We chat with Andrew Cussens, BNC Preferred Supplier film maker and director of FilmFolk and Bloomsbury Films.
Andrew has been a filmmaker for 20+ years creating 1000+ films. He has run several studios and has experience creating everything from independent dramas, commercials and documentaries.
Andrew began working in the events industry in 2006 so understands the unique needs and demands of the industry. He currently oversees 12 staff from a studio in central London.
"They say a good business solves problems, and the better you are at solving what the market needs, the more prosperous you might become! Having spent 16+ years in the events industry, including the bleak years of COVID-19, I have certainly had a chance to understand the needs and problems of the industry.
During COVID-19 our business like many was hit by cancellation of events. However, I used the downtime to consider ways in which we could diversify our business/studio resources whilst providing a valuable service to clients.
I’ve always known media (photo/video) coverage of any event is essential. Without it, an event can get forgotten or drowned out by the noise. And these days all events need PR – to extend the influence/reputation of an event, as well as ‘sell’ the central message. Indeed, with distant working, this is even more important.
Furthermore, I understand these days we are likely to have services ‘on-demand’ hence, the ability of hiring a videographer or a photographer at short notice for just a few hours would be appealing. Post COVID-19, I have really seen a difference in people’s attitudes, in particular the shorter notice periods.
This coincides with the rise in freelancer marketplaces like Upwork and Fiverr. Such sites are great for providing just what you need and when you need it, but there is no control over standards of quality or pricing. Being a ‘freelancer marketplace’ it’s a ‘free for all’ and often freelancers don’t match expectations.
So, with FilmFolk will provide a better alternative. We provide our in-house staff direct to clients at simple, freelancer hourly rates. It means clients enjoy the flexibility and ease, but with the standards of a professionally managed studio.
FilmFolk was launched in April 2022 and has been an instant success with corporate clients and event bookers who like to be able to book an affordable, yet reliable, filming or photography service with complete control.
What clients like most is the ability to book someone at short notice, often for just a few hours. They can even decide later on if they want to extend their booking or add deliverables like a studio-edited film.
In short, FilmFolk gives clients complete flexibility and control and although since the start of July we have been booked nearly every day, we in fact have the capacity to manage much more.
For example, in the last few weeks we’ve worked in the Cabinet Office, University of Oxford, British Board of Film Classification, Women on Boards, Rothschild & Co; we’ve also done parties, receptions and even a secret proposal at The Tate Modern.
Our core service is: videographers £99/hr, photographers £99/hr, studio editors £49/hr and drone operators £199/hr."