFS’ accounts as well as financial reporting and compliance requirements.

Lucy is a keen athlete and an accomplished skier and cyclist.

Patrick Davis

Patrick Davis

Head of Risk Assessments/Analyst

Patrick is oversees all of GFS's Risk Assessments.  A qualified lawyer who also completed a Bachelor of Arts in Film from Victoria University of Wellington. His professional background includes public policy work for both the New Zealand Ministry of Justice and Housing New Zealand Corporation, as well as quality assurance and compliance with Groupon Ltd. in London, UK.

In addition to risk management services, Patrick is responsible for maintaining GFS’ current  knowledge base on the national and international laws pertaining to productions and their associated activities.

Patrick is passionate about film, the outdoors and travel - ­ a highlight being the 800km Camino de Santiago hike across Northern Spain.

Johnny Franklin

Johnny Franklin

Head of Overwatch/Analyst

Johnny manages GFS Overwatch and has extensive risk management expertise. Formerly a British Army officer, with experience in counter terrorist intelligence and global operations coordination.  Before joining GFS, he worked for UNICEF as a security advisor in Afghanistan and then as the regional security advisor for South Asia.

He has a Masters degree in Risk, Crisis and Disaster Management. Johnny has worked across North Africa, the Middle East and South Asia, with a particularly detailed knowledge of South Asia.

His experience and knowledge provide him with an ability to assess and manage risk in both strategic and tactical situations.

Sally Norman

Sally Norman

Head of Production Services
Sally Norman oversees GFS Productions, with a proven track record in delivering successful projects in fast paced, dynamic environments.  Having worked on screen productions with ABC, Universal Television, Lionsgate, Electus and Discovery Studios, her knowledge and experience strengthen the practicalities of a smooth production process.  Furthermore, her down-to-earth, solution-seeking nature ensures success for any production team.

Sally is a keen snow-boarder and with a decade of experience as Operations and Event Manager at Snow Park NZ.  She played a key role in its growth to a world-class Olympic training arena.  

Sally also has an extensive background in events management, co-ordination of major events, festivals and concerts across Australia and New Zealand.

dr allan freeth

Dr. Allan Freeth

Advisory Board Chairman

Dr. Allan Freeth is currently CEO for the Environmental Protection Authority, the government agency responsible for regulatory functions concerning New Zealand's environmental management. Allan is the former Chairman of Housing New Zealand, managing the New Zealand Government’s $16 billion housing assets.

Allan has an MBA with Distinction, PhD in Population Genetics and first class BSc in Zoology. In addition to his strategic role as Chairman of the GFS Advisory Board, he is also the Executive Chairman of Triplejump, the former CEO of telecommunications company TelstraClear, former CEO of leading agricultural sector company PGG Wrightson, former Chairman of Save the Children New Zealand and Director Film New Zealand.

Rob Flannagan

Rob Flannagan

Advisory Board Director

Rob Flannagan’s executive and governance experience spans over 30 years and includes the positions of Group Chief Executive and Group Managing Director of TOWER Ltd, a publicly listed insurance company with total assets of $1.9 billion and over 1,000 staff.

Rob has professional board experience on a number of boards, ranging from small private companies to publicly listed companies (NZX and ASX). In addition to acting as an advisor to GFS, he is a Justice of the Peace and currently an Independent Director of Airwork Holdings Ltd, a global aviation provider.

Our Partners around the world

Cam Feast

GFS/Adventure Group

:: Australia

GFS/Adventure Group Australia

Australian-based GFS/Adventure Group is government accredited for sponsorship of international production crews into Australia and can provide all the necessary ground facilitation for your project during every phase of the production process.  The GFS centralized accounts process standardizes all budgeting and reporting.  Adventure Group is a well-established production company with decades of video and photographic experience across a variety of content genres. With this experience, a team of veteran production personnel and an Australian-wide network of quality suppliers, GFS/Adventure Group is well-placed to provide international clients with a unique and seamless experience when filming in Australia.

A Selection of Partners