I’ve been self-employed for over thirteen years now, and over that time I’ve clocked up a fair amount of experience working in the entertainment industry
April 1997 – January 1999
Whilst at college, I worked part time for Stage Electrics in the hire department preparing hire equipment and learning about all aspects of professional lighting.
January 1999 – June 2004
Stage Electrics were talking about the possibility of no longer using ‘casual’ employees, and I decided it would be a good time to find a new job a bit closer to home. I applied to Batmink Ltd in Glastonbury, and was taken on part-time, working around my college hours. Although Batmink was a much smaller company, it gave me the opportunity to get much more involved with intelligent lighting which interested me.
In the summer of 2000, equipped with 3 decent A-Levels, I applied to go to university, not entirely convinced of my choice of course. At the last minute I decided uni wasn’t the way I wanted to go and deferred for a year.
One of the Directors at Batmink told me there was plenty of work out there for a freelance lighting designer, and that he had several contacts who would be interested. I made the decision to become self-employed, and set about looking for work, continuing to work for Batmink as and when required.
When I started working at Batmink, the company’s Directors had just set up a new division of the company called Themes Inc., specialising in manufacturing and subsequently hiring out themed sets and props for parties and corporate events. This was to become another source of diverse work and I spent a large amount of time working for Themes, decorating themed events all over the country and eventually spending time working in the sales office, designing themed sets for clients.
Away from Themes and Batmink, my client list was expanding, including Sound & Lighting Installers, Production companies, and Event Management companies. I worked as a lighting designer on exciting and diverse projects including several large Radio Roadshows, Awards Shows, Corporate Parties, Nightclubs, and much more.
June 2004 to date
I became interested in the field of Motion Graphics having seen it’s use in show openers and bumpers on the big Radio Roadshows & Award Shows. Use of video within the entertainment industry was growing rapidly and was increasingly becoming an integral part of lighting with the growth of LED technology and the development of moving lights capable of projecting video.
I spent around a year leading up to June 2004 learning how to use motion graphics software and researching graphics techniques and trends.
The lighting design work had started to lose it’s appeal, and I found the travelling tedious. I had gone as far as I could within Batmink and Themes, and decided it was time for a radical change.
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Video display equipment was everywhere, but only the big corporates with massive budgets could afford decent content. Those without a big budget would often make do with dull Powerpoint presentations produced when time permitted.
I decided there was a definite gap in the market, making professional motion graphics available to a wider audience, and knew that I would be in a good position to start, with my numerous contacts in the entertainment industry and the low overheads of being a freelancer, based in the countryside!
I took the plunge and bought some powerful PCs and the best versions of the leading Motion Graphics software and started calling up my contacts!
It’s been over eight years since I started, and my expectations have been exceeded by an excellent client base providing me with plenty of work in all sectors of the entertainment industry. My work can be seen in over 500 bars and clubs around the UK and overseas, and end users for my corporate work has included some of the UK biggest companies. My range of Themed DVDs have also taken on a life of their own, being distributed all over Europe by my distributor, Mixmash.
2007 saw me relocating to Manchester and growth has continued since, year on year, even during the recession.
In 2009 I created ‘Club Candy TV‘ – a unique concept in club visuals featuring real filmed dancers at a constant speed allowing VJs to synchronise them with music playing in a nightclub. Club Candy TV Volume 1 has proved popular, and volume 2 is in the pipeline for 2012.
In 2010 I started to break into the music industry market, producing promotional ‘viral’ videos for Fierce Angel Records, and subsequently a number of other labels.
2011 saw my first building projection mapping project – visuals designed to interact with the physical features of a building on which they are projected – at Bohemia Nightclub in Brighton.
2012 was another record year for business, and saw me produce my first full music video entirely from scratch with no input from the client or other designers which was a significant milestone for me, and will hopefully be the first of many music videos as they are the perfect vehicle for my skills and give me the opportunity to challenge and push myself.
Last updated January 2013