If leaving university to run your own film production company and then being listed as one of the country’s brightest entrepreneurs sounds like something out of a movie, Cole Robinson is the director (literally). The former Northumbria student set up Filmit UK after graduating, and has since watched his company grow into the North East’s fastest-growing video production agency
Tell us a little bit about your background. Where are you from, and where did you study?
I’m from Redcar and moved to Newcastle to study Entrepreneurial Business Management at Northumbria University.
What sparked your passion for film?
I have always been interested in travelling, I first went backpacking when I was 17. It took me all over the world and I started to feel an urge to capture what I was seeing and experiencing on film. I began making highlight-style videos of the amazing countries I was visiting, and before long, they were starting to get noticed. This led to work with tourism boards, creating promotional content for destinations, which was a dream come true!
How did the idea for your own video company come about?
Fast forward a year or so and I was in the last year of my degree, and had been creating videos for brands and companies in Newcastle on the side. This was when I decided to really dedicate my time and efforts into turning my passion for video into a full time career, so after I graduated I set up Filmit.
What services does Filmit provide?
We supply all forms of video work, from promotional and events to training and lifestyle. Whether you want a sentimental film of your wedding, or a v-log style advert for your business, we can help.
What inspires you?
I love the power of video, both in terms of how it has the ability to provoke emotions and generate conversation, as well as to boost brand awareness and consequent sales. I love video content and concept creation, so the fact that I get to do this regularly and get paid for it, is enough inspiration to last a lifetime.
You’ve worked with an impressive range of clients, including Outlook Festival and National Rail, but what’s been your favourite project to date?
The travel projects will always be extremely difficult to beat. I think documenting the unbelievable diversity of what Peru has to offer was genuinely life changing.
How would you describe your creative style?
Filmit’s style concentrates heavily on aesthetics and is intentionally shot and edited in ways that are on-trend with the way people like to consume modern media. Clever camera trickery, editing and transitions are frequently found in our videos.
If you hadn’t got into videography, what career path would you have followed?
From a very young age I had ambitions of having my own business. By the time I was 12 I was walking dogs, cleaning cars, and had built a music blog that was making revenue from adverts. When I was 15 I turned my passion for sports memorabilia into an online autograph dealership, earning a spot on Lancaster University’s young entrepreneurs to watch. I have no idea what else I may have fallen into, but I’m sure it would have been entrepreneurially driven.
Where do you see FilmIt going in the next 10 years?
We will be synonymous with the North East’s media presence, commissioning and producing documentaries and high-budget travel films.
Finish these sentences… The most famous person I’ve met is…
a LOT of footballers. Frank Lampard, John Terry, Sergio Agüero, to name a few.
The last time I lied was when…
I told my Mrs I was giving her the last sweet in a bid to earn brownie points.
I couldn’t live without…
Pasta for my greed, the gym for my sanity.
My favourite team is…
The mighty ‘Boro, Middlesbrough FC. Woodgate’s at the wheel!
My favourite food is…
I am deeply passionate about Teesside parmos.
My favourite drink is…
Who or what would you say is your greatest love?
Travelling – nothing quite makes me happier than exploring and capturing new cultures.
What’s your greatest fear?
Wasting time and being regretful in old age. The older I am getting the more I want to seize every opportunity, life’s too short not to!
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
I have personal fitness ambitions alongside longterm business ambitions that aren’t going to be achieved unless I stick to the targets I give myself weekly.
Could you give us some tips on how to shoot a successful video?
I could talk for hours about little tips and tricks but I’ll just cover three good basics.
1) Define your objective – think what you want to get out of the video and ask yourself, will it provide value to the viewer?
2) Know your audience – this will help you shape and mould your content into something that will be attractive to them.
3) Plan your shoot – if you have some forethought about the shots you want to capture, the dialogue (if applicable) and a general shot list, you will save yourself a lot of head ache sifting through tonnes of random footage trying to piece a video together.
If you could give a budding entrepreneur one piece of advice before starting their own business, what would it be?
Find your passion, which is easier said than done, but just find what makes you tick. If you are chasing results of something you love, it doesn't feel like work, it feels like progression.
To find out more about Cole’s work and Filmit, visit www.filmit.uk