GetFilm is a full-service media production company based in Newcastle upon Tyne, with a large production team spread right across the UK. Specialising in event, wedding, corporate and promotional video, GetFilm work hard to create superb videos, that deliver amazing results for the customer.
As recipients of one of our start-up loans, we spoke to Joshua Kerr, Managing Director at GetFilm to find out more about how the business has grown since receiving the loan in 2013.
Tell us about GetFilm? What made you start your own business and how did you go about starting up?
I’ve always had a passion for film and it first started when I ‘borrowed’ my grandfather’s 8mm camera at age nine. Since then I’ve never stopped working with film and was lucky enough to study it at Newcastle College and Bournemouth Arts Institute.
There is no clear, defined career route to working as a professional filmmaker in any sense and this was very apparent once I had completed my studies. I wanted to work in film as a full-time job and also help other filmmakers to do the same. The only way to do that was to build an unrivalled video production company with a quick turnaround on projects and low prices. GetFilm was the answer and after acquiring a start-up loan through Transmit Start-Ups, the company was born.
What has your business achieved over the last year? What is your favourite success story to date?
We have been experiencing real growth over the past year. One of my key aims and passions is to ensure that we hire only the best filmmakers throughout the UK and that we always deliver on quality. In the past year, we have doubled our team of filmmakers, enabling us to meet large and challenging video briefs throughout the UK.
This progress has also meant that we needed to strengthen our marketing and sales team, with four new members of staff. Having founded the business in the North East, our steady progress has allowed us to begin spreading the GetFilm brand and reputation throughout the UK.
One of our biggest strengths, year on year, is our ability to maintain customer relationships, gaining repeat custom from the corporate world, and new business through personal recommendations. In particular, one of our first clients was Thinking Digital who host some of the most engaging conferences and events and I am proud say that they are still with us years later and the relationship has grown year-on-year.
What have you learned from your time in business? Is there anything you would do differently?
I would say founding a business is difficult, and you will have ups and downs throughout your business’s growth. Even when you think you have ticked all the boxes, something else will appear, so always be prepared.
When I look back, something which helped the business grow was our ability to listen to others and take on board their advice and business knowledge. This enabled us to look at the business from a different perspective and not get so engrossed in the finer detail that we couldn’t see the bigger picture.
One thing that has really helped us progress as a business is our partnerships with other businesses and universities. This has not only helped us with recruitment, but it has also given us the opportunity to share our knowledge and passion for filmmaking with others.
Have there been many challenges you’ve had to overcome?
There are always challenges and as you grow you will find new ones. Growth in itself is a challenge, you need to juggle sales vs production and make sure you surround yourself with skilled people to execute both. This is a key challenge in the video industry given how in-demand the product is and how critical it can be whether you are a business or consumer.
Would you recommend a Start Up Loan from Transmit Start-Ups to other businesses? How beneficial was the free business support?
Absolutely. Without the support of Transmit Start-Ups, we would not be where we are today. As an entrepreneur, you are always passionate about your idea, but passion alone doesn’t drive business success. Transmit Start-Up’s support and assistance ensured my passion and love of filmmaking has continued to grow along with my business and that it didn’t simply remain an idea.
If you could give one tip to a new entrepreneur, what would it be?
Never underestimate the workload, try to plan as much of your journey as you can, always do your due diligence, research and consider what you want to achieve along the way. You’ll always have challenges thrown your way but if you have a plan and are able to be flexible with it then it all comes down to tenacity.
To find out more about our start-up loans and to apply, visit our Loan Calculator page.