RECAP: Dan Higginson’s How To Get Your Film Company Rolling
Dan Higginson from Clockwise Media told us some tips on how to set up a successful production company.
From L’Oreal to Red Bull, Bristol-based production company Clockwise Media has filmed videos for a very diverse group of clients. Check out their website’s homepage to witness how awesome their stuff looks: Clockwise Media’s awesome looking stuff
Anyway, those of you who attended the masterclass and needs a recap or even if you didn’t attend and want to find out more, here are some top tips from creator director Dan Higginson:
Find a good team
Work with people with different skill sets. If you all want to direct, who’s gonna do all the finances or marketing or other things that make a production company work? You need to be able to work with others you get on with in order to progress as a company.
Dan and two of his uni pals won a competition called ‘Bizz Ideas’ while studying at UWE, which gave them a small lump sum as well as office space and business support for a whole year to kickstart their production company. Dan recommends entering competitions as you may win even if you don’t think you stand a chance.
Work For Free
Working for free allows you to be more flexible in what you make, even when working for clients as you you are doing them a favour. It also allows you to build up your portfolio, giving you a range of items to show as well as building up your contacts book. Working for free could lead to paid work so just do whatever you are comfortable with.
Freelance, Not Student
Act as a professional freelancer, even if you are a student. Showing your student-related portfolio doesn’t show what you can do off your own back as you’ve been told to do it for your studies. People may also ask you to do things for your student portfolio, but don’t let people take advantage of your studentness if you are one. You have the right to charge for your work outside of school/uni and it may not be related to your studies, so draw the line between studies and freelance work.
Take The Plunge
To start a business, you have to be in it 110% or it will be very difficult to set up and sometimes you just have to take the plunge. Once you’re ready to give up the day job that’s not your dream job, you can fully commit to making the dream job your new day job.
You must have a website. It is so important to baggsy a great domain name to boost your chances of getting work from clients. Your website shows off your work so having a fancy showreel to shove in peoples faces; it will show them what you’re about. This also means you have to build a strong brand identity to show professionalism and uniqueness. Videos are the most popular way to pass on information, so the more visuals, the better. Also, your website is a way for people to get in touch with you, so having a personalised email will also help.
Find A Niche
Dan found that making adverts for club nights helped lead to more opportunities such as making music videos for artists and promoting more club nights via videos instead of flyers. Finding a niche, like such, means that people will want your business. Being a specialist in your area will also help find work because people want to hire people who knows what they’re doing.
Above and Beyond
Working with a client means that the customer is always right. That doesn’t stop you from beating their expectations and making something better than they imagined – as long as it’s still what they want. When meeting clients for the first time, don’t be nervous as they need confidence that you’re going to be worth the investment. Do what you can.
Get Kit, use it
Getting good equipment will make your films look professional. People want professional-looking films. Of course you’ll have to educate yourself before you use it for a shoot to avoid embarrassment but the more shoots you do, the better equipment you’ll have access to when the dolla rolls in. Dan suggests doing your own projects to experiment with new equipment. If you’re a beginner, Dan suggests using a Canon SLR to get started.
I hope that helps with your filming needs.
‘Ten Steps For Setting Up Your Own Film Company’ by Becky Johnson
‘Odd Socks Productions’ by Molly Perryman
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