This coming year I am celebrating 6 years working consistently with 2 main clients .. the amazing Brand Elect and the illustrious Smyle Creative, so here I am celebrating them, the work we've done and the leaps we've taken together..
I'll start with Smyle as it's the more straightforward story: I first started freelancing for Smyle's video department in the summer of 2014 after finding them on ProductionBase advertising for edit/motion graphics 'ops'. After a quick interview where we mainly talked about Andrew Kramer (of After Effects Tutorial fame) with Dave and Tom, they said "when can you start". They were based in Hertfordshire at the time, so I drove an hour or so each way to get there, they've since moved their video arm to Angel in London and gone from one floor in a very nice building, to being on every floor in that same building. The Video team are competent, experienced, fun, realistic and fair. It's a pleasure to work with them and the lunch options in the Angel area are unreal. I've worked with some great editor/motion graphics guys there and they consistently help me to up my game on the job, which is great. Because the whole company is Events-centric, the work I've done is mainly corporate, but for some nice big brands including BMW, Samsung, Facebook and Salesforce. I've jetted off to Amsterdam, Milan and Dublin with them for events, where I've done on site editing, DIT or motion graphics support. As Poppy Productions has expanded and as other new clients have come into the fold, the time I get to spend with the Smyle team has diminished BUT I do normally see them every couple of months and there is always a special place in my heart for them. So Brand Elect next: Lee Callaghan previously of Pepagon and RP2, formed Brand Elect in 2016, though I worked with him at the previous two places. BE was formed out of a simple principle, which I am going to paraphrase.. If you think you just need a logo and a website making, you need to speak to them about your brand. It makes perfect sense, because companies that tell a graphic designer to make them a logo and a website usually haven't consciously deconstructed their values, aims, positioning & culture to help the designer come to a decision about how any of their content should look.. BE does this and then takes it forward, across physical & digital marketing, including video, SEO, social media activity, future proofing the company, growth plans and more. It's an incredibly interesting company to work with and I often find myself picking their brains about marketing for Poppy Productions and other clients that I am involved with. I've seen a company grow from £2m to over £9m TO under their care, another company reinvigorate their brand so they started to get the clients they always wanted and another company, for want of a better phrase, put their big pants on. We've travelled as far as Miami to interview leading experts in IT, explored Tuscan Villas and South of France £multi-million cliffside properties as well as staying local to our Essex roots, filming for local authorities and companies within our physical reach. We continue to work closely with one another and there is a great deal of trust and respect that goes both ways, so it's more than just a client relationship. When we're going through the creative, they know what Poppy Productions is capable of doing within each time frame given and we try to go above and beyond that every time. The growth of my personal skill base working with these two companies has been invaluable.. I can now handle most things that are sent my way in house, and if I cant, I know who or what to hire in to get the job done to exceed client expectations. Poppy Productions is still young (2 in march), but it's already benefitted from my observations of these more established companies, especially when dealing with larger projects.
I can't finish this blog post without also thanking some of my newer clients/partners, who have entrusted PP with their content over the last two years, without which I wouldnt have been able to turn Lloyd Seymour Freelancer into Poppy Productions Limited successfully.
PP has big plans for 2020 to grow into a bigger agency with a couple more tricks up its sleeve and a bigger but more focussed offering overall, fingers crossed it all comes to fruition and everyone benefits down the line.