Video Producer Q&A – Andy Gray

When and why did you decide that you wanted to create marketing videos?

When you boil it down, at work every day I get to play with expensive toys and run around filming things or putting fancy effects on a video. Once you realise you can get paid to do that, why would you do anything else?

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I really love the variety of work we do but mostly I think I love being able to be creative. Taking a small idea and expanding it and then seeing how to make it work from a technical stand point.

Did you ever think you would own your own company?

To be honest I never put that much thought into it, it was such a natural progression going from University into setting up the business that I never really stopped to question whether it was the right thing or not.

Has the video industry lived up to expectation?

I don’t really know what I was expecting, but I will say it’s pretty cool. Who wouldn’t enjoy a chance to be creative and work with some exceptionally talented people every day?

What has been your career highlight to date?

Not sure if it’s a highlight but certainly one of the most memorable moments was filming aerial shots of Arundel from a hot air balloon that was being flown by a blind pilot. The flight was fine but the landing was pretty rough. I’m amazed our cameras survived the trip!

Have you got a burning ambition to work for a particular company or sector and why?

I’m not sure “burning ambition” is the correct phrase but I’d like to work more in the food and drink sector. I’m really into local produce, micro breweries and artisan food and I think we could produce some really interesting videos around creating recipes and making these products.

What part of the production process do you enjoy most?

That’s a difficult question because I enjoy every aspect of it but probably the most rewarding is putting together the first cut of a video. I love looking at the raw footage and working out a structure of a video and seeing the story come together.

What’s it like working and living in Brighton?

I’m a Brightonian born and bred and there’s a reason I decided to stay here to set up a business, it’s a great city full of creative people and I think is the best place to run a production company. I love the fact that there’s always so much to do here from outdoor events to theatre, music, pubs and of course football.

What do you see as being the next big step forward in the video production industry?

Clearly VR and AR have a big future in all technology not just video and it’s interesting to see how they develop and change the digital landscape.

To round things off, what are your top five films and briefly why?

There’s no way I could list my five top films but instead I’ve gone for five of my favourite films that have immediately sprung to mind.

  • Jaws – scared me s***less as a kid, the original and ultimate summer blockbuster that shows that even in film, what ever you can imagine is way more scarier than what you can see.
  • The Lord of the Rings trilogy – 3 films for 1 but these films really got me interested in the production side of film making, seeing how they adapted these epic books for screen made me want to learn about everything from costume and set design to foley sound.
  • Alien – another scary one with incredible set design and the power of the unseen.
  • The Jungle Book (1967) – a stunningly beautiful, hand drawn animation that I don’t think has ever been bettered. The voice acting, the songs, everything about this film is amazing.
  • The Wicker Man (1973, obvs) – this film blew my mind when I saw it at the age of 15 and it started an obsession with British horror leading me to owning an extensive collection of Hammer, Amicus & Tigon DVDs, writing about them for my dissertation and idolising Christopher Lee. An incredible piece of work.