I've been self-employed for over sixteen years now, and over that time I've clocked up a fair amount of experience working in the entertainment industry
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.
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.
* * *
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 fifteen 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 has been used all over the world, and end users for my corporate work has included some of the UK biggest companies. My range of visuals products now extends to over 26 titles, of which I have sold literally thousands of copies on download and DVD.
2016 saw another 'first' for me, as I produced a music video for Fierce Angel Records entirely from scratch myself, including the filming. I launched an exciting new business called Text in Motion, working in partnership with my brother Ross which got off to a fantastic start. I also launched three new products - the VDJ Toolkit Volumes 3 and 4, and Christmas Beats. I've also gained more experience in character animation, both 2D and 3D which is something I've always shied away from in the past.
In 2017 I worked in collaboration with another designer on music videos for the first time. I collobrated with Art Director Cathy McDougal from The Rabbit Hole Group to produce two music videos for Peyton which was a very enjoyable experience, and one of which was selected for a special screening at the Berlin Music Video Awards.
I presented a seminar at the BPM DJ trade show at the Genting Arena in Birmingham, on the subject of using video content to improve events.
After dedicating a lot of time to my businesses in 2017 I decided to make more time for my home life in 2018, and although both businesses continued to flourish there were no major career developments. I produced a number of promotional videos for a local aerial circus arts company and showreel content for a number of professional aerial artists which all helped develop my filming skills. I also continued to work with Cathy to produce another music video for Peyton, and produced promotional videos for numerous theatre shows which have become an expanding area of business for me.
Late in 2018 I decided I would like to try and get more work producing animated scenery and other visuals for theatre and live performances as this kind of work fits my skillset and interests nicely. So from December to February I worked with a local aerial circus arts company to produce animated video backdrops for 8 acts in a showcase event. The visuals were projected onto a large backdrop behind the performers and were well received by both the performers and audience. You can see these on my Theatre Visuals page.
Last updated January 2019
© Phil Bearman Creative Media Solutions 2021