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Looking back on a 26 career in video production.
Hosted by Den Lennie
Today, I talked about my career journey in video production and It’s great to look back and see how much I’ve grown.
Den Lennie (1s):
G’day guys! It’s Den Lennie here on the 29th of September, which is week 40 of 2020. We’ve got it the year left. Isn’t that insane? I think everyone’s probably quite keen get a 2020 out of the way, you know, but you know, having said that, I think a lot of people having a really interesting year and a really productive year and not every crisis is negative. In fact, I would argue that for a lot of people I know they’re having the best year ever, which might seem a little weird.
Den Lennie (46s):
I mean, obviously people having a tough time and in some part of the world, but I know my clients are absolutely thriving at the minute they are all flat out. In fact, I’ve been a very lean and coaching call this morning. There’s so many of you who are out on location filming or producing content for clients. So a there’s certainly plenty of opportunity out there. And what we’ve really been focusing on since the very beginning of this crisis is ignoring the outside world and really focusing on what you can control and not what you can’t. Anyway, I was going to just drop in here. My VA just a little bit. We pick an episode out today and I’m like, yeah, I’ve just gotta record it. So the reason I’ve been a bit Slack today, it is I’ve just commissioned a new web company to build a new website for us.
Den Lennie (1m 33s):
We didn’t feel that after all of this time that our website really reflected the quality of the results we are getting for our clients. And that’s because, you know, we put it together. Here and there and when we moved from the filmmakers business Academy to denlennie.com and just never got around to it. So we’re walking in, like just now we have commissioned the, new company had to build the website. We are very excited about it. And we are working with a copywriter to help articulate the story of how we got to where we are today. And the reason I’ve been a bit Slack putting this out today is that I’m, I’ve been filling up a business questionaire so that our copywriter, I can understand your business.
Den Lennie (2m 14s):
And for the last couple of hours, I’ve literally been writing my plot of history. And I just thought, I’d actually share it with you because I don’t think I’ve ever really spoken about this. And I’m a bit embarrassed to say that when I was talking to the copywriter, she was late. My God, this is know none of this, it’s on your website. So I thought I had just actually reading the notes. I’ve been praying together because if you’d been listening to shore for a while, and hopefully you enjoy the show and if you do great, thank you very much. If you don’t then what are you probably haven’t been listening to it. So a if you, don’t sorry, can, you know, I’m not for everyone, but what I thought I do is just, so I’m just going to read some of the notes that I’ve been I’m making on our story, because it, I think that it, for an interesting reading where you can tell me, so we began our business in 2009 after identifying, there was a lack of training for DSLR cameras, digital DSLRs that could shoot video and look like film because the time of the Holy grail for an independent film makers was creating the film Luke to mimic that high-end Luke, but on the low cost video cameras, I had spent my early career working in broadcast TV as a camera man until an ankle injury while filming on Montblanc in 2001 Mandt I had to have six months off while recovering, and this was six months after I had gone freelance.
Den Lennie (3m 33s):
And so after a staff career, working for writers, TV, BBC, ITV, London. So it was a bit of a kind of weird situation to find myself. And you are suddenly unable to work for six months as a freelance cameraman. So I guess I’ve been in an adversity I’ve been in situations where your and you are prevented from doing your normal work, and maybe that’s why, so a Glade through the global financial crisis and glide through even Colbert. Do you know, its like I just, I just focused on what I can do in not what I can. And I recovered from that injury and continued working for another three years into a filming in Cape town in 2000 and for my life just didn’t feel right. Never returned to the UK.
Den Lennie (4m 13s):
So an ankle specialist talk me, I had developed arthritis, art 33 and my camera out and create was over and a flash, literally know what, you know, what do I do next? And so that was kind of an interesting again, shift on my own career. And so I took a job working for our broadcast rental company in London called pro cam TV, where in the first 18 months of being in that role, I generated a million pounds worth of new business. And that’s when I really got my first taste of running a business. I land and I even, and a small share in that company until I was head hunted in 2007, by Europe’s largest broadcast reseller, a CVP when I was hired in a business development role.
Den Lennie (4m 58s):
And one of my job’s at the time was to set up a TV channel called CVP TV. And we generated, you know, 500,000 views in six months on YouTube. And this was back in 2000 and 17,008, quite a big number. And this was what I really learned about sales, marketing, and business. And at that time that business is generating 20 million pounds a year, you know, as it was a big, big thing, but it was our own this time when I saw that technology was changing and becoming more accessible. So I basically started making some tutorial DVDs with Phillip bloom and we, I, I saw an opportunity to make a DVD with a five day Mark to in the 70.
Den Lennie (5m 43s):
And we went out and did that. And as soon as he saw that had legs, I quit my job. And I was earning like, you know, a hundred thousand pounds a year that with a generous bonus. And so I read mortgage to my house to get some Capitol and I sat up f-stop Academy to help video producers and video and enthusiasts embraces new technology. And we created multiple six figure products and helped over a 3000 clients grown in confidence in, in the first few years of that running that business. So I only about 2012, I was asked by Sony to help develop a new camera in response to the DSLR revolution. And so the FX 100 was bombed out of those discussions.
Den Lennie (6m 26s):
I came across some photographs recently. It was actually sketching on a whiteboard with, with, you know, a Japanese camera engineers. What I thought would be a great camera and it actually the FX 100, I’m not saying had designed it, but I have a lot of them in how it ended up and ’em. And so in that same year, I was invited to take part in the alongside international cinematographers to take part in these a couple Kessler event, you have a great camera, should hope and subsequently or a clear appeared. And the document, The entry specifically to it, the comment on an affordable filmmaking tech alongside, you know, Rodney charters who had shot 20 for Dallas and Charlie’s angels, Bruce logon who had shot star Wars and Tron in 2001, a space Odyssey and two time Oscar winner for best cinematography, Haskell Wexler, and Steven Spielberg, a cinematographer, a youngish Kaminski who had shot Warhorse one hour to report in Schindler’s list.
