Tag Archives: university

Jumping out of our comfort zone, making that transition and the Core Media Productions studio.

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.

6245ab_3c31fdfce4d04ec3a31a49f97aa3a3cd.jpgWe 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!

 

Paul.

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Run up to directing The MBC Awards

Whilst I was still at university The Nubian Times had been so impressed with our work that they called us and invited us to Manchester for a meal. We sat at the table and I ordered a fish salad, it was tasty- I drank champagne with that also. I can’t remember what Tony ordered but he also had champagne! We had no idea what we were in Manchester for until we arrived for the meal. The Nubian Times just threw it out there at us. They wanted to commission us to direct and orchestrate The first MBC Awards in The Hilton Hotel of Manchester, Deansgate- this was to be a massive gig full of high profile figures. We held numerous meetings and told them what we thought should happen production wise at the event and also gave them our opinion of what would work best. This was an opportunity we relished and we couldn’t wait to start.

First we produced a short promo for the event which featured Esco Williams, a MOBO Award winner who we had worked with before as well as Mr Zipp and Cleo Higgins both whom had been very successful particularly in Britain’s Got Talent and The Voice UK. It was great working with these artists, very known and talented people who were a pleasure to direct.

After producing the promo we were finally putting the final touches in place preparing for the event- we were about to direct a massive event which was basically unheard of for people in the industry at our age.

Determination, motivation and the hunger to succeed. Finding your passion.

If you work in an industry that requires plenty of hard work, grit and determination to succeed then you will appreciate this post. If you work in the creative industries you will definitely appreciate this post. Determination, motivation and the hunger to succeed are extremely important. In the Film and Media industry plus many of the other creative industries however it is absolutely fundamental- it’s compulsory. I believe everybody naturally has these attributes innate to an extent, some people just tend to exert them more than others. I also believe that every person can use them to the full extent depending on when they find their ‘passion’. You may be 50 years old until you find your passion, but when you do find it you will know deep inside how motivated and determined you can be- It can take you to places inside you that you never knew existed. It can be scary.

Fortunately for me, I found my passion at the tender age of 16. I have always thought outside of the box since being a child, had a specific outlook on life- I have always been a determined person. However, when I found film making it was clear to me I had found what I love doing. My natural flare to succeed and the mental existence of drive I had inside of me increased by a dramatic scale, taking me to the next level. It is clear when this happens, the important thing to do when you find it, is to take it in your stride and nurture it. I stand by the quote from The Pursuit of Happiness featuring Will Smith when he says to his son “You got a dream. You gotta protect it. People can’t do somethin’ themselves, they wanna tell you, you can’t do it. If you want somethin’, go get it.”. What I have experienced is that you will find your passion, it will become clear to others that you have this passion- some people will then try to shut you down. It has happened to me a number of times since discovering film making. I have proven people wrong time and time again. You need to protect your passion and your dream when you discover it. Luck, determination and natural talent combined together equals success. If you can balance these three, you will succeed. Luck is something you can anticipate; you can put yourself in a certain position and create your own luck- talent and determination is what happens naturally. What I have also found is that if you can collaborate with someone who has the same levels of determination, motivation and hunger to succeed as you do, the results are phenomenal. I have found this with my colleague and best friend Tony Bessant, my partner in crime. We are basically telepathic in everything we do, and the result of this has been extraordinary.

Personally

I’m a deep thinker and life in general fascinates me, being a selfless person I respect others around me more than most people. I discovered film making at the age 16, acting and creativity was always something I loved, along with creating stories and scenarios in my head. After completing my A levels, I studied at University and graduated meaning I am educated to degree level, even though I was advised as a youngster by a tutor that it wasn’t worth me trying for 6th form as it ‘Weren’t right for me’. I am now a Company Director at my own Film/Media company Core Media Productions LTD at the age of 22, along with Tony Bessant. Our hunger to succeed is greater than it has ever been before. The future is exciting. I wake up every morning and look at a quote on my wall which reads “I wanted to make it and I was gonna’ make it regardless of what anybody said”. This is a quote by Eminem, probably the biggest inspiration in life.

