During late 2013 Jonathan Rose, a media lecturer and experienced video producer, had just hung up the phone to one of his most talented media graduates – Matt.
“I'm starting to work at Smoke and Mirrors,” Matt said. “The production company?” Jonathan answered. “No, the pub. I can't find a job in media, I have no real experience... but I do know how to pour a good pint.”
This was the beginning of MotionFish Media Project - a Social Enterprise and video production company that only employs recent media graduates.
Jonathan joined the incubation programme when he felt a 'calling' to solve a real problem by creating a Social Enterprise. The idea behind MotionFish Media Project is to help media graduates gain employment through video production services it offers to small businesses and start-ups.
The graduates are paid fairly and take on key production roles: camera, director, producer or editor. The businesses receive excellent video services at reasonable rates and the projects are supervised by creative directors who ensure the videos meet industry standards.
One of the biggest challenges Jonathan faced starting a social enterprise was how to make it happen. He says, “It seemed impossible - how can you start a social enterprise and video production company with no office, no equipment and no financial backing? The truth is you really can't.”
Jonathan was able to design and build his website within one week while working at Ravensbourne. He created a short animation and logo thanks to the software available to the incubatees and utilised the quiet spaces around the building to write all the content.
“I really wanted to fast track and get it all up and ready. Incubation at Ravensbourne is perfect: I had the space and computer facilities to allow me to just focus and work.”
Within three months Jonathan received his first call. “Someone was asking for graduates to video his event. We met in one of Ravensbourne's well-equipped meeting rooms and that was it – we had our first client.”
Like every start-up, Jonathan faces ongoing challenges. "Pitching for contracts is difficult for every production company but selling graduates as your crew, even more so.
“Sometimes I want to show clients my own showreel and close the deal, but then I remind myself it's about the graduates, even if it means I don't get the contract. I tell clients how graduates can bring excellent production skills that can equal London production crew and can offer a fresh creative perspective which veteran creatives can't always compete with,” he explains.
One of the benefits of working with Ravensbourne is its media graduates. MotionFish Media Project was able to tap into that talent pool. “Working with Ravensbourne graduates gives me the peace of mind that video crew are available and of a high calibre – saving me time checking credentials and skillset,” he says.
Looking to the future, Jonathan would like to expand MotionFish into further sectors. His aim is to offer corporate companies video production services made by graduates. With the help of the incubation programme he hopes to achieve it.
He says, “Without the help of the incubation programme it wouldn't have happened. The programme offers such a range of experts, facilities and services for like-minded people. It can literally turn ideas into profitable businesses and also enable Social Enterprises like MotionFish Media Project to do its bit in tackling important social issues like youth unemployment.”
Find out more about MotionFish Media Project at www.motionfishmediaproject.org.uk
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