Last week Knew Productions MD, Richard featured in a full page article in the Daily Post newspaper. The business section last Wednesday highlighted his ‘Career Behind The Camera’, including his full work history and inspiration as a 20 year old film student.
The article explains how Richard had written a letter to his favourite band at the time, ‘The Wedding Present’ asking if he could film their next music video. Much to the undergraduate’s delight, the legendary indie rock band, which was signed to the same record label as Elvis Presley and Whitney Houston, granted his wish. The two worked together on the single Dalliance, which reached number 29 in the UK charts. The following year they worked on another pop promo for a single that reached 19 in the charts.
That was the catapult for Richard’s career and he founded Rossett-based Knew Productions in 1997 and it has since built a strong reputation for producing high-quality videos for businesses.
The article goes on to say that the national award-winning video production company has just enjoyed its most successful 12 month period. International videos and an army recruitment film were the highlights, and Richard has his focus squared firmly on growing the agency further in 2017. Richard is then quoted as saying,
“I like to think my background in television, pop videos and short films gives me a distinct creative edge when it comes to working with businesses.
“It’s not just about putting something together that looks good. It has to be appealing to the audience to not only watch it all, but to then take action.
“When you combine my experience and enthusiasm with the great team of cameramen and technicians we work with, which includes a BAFTA winner, we can produce amazing videos. This includes subjects or processes that may be deemed mundane.
“It’s been a fabulous 12 months for Knew Productions. Our client base continues to grow, including internationally, with customers in the US, Australia and France, and we also recruited a new video editor, Jessica Piercy.
“We are aiming for more of the same next year, which I hope will include further additions to the team.”
Richard’s love of filming stems from watching classic Western films in his Grandad’s attic in the 70s, with the wide screen movies projected on to the silver screen. He spent holidays in Yorkshire, mesmerised by the likes of Steve McQueen and James Coburn in The Magnificent Seven and went on to study film at Plymouth University.
Alongside his music videos for The Wedding Present, Richard produced short films which received international recognition and numerous awards. His accolades include gold award for best 8mm film at the Houston International Film Festival and best achievement in video production at the Melbourne Film Festival.
His work was spotted by ITV Wales and he went on to co-direct Refresh for three seasons. Refresh covered popular youth culture including fashion and music.
He then launched his own agency and entered the wild west of the business world, and says the changes and developments in technology over time have been phenomenal.
“When Knew Productions first started, final cuts were burnt on to DVD and posted to the client,” Richard said. “Now, thanks to platforms such as Vimeo and We Transfer we can upload videos for clients to approve immediately.
“And the advances in technology played a huge factor in us winning clients across the globe. Historically, a foreign firm would have had to have travelled here to view the first draft, or wait days for a DVD to arrive, and then advise of any edits. The process is much quicker and simpler now.
“There are huge benefits to businesses with many exciting and different ways to get value from the video. It’s gone from being solely shown at events and exhibitions to being recycled across the website and other online platforms including social media.”
Although technological improvements mean anyone with a smartphone can hit the record button, Richard doesn’t see it as a threat to his business growth.
“It’s not just about having the equipment – it’s about experiences. It’s not easy to have the eye of a director and to know what makes the perfect shot, or what the flow of the end product should be to help achieve business objectives,” he added. “Plus the skills and facilities in our professional editing suites are far superior to what can be done at home.”
The Knew Productions team consists of three employees, three regular cameramen, two sound recordists, three editors and a motion graphics animator. It creates effective and engaging videos for websites, training, marketing, and promotion. One particular area of work Richard enjoys is making films aimed at young people.
The agency has worked with organisations including the North Wales Road Safety Group and North Wales Fire and Rescue Services to deliver hard-hitting emotional and educational videos.
Earlier this year, Richard and the team joined forces with the North Wales Police and Theatr Clwyd for a project to help young people steer clear of crime.
He said: “Creating powerful films that make a difference to people’s lives is hugely satisfying. It’s fantastic to know we are helping to make an impact in an important area.
“One of my favourite pieces of work were a series of recruitment videos for The Royal Engineers and The Royal Signals . It was such an exciting and visually impressive subject. We got to see first hand the astounding technology in use.
“More importantly for our clients, recruitment was increased by 32% following the launch of the videos.”
The article then went on to ask Richard a series of fun, quickfire questions. You can see the article here.