Summary

If you haven’t already found your passion, go out and try new things. It will become obvious when you find it, you will know deep inside. Push it to the absolute limit and keep your dream alive no matter what it takes, protect it. You will get to where you want to be. It will become a case of ‘when’ not ‘if’. Chase your dream and surround yourself with positive people who share the same levels of motivation, determination and hunger to succeed as you do. If someone tries to shut it down, ditch them- you don’t need them in your life. The best things don’t come to those who wait, they come to those who pick themselves up time and time again and strive to be the best.

 Do you have a passion? Can you relate to this? Drop a comment i’d love to hear your story!

Core Media Productions and 3rd year of University

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Myself and Tony Bessant had a worthy reputation which was growing fast- we were known as being talented in the Film/Media industry. Taking this into account we decided to create a brand name to work under which would give us identity. In 2011 we found ourselves sitting in my bedroom, having a cup of tea as usual coming up with different potential names. Mahogany Productions was one shout until we came up with ‘Core Media Productions’- our eyes both lit up and since that day it is what we have been known as.

When I reached 3rd year at university I knew it would be a very hard year academically, it was a very stressful time- but also things were happening for my career which were just too important for me to turn down and brush under the carpet. I graduated from University and Core Media Productions was set up as an official  LTD company, it was a success. We decided against a job in the Media or Film industry even

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though we both had credible offers we could pursue. We had huge ambitions with Core Media Productions and the determination to match it, we had gained vital experience throughout University so why not? We also had investment interest from a source which was exciting for us! Graphic designer Adam Reynolds produced us a logo which was to be the brand look of our company, we are elated with the work he has done for us and we will work with him again. We had another friend of mine I call V Man produce an animation of our logo, a Lithuanian lad who studied at University with me. He will always be a Lithuanian scouser to me. We have hired him again since and will do so again in the future no doubt. Core Media Productions were very active even whilst we were still at University. We managed to distinguish our time between studying and working for our company- doing what we love.

We transformed from being two students who loved film making to Company Directors with a fantastic reputation to uphold. We thrive off the pressure and will do anything necessary to chase our dream .

Hurricane Films

hurricane_logoApproaching my second year of University I wasn’t happy when I realised there would be no practical placement for my course in the Film/Media industry. Upon finding this out I made it my mission to find my own placement. If you are entering the film production world and have no experience, you are at the very bottom of the pile- regardless of what grade you achieve in University. A director I know very well once told me he would hire someone with no qualifications who had experience rather than someone who had a first class degree in University with no experience. You have to find that motivation for success inside you and let it out- if you are not willing to prove yourself by working for a considerable amount of time unpaid, you are in the wrong industry!  After applying for Hurricane Films I had a call back from the office asking me to go for an interview. I was absolutely buzzing, Hurricane Films are a well-known company with a good reputation, especially in Liverpool. Run by Sol Papadopoulos and Roy Boulter.

I was interviewed by Roy, the drummer out of the farm and a very successful man in his own right of both film making and music. I remember him asking me why I wanted the position and I basically told him that I don’t stop making my own content and would love to be part of the team and be able to contribute to the company. I worked for Hurricane Films for 7 months as an unpaid intern and researched for ‘Global City’. I was a researcher and researched many forms of content, photographs, video footage, old newspapers the lot. I remember the day I was sent to research for old newspapers, studying the pages from many decades ago was fascinating to say the least. I found it enjoyable that I was contributing to a bigger picture. I used to produce script reports as part of my role, this is something I found thrilling as I always loved reading anyhow. Sitting down with a cup of tea at the desk and reading into a world somebody else imagined and created, just fantastic! Then filing a report on the script as to wether or not it could be deemed possible for Hurricane to take up the idea.

I was also a runner and camera assistant and went on various shoots with the team. I learnt a lot from this alone. Seeing the importance of certain roles within a shoot and then watching the likes of Sol doing his thing with the camera was just great. I had a good relationship with the people from Hurricane Films and used to play football with Roy every week, which was cool to get out and know him also on a personal level. I still always even now look out for what Hurricane are up to. Hurricane Films is a respectable company with the right motives for doing what they do and love. I will always appreciate the experience I gained there through the people I met.