1. What do you create?
I create short films and a radio show. I also run a blog and work as a consultant for filmmakers and other creatives.
2. Why do you create?
I suppose it’s in my nature, as it’s something I’ve always done. When I was younger I used to create dances and shows, then I explored theatre and eventually settled on filmmaking. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve started to create things with more of a business focus. I’ve just finished updating my bespoke 1-1 courses so I’m really excited to open enrolment early next year.
3. When did you start creating?
I produced my first short film two years ago when I was 19. I completed a second short within a month of the first, and I was hooked. Prior to that I’d directed a short for a school project and worked as 1st AD on a feature during the summer holidays. It’s always tempting to laugh off school projects and think that they don’t count for much, but working on the feature gave me a strong work ethic, an understanding of each role in production and taught me how to act professionally on a film set.
4. What advice would you give to someone who wants to share their creations/start a business but doesn’t know where to start/is afraid of reactions?
I think the act of creating something is so important that reactions to it are almost minuscule in comparison. You have to create, or else you’ll never get the story out of you. And you might be surprised by people’s reactions in the best way.
When we made Bookworm on the BFI Academy, we wanted to look at how young people have a hard time adjusting to the ‘real world’ as they are taught that if you just memorize facts and pass exams you’ll be absolutely fine. But after the screening, so many people came up to us and said, ‘I’m on the autism spectrum and I really related to Bookworm, thank you for making it’. Although it wasn’t what we’d thought of, it was so lovely to hear.
5. Favorite social media to promote/to find inspiration and what tips do you have to succeed on that network (if any)?
Instagram and Pinterest are probably my favorites. I often find that filmmakers underestimate the power of social media and the effects it can have on their film, so it’s something I go into depth in with all of my clients, as well as writing about it a lot on my blog (check out this post for some great advice on how to use Instagram to grow your business). Pinterest is great for visual inspiration which I love because a lot of my job involves contracts or emails or research – none of which are visually appealing!
6. Who inspires you and why?
Definitely my grandparents. They were tough in the best way and I got so much from them.
7. What are some of the disadvantages of the business you are in and how do you beat them?
One of the biggest disadvantages of producing films is that you work on it for months and months and usually aren’t paid until the job is finished. This means that you either have to take on a lot more work (and run yourself ragged in the process) or get creative and diversify your income. So I work as a consultant and coach filmmakers, I also run a blog which has its own income thanks to affiliate links and ads.
8. Was there a moment when you wanted to quit? Why?
I’ve never wanted to quit filmmaking, but there will always be hard moments. These moments are inevitable, but being able to manage them has made them less frequent and less difficult for me.
9. How has your business evolved since you started it? Did it go in the direction you were expecting?
It’s gone in a completely new direction, and I’m really happy about that. Initially, I just wanted to make films, then I got the job of producer on a weekly radio show. I then started my consulting work as there were scripts I’d been sent that I really wanted to produce, but the scheduling didn’t work out, so I worked as a consulting producer and coached filmmakers as they made their film. The blog started as I was getting a lot of similar questions about filmmaking. The majority of my current work has begun as a response to getting asked the same questions over and over again.
10. What makes you mad about the creators’ community and how would you change that?
Honestly, I feel like there is sometimes a lack of respect, for people’s time, their money, their mental health. It’s easy to take and take and take. I’m always emphasizing to the people I work with that if they need extra time on something, or need to take a break, then they can just let me know. It’s not a big deal. A lot of the people I work with are also working full-time jobs or other part-time work and it’s really difficult to manage it all. There are very few times when we have strict deadlines that we have to stick to, so if people need an extra week or two, it really doesn’t bother me. I’ve been in the situation where people aren’t understanding of that, and it’s horrible. I’d hate to make anyone else feel like that.
1. Chocolate or Pancakes? Chocolate.
2. Sweet or Salty? Sweet.
3. Wine or Beer? I’m not really meant to drink wine, as the sulfur in it can trigger asthma, but I do love white wine.
4. Swimming or Skiing? Tricky, but I have to go with swimming.
5. Harry Potter or The Lord of the Rings? Harry Potter.