Video production is about great storytelling. Creative Director Rob Finlay was born into a filmmaking family in the 1980s. Rob’s family worked as crew on some of the biggest film franchises in the world including Star Wars, James Bond and Indiana Jones. This upbringing instilled in Rob a passion for storytelling through film production.
In 2012 with confidence, greater knowledge, and experience, Rob ventured out on his own to set up Elstree Film Design, a new business aimed at being a one-stop shop for corporate clients requiring video, animation and interactive services. The business grew to become an award winning creative video production company based at Elstree Studios where Rob grew up. With creativity being at the centre of everything Rob works towards it allows him to take his clients on a journey of discovery with the aim of creating something new, interesting and innovative each and every time.
the Jupital had the opportunity to have a conversation with Rob about his drive, vision and business tips of the film production industry; alongside an innovative film competition which his company has designed and is promoting:
the Jupital: What motivated you to start the Elstree Film Design business?
“I had worked in video, animation and web development for nine years and decided it was time to strike out on my own. It was clear to me, online video is increasingly important to businesses and consumers. I wanted to set up a company, which met new and evolving needs. In addition, the need to work for myself and to take on projects which interested me, especially those involving the local community, environment and heritage. As time went on and the team evolved we began to specialise in working with and supporting young people. In 2015 we won the Hertfordshire Business Awards, Commercial Business in the Community Award, which was great!”
the Jupital: How does one step into the filming or video business? What words of wisdom might you suggest to get one started?
“We run filmmaking workshops. Only last month we ran a weeklong workshop for National Trust. I tell all young people the same thing and this is to learn your craft and network as much as possible. The film and TV industry is a close-knit community and to be successful in it you need to get your face known. The best way to start is as a runner (making tea, getting lunches etc) and you need to be prepared to start at the bottom; it’s a hierarchical system. In addition, it’s an industry based on specialisms. At some point you need to figure out what you want to focus on, camera, lighting, production, casting etc.”
the Jupital: What makes Elstree Film Design’s business unique to other film companies?
“With Elstree Film Design you receive a video which actually generates more leads, traffic, customers and revenue. We take time to understand your business and target audience and then plan a video campaign around clear business objectives. We regularly work with SME’s and are equally trusted by big brands like KPMG, Herbert Smith Freehills and Veolia. We are experts when it comes to working with children and young people. We pride ourselves on being perfectionists; our work is high quality and we offer great customer service.”
the Jupital: What do you enjoy the most about your business?
“I love the challenge of meeting a new client and designing a solution for them which works. My job is a mix of being a business coach, marketer, creative thinker and technical practitioner. I love sharing what I know; I get a buzz from teaching and communicating. I’m definitely a people person; enjoy networking and making new connections. It’s what keeps things fresh and interesting for me and ultimately this energy helps me to offer my clients a competitive advantage.”
the Jupital: Elstree Film Design is holding a film competition; looks interesting and innovative! What is the competition about and how are children able to get involved.
“The competition is called A Sense Of… and we started it four years ago, initially as a pilot commissioned by the Royal Opera House Bridge. It’s since grown into a free global film and animation competition for children and young people. It’s presently sponsored by Spotlight and Creative England for 2017 and this year’s theme is Hope.
Our industry is keen for more diversity! Through encouraging young people to make films and animations we aim to reduce the gender, ethnic, social and geographical barriers and ensure young people to have the confidence to get more involved in the industry.”
‘A Sense Of…’ is a free, global, film and animation competition for children and young people aged up to 25. Entrants are encouraged to create new films and animations around this year’s theme ‘A Sense Of Hope’. They have until Friday 28 April to develop, shoot, and edit an original 90-second short from scratch. For further information and how to enter the competition please visit the website. https://filmcompetition.org.uk/ and also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ASenseOfComp/
For further information on how businesses may work alongside Elstree Film Design to reach a further audience via film marketing please visit Elstree Film Design: http://www.elstreefilmdesign.co.uk
Follow Elstree Film Design on Twitter: @ASenseOfComp
How may film allow children or individuals express their passions?