Den Lennie (7m 18s):
So it quite a quite an incredible group to be associated with. Then we went on to produce a series of live Scale global launch films with the likes of Sony Zeiss or Konner and other large equipment runs. And I produced launched films for this 27 S the PX WSFS seven Fs five, the PX w X one 80 and the annex five, an and, and to date we’ve created eight consecutive launch films for Sony. And I was also invited around that time to become an international Zeiss lens ambassador, which I start for three years in the 2015. Yeah. But it was in 2012 when we first filmed with Andrea core from the Corps at her London low shores.
Den Lennie (8m 2s):
And, and we were approached to film with Duran Duran and a 2012 live DVD, a diamond in the mind, which was a DP for us. And then the same year, we filmed twice with Cristiano Ronaldo who are embarrassingly, like to say, they didn’t know who she was until we were in Madrid and that can all clocked, but that’s when I realized you could run a highly profitable business, making it more videos. A lot of them are what was called a, I mean obviously when a bit of artists’ stuff, it was a bit different, but you know, I spoke at various events, you know, any be IBC BB in London, I peered in magazines, high definition and the IRS, the producer broadcast tech and televisual.
Den Lennie (8m 43s):
So it always commenting on that camera tech I’ve run workshops in an event’s in Milan, Stockholm, Dublin, New York, Sidney, Singapore, Hong Kong Qualimpor at Melbourne, Chicago, LA and London. And in, in 2013, Sony, you hired us to make a film in UK called label homes. I’m with Bruce Logan, which was a film that we’ve made using the Fs cameras Fs 100 Fs, 700, and it was a drama. We made a drama, but we also are in the same year, went to film in, look on location in, in Istanbul for it. I think it was a Sony annex five, and think it may have been a bit, we also were hired by Zeiss that year to make a showcase for that Sony cinema lenses that we made a film called escape.
Den Lennie (9m 29s):
And I also gave keynotes in Singapore and Kuala Lumpar in Hong Kong that year. And then we filmed on to it with Robbie Williams in 2013 at a sold out at capacity London, Wembley stadium shores for taking the Chrome. And then in 2014, I produced films in Vancouver for Sony and a promo for a corner in Costa Rica. So it was a really kind of busy time, but it was around this time when I saw there are many new filmmakers ending, we are entering the industry as a result of this democratization, but they were struggling with how to run a business. And so I wrote the book, Business a film maker because the quick dirty nonesense of secrets to a six figure, if it is a video business from the world’s ballsiest filmmaker, and we sold almost 900 books in the first year, I got on a monthly newsletter subscription service, a six figure filmmakers’ in a circle, which celebrates its fifth birthday next month.
Den Lennie (10m 24s):
And, and in 2015 we felt we held our first live in Paris and boot camp in London. And we launched what was then called the FAA at elite business mastermind. And this was the 12th month coaching program that helps Video businesses scale. And at the same time, he was approached by Sony to help launch the new ear seven S camera actually shot in Scotland and Japan. And then the Fs seven camcorder, which was shot in Japan and that same year. And then in 2015, we moved from London to Sydney and began you live down under it. And I also sat up a corporate video of business from scratch and help businesses and Sidney with their Video needs. We could use another six-figure camera launch, a film in Sydney and the <inaudible>. And subsequently I traveled across Asia giving keynote speeches on affordable camera tech, YouTube events in Bangkok type here in Delhi, Hyderabad in Mumbai Sydney Jakarta and saw.
Den Lennie (11m 15s):
And then in 2018, we decided to move up the coast of Queensland and the focus solely on courtship and lifestyle. I fell out. It was time to, to channel my energy and to helping others succeed. You know, I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to 56 countries and filmed everything from Isla celebs or to the queen. So I’d really have been a very, very fortunate. They have a very, you know, broad range and career, and now we get to choose. I’ll get to choose how they spend my time. And I’m very happy living in, you know, in Queensland and the sunshine coast with my wife and our dogs and just embracing, you know, a slightly slower pace of life. I spent good part of 20 years just running around the planet, filming and carrying gear.
Den Lennie (11m 58s):
So now I’m at now I’m able to help people with their business. I’ve got a broad range of experience and doing that, and I absolutely love helping my clients succeed. So yeah, I just thought I’d share that with you because I’d spent the day writing and I was so taken aback by it. Just how much I’ve done then. And I guess, you know, are, are you the same day? Do you forget all of the things that you’ve done anyway, guys? I just thought I’d share that with the, I hope I haven’t bored you to much, but yeah, it was quite quite impressive. I am quite a bit stuff over the years. So anyway, if you want some help, I’m just reach out and I’ll see you on Thursday. You’ve been listening to the How to Scale a Video Business podcast with me, your host, Den Lennie. If you are a video business owner to hit the ceiling, we benefit from a mentorship support and coaching in check out how you can work with me over at denlennie.com.
Den Lennie (12m 48s):
Don’t forget to subscribe and rate the show over on iTunes. And we really appreciate you taking a few minutes to leave a review and don’t forget to share if you feel you’ve gotten value from this episode and you think it would be useful for other filmmakers, you know, and please do me a massive favor and share on social media and ingroups that you might be in. I’ll see you next week.
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