By Arti Panday
Mark Bishop and Matt Hornburg met at Ryerson frosh week. Both were enrolled in the radio and television arts program. Both lived on the 13th floor of Pitman Hall.
That was 19 years ago.
Fast forward to today. Twelve years after founding marblemedia, a content creation company dedicated to telling stories across all platforms, the Ryerson graduates have received Playback’s Outstanding Achievement Award.
“It’s a unique award,” said Bishop.
“It’s a mid-career acknowledgement of where we’ve come from and where we’re going. That makes it really special.” The pair – whose cross-platform original series include kids’ shows like This is Emily Yeung and This is Daniel Cook (and another pair of shows that will launch before the end of 2013) – was presented with the award on Sept. 12, joining a list of “pivotal creators and champions of Canada’s film and TV legacy” who have been honoured by Playback, a Canadian media news resource.
Bishop and Hornburg first began working together on projects in their third year at Ryerson.
When Hornburg directed the annual sketch comedy show, Riot!, Bishop was a producer.
“Working on Riot!, we really saw this partnership where we could be creative and move mountains,” explained Bishop. “That continued in our fourth year when we produced the TARA Awards[which honour the best works in the RTA program]. We went and raised money and had it broadcast on two networks. We did the impossible.” With the experience the pair gained during their time at Ryerson, Bishop credits the university for the opportunities it provided.
“I often use the expression, ‘It’s yours to lose,'” said Bishop.
“Ryerson’s like that. Everything is there for you: great equipment, peers, staff and teachers. It’s up to you. You can take advantage of that and run with it.” The duo is still involved at Ryerson, often guest lecturing in RTA and business classes. The also offer a $20,000 scholarship through marblemedia in collaboration with Ryerson’s masters of arts in media production program. It’s not only about the money, though;
it’s also about mentorship. While the university chooses the scholarship’s recipient, Bishop and Hornburg work closely with him or her, facilitating industry introductions and other resources.
The pair knows the value of such help. While marblemedia is now a thriving company ready to take on more challenges and create new and different ideas, it began as nothing more than a makeshift office in Bishop’s dining room.