For creative people of any kind, one of the biggest milestones they will reach is figuring out what makes their work unique to them, and how their individuality translates into their work. When we heard about #thereelme project by Unitary Studios, we had to talk them.
Headed by James Honess, #thereelme project is a collection of brief interviews with creative people gathered at the Birmingham NEC Photography and Video show. They set up a booth, switched the camera on and left it running. Each person who came into the booth was asked questions about being a creative, what their individuality means to them, and about their work. On day four, the question was simple: Describe the Real You. You can see a taste of the answers people gave at the event here.
Can you tell us about Unitary Studios? What do you do and what is your aim? We are a start-up production company from Brighton, we are new. We are learning all the time, we are not established as we haven't got the big clients in at the moment. Every day is a learning day for us. At the moment we are looking towards getting our own studio space. Predominantly, we have a push to do more music-based work and online content.
We have done short films in the past as things that we enjoy to do. It's not where the business is. It's just something that we enjoy doing. Basically in the photo and video world, you have narrative work and commercial, and we are kind-of in the middle. We want to bring a filmic style into the corporate world.
Why start your own company? It's about doing something different. I have always had the desire to do something a bit different and make a difference. I think it’s the achievement of accomplishing something and meeting new people. It's the whole experience that I personally love. You don't get that when you work for someone else. It's hard work and its back-breaking work, but for me it's so worth it.
Can you explain #thereelme Campaign to us? What the campaign is all about is what we love about the creative industry. In the creative industry, we need to be celebrating the fact that you can be successful for being you. Going straight to the concept of our campaign, we basically asked people what makes them individual, answering with a word or a picture that describes them, so we have a whole range of really lovely ones.
It's about going there [the NEC] and making a name for ourselves, and we wanted to do that through something we are passionate about. A lot of the people I work with want to go on to make narrative films, but we all have different goals and it’s about showing individuality. Also we wanted to say, "Look, we are students, look what we can do." You are never too young to start. That's one of the things we love about the creative industry. What was quite amazing about the show was I talked to a young girl, who was in year 7 at school, and her parents were like "Oh, she is interested in editing, she does it all the time." They were basically asking us "How do you get started?" and the truth is if you have the passion and the determination to do it, all you need to do is buy a camera and practice. Being creative is the way to get into the creative industry, and we are trying to push that and make people aware of that.
What are your hopes for the project? I want to keep this campaign running. It sums us up as a company and represents us really well as creative people. It's a great way of showing clients this is the kind of work we do, this is what we like. I would like to have it as an ongoing thing. I was thinking about taking it into different areas, I was thinking about specialising. We have kind of done the photography scene, let's do it with filmmakers, graphic designers and take it down different routes: the concept you can take anywhere and apply to anything.
How does making creative things make you feel? I haven't heard this one before [laughs]. I think one of the most poignant things is freedom, being able to do what you want. What's the point of doing something you don't want to do? You are here once so just live it.
What would be your dream photo/video project? Oh ermm, something I have a real weird love for, is bears. If I could take a picture of anything, it would be going to Canada and filming bears. I want to make a documentary on bears in Canada: that's like my random dream.