In this post, I’m going to explain why everything will fall into place when the time is right, and also how important it is that you let it all happen naturally. If you’re planning anything long term, it needs to be developed, and nurtured.
Myself and my colleague have been working together now for about 8 years. Which is a long time considering we are only 24 years of age. We were 16 when we first tried our hand at film making and we loved it from the start. We were confident, but not naive enough to think we were going to be able to walk into arguably one of the most competitive industries in the world overnight. It was going to take time- it was always going to be the case, and we knew it.
Although we have been working together for a number of years, our company has actually only been incorporated for 3 years. In this past 3 years we have learnt a huge amount, the most important thing we have learnt is that experience is everything. When you leave university as a graduate, you know absolutely nothing. (Even if you have gained a lot of experience through placements etc). A 1st class degree in film theory alone will take you nowhere in production. An incredibly experienced professional in the industry who I know very well once told me “I’d hire somebody with no qualifications and a load of experience over somebody with a 1st class degree and no experience any day.” They were absolutely spot on. I wouldn’t change the industry in that respect. If you want to be paid to do one of the most creative jobs there is, then you need to be willing to put the work in beforehand, it’s a privilege. If you’re not willing to grind to get into that position, get a job elsewhere and don’t moan about your position. You don’t become successful by resting and having plenty of sleep.
The real world in film making initially is a big puzzle, particularly if you venture into owning your own company at a young age. You leave University where you have been engrossed by that whole undergraduate system for a number of years, (Which teaches you nothing about the real world in my opinion) and all of a sudden you’re not dealing with students anymore. Now you’re dealing with vastly experienced businessmen and women, solicitors, bank managers, accountants and professionals from a number of different industries. There’s no room for messing around. You’re not only dealing with them, you’re analysing them, trying to figure them out, and at the same time they’re doing the very same thing with you. Whilst doing all of this, you have to sacrifice, be disciplined, thick skinned, determined, you have to expand your skills, grow your business, keep up with the industry and manage your finances and budgets. You have to grow and uphold your reputation, which consists of performing to the best of your ability with every given opportunity. You have to literally be in the zone from the second you wake up until the second you go to sleep. It’s crazy. You have to learn from your mistakes, and you need to do so quickly. All of this at the age of 21, before even looking at your social life, paying your bills and other part time jobs etc. You’re not only out of your comfort zone, you’re absolutely miles away from it. How you react is the key, you need to blend right in and thrive off it. If you thrive off it, the results can be staggering.
All this leads to my next point..
Entering our 3rd year in business, we felt we were growing at a steady pace. We were missing one key thing, though. We felt that we needed somewhere that we could call home, somewhere that would give us an identity and really put us on the map- a place where we could work and reach our creative peak- a headquarters if you like.
This is when the Baltic Triangle in Liverpool came to mind. It already had a great reputation, and on that note I sent a quick message to the Baltic Triangle Facebook page and arranged a viewing for the next day. That next day we had a look around Elevator Studios and checked out a single space. We walked out of the building and knew instantly what we wanted, we rang straight back and told them we wanted the space. The day after that we signed a contract on our first space.
The Baltic Triangle has been growing for a while, but at the moment it really is coming into it’s own, it feels like it’s on the brink of providing Liverpool with a major shift on the creative flank. All coming from a small area of the city which was once known to be a derelict area of empty warehouses.
We love our space, we invested plenty of time and effort into making it look and feel exactly how we wanted it to. Post-Production is absolutely key in film making, it’s where everything is built, it’s the brain of a job- it’s where we drink tea. In this case it was absolutely crucial that we made it feel right. Theres no better place for us to execute a 12 hour editing session than our own space, it’s perfect. We have provided clients with bespoke products that they’re proud of from these two very seats and they come back for more, it’s very satisfying. We have 24 hour access, kitchen facilities, toilet facilities, a well equipped meeting room and a safe, secure building. We are very grateful to the owners of our space who give us the freedom to express ourselves, and also to the other residents who together make the space bleed with creativity and talent.
I honestly believe that we moved into our studio space at the right time, any earlier and it would have been far too premature- the line was that fine. We’ve had some fantastic jobs since being incorporated. Some that at times required hiring and directing a crew of upto 15 people. We’ve also had jobs that required very intricate, strategic planning over a sustained period of time. We had to learn our trade, we had to make some mistakes in order to grow. In the past five months since moving into our space, we have been far more active than we have been in the past three years combined. Progress is beautiful when you put your all into something. The fact that we haven’t received a penny of funding or any start up loans makes everything that bit more rewarding. We’ve done it ourselves over a 7-8 year period through relentless hard work.
You have to crawl before you can walk.
I Hope you like my post, can you relate to it? How does your office space work for you, let me know!