M Y S T O R Y
I have always had a big musical influence in my life from my mum and dad being big music lovers and always having music on where ever we went. From a young age I have always been into skateboarding with my older brother. We would always go out on our road and the streets of Sheffield city centre with his camcorder making short skate films. This, I would say was my first introduction to video, sat watching my brother put skate edits together.
In 2010 I started my first band with my best friends and with that came learning how to write, record and create a product. In 2012 I went to college to pursue my love for music production and further my craft in music. Having done photography at school, that played a very big role of producing photos for my band and within the music scene. This carried through to college doing photos for other students and lecturers. In 2013 (my 2nd year of college) I was asked to participate in a very exciting project to produce a video/ photo documentary of my lecturer writing, recording and performing an album in 2 days. This being the first time using the video function on my camera it soon became addictive to express photography in a moving sequence than just capturing stills. With the final documentary being premiered at college and in front of the film department, they took serious notice on what I had created. After the premier I was approached by the film department lecturer and we had a conversation about my film making journey and how impressed he was with the documentary. He soon found out that this was my first time film making and was baffled at the final outcome. He invited me to a meeting with the film students to talk about my process and planning for the documentary and have a Q&A for the students to make notes.
With my first production been and gone it wasn't long until people from my course were wanting music videos and lecturers wanting more videos outside of their work. This feedback really encouraged me to do a music video for my own band and to use it as a practice so I could do them again for other bands in the music scene. Few months later and I received my first paid job. This job was for a local acoustic artist and recommended by my lecturer. I filmed through the night under Wicker Arches in Sheffield for a live feel acoustic music video. This video took me around 2-3 weeks to put together + the night filming, travel and some lights I rented (For free from the film department), My first job - £70. From here music production took a bit of a back seat for me as my time was filled with videos and photography. Music production still took a big role as band was still a big part of my life but it was no longer my main focus.
Having a part time job in a coffee shop, being in a band, going to college and also doing videos/ and photography super part time, my life was pretty busy. With my coffee shop job bringing in most of my income and using the weekends and evenings to learn and shape my craft for video and photography, I knew then that I wanted to do video full time. The aim was to build up enough knowledge and contacts to ensure I wanted to start this as a business.
2015 -2019: 3 or 4 years went past with me still at the coffee shop, still doing videos every now and then and band was super busy. Touring up and down the UK, toured Russia and Portugal with some of my favourite bands and it was really at the front of everything I did. With this being a dream I had from being young, it was really something I wanted to push and see how far I could get it. Late 2018 my girlfriend graduated from university and secured a second masters in Preston (100 miles away From Sheffield). Having met at school and being apart from each other through college and university (6 years), we felt it was time to move in together.. meaning me moving to Preston. It was hard to leave my home town, my job, my family and close friends but it was the wake up call I needed. My income at the coffee shop wasn't sustainable and also wasn't giving me the freedom to pursue band and/ or my photography. Moving away did make band more difficult but meant I had to put more hours in to keep it rolling.. I no longer had the 4 band mates around to help out and there was many 200 mile round trips on evenings and weekends to get back to practice and for gigs etc.. and this was expensive. This is where money became the deciding factor in my life and something had to give. Having the worst part time job in Preston and having to pay bills for the flat, food and fuel for travel off of the few videos and photography jobs I could secure... it wasn't sustainable. I decided to quit my job in preston, put band 2nd place and really focused on creating a plan for my business. This was probably the roughest time of my life.. no job, next to no income and a lot of spare time to dwell on it. This only encouraged me more to make the job I love become a lifestyle and full time business.
January 2020: The past 12 months had been the biggest months of my life. I had nearly reached my goal of making twice more money than when I was in my Sheffield coffee shop job, I had secured and produced over 100 jobs, worked over seas on some product videos, moved into my first house (Still in Preston) and was still securing bookings for the rest of the year and even the year after. Band became more and more difficult and the other guys weren't willing to give up time in their jobs to keep it going and so we called a break for us all to focus on our lives.
Sometimes you have to put all your eggs in one basket to really get it off the ground - Chris Ogden.