Uncommon Mavericks: Ecstasy of Gold
We run workspaces that help cultivate unique ideas and drive businesses forward. But that’s just our side of the story. Uncommon Mavericks is a series looking at the many risk-takers and high-achievers who operate within the Uncommon family. From disruptive businesses to innovative minds, we’re always proud to share stories of what goes down in our offices.
If the internet has provided millenials with one super power, it’s the ability to view and share information from all over the world. And forget scrolling through pages of text and trawling through search results. Video is the best and fastest way to transmit and absorb information, “watch and learn”.
With over a century in which to evolve, the film industry has come a long way. Constant developments in technology and the rise of free marketing platforms have created a field day for the undiscovered artist. They can follow their dreams and share their talents with the world instantly, often at little financial cost.
The resulting climate for budding film producers? To stand out amidst the surging tide of video and media that millennials surf every day, your film has to be different. London certainly offers an abundant supply of production companies and corporate video agencies. But they’re not all like Ecstasy of Gold. Don’t ask me what it means but I’m already transfixed…
Enter Ecstasy of Gold
When you love and own your craft – produce reels that tell a client’s story creatively, yet always to brief; sow seeds intentionally, not accidently; indeed, plant multiple seeds in many different locations – growing a film brand happens quite naturally, says Founding Director Arthur Lewin. The important thing is to remember your roots – creating quality film with and for good people. “As part of my freelancing work, I was instinctively talking directly to clients and from very early on began pulling in additional people and resources. So it was always more than a one man band and naturally evolved into the business it is today.”
“Users are saturated with video content, so your video has to be of a certain standard, otherwise they won’t stick around.”
If there’s one thing that we think sets Ecstasy of Gold apart from the rest, their hard hitting, visceral style is especially enticing to viewers. “Everyone has got so much more accustomed to watching videos….As a result, the consumer is far more critical these days. Users are saturated with video content, so your video has to be of a certain standard, otherwise they won’t stick around.”
People say that ‘a picture speaks a thousand words’, and this is something that Ecstasy of Gold really savours. But the way they work with and for clients is what makes them different. No matter what the project or brief, their reply is both client and creative led. “We never just say, ‘yes’ and then just film your CEO talking away – we have a proper think about it, a creative session to come up with the best possible ideas to deliver the right video to deliver your message.”
Nevertheless, when working with Ecstasy of Gold, clients needn’t worry about losing control. While their work does have a distinctive style – perhaps even a ‘trademark’ – this does not come at the expense of a brand’s identity or message. “Sometimes it’s a case of reaching a middle-ground, but most of the time the clients see the thought process behind the creativity… Not just creativity for the sake of creativity,” Arthur explains. “We’ve found a remarkable success rate with this approach. The benefit is that we get to be more creative and the videos turn out better for the client as a result.” In this sense, their work is reciprocal. It manages to satisfy the distinct needs of the client, the audience, and the creatives behind the work itself.
“We’ve found a remarkable success rate with this approach. The benefit is that we get to be more creative and the videos turn out better for the client as a result.”
From more humble beginnings in 2016, the Ecstasy of Gold team are enjoying high-quality work on a melange of projects and subjects for an exciting range of clients – this work often takes place in and around their HQ, an established part of Uncommon Highbury and Islington. Indeed, if you’re a regular at UK-born multinational DIY company, B&Q, you may have caught a glimpse of their striking work for this brand. Away from commercial content, they’ve also worked on serious human rights projects.
“We work on all kinds of videos, from tv commercials to corporate and narrative-led films to 2D animation and even 3D visual effects animation.”
Arthur is excited by EOG’s expanding client base and the prospect of working with more big brands in the near future. When we asked which kinds of industries the company works with, he was keen not to frame their practice within the context of a specific niche. “All our clients are quite diverse in who they are… We essentially work with clients who are interested in good films. We work on all kinds of videos, from tv commercials corporate and narrative-led films to 2D animation and even 3D visual effects animation.”
At the fresh young age of 24, we’re in awe of Arthur’s position. Perhaps it’s this open-minded yet driven approach, combined with serious talent that’s earned him his place as a successful filmmaker, editor and business owner within today’s industry.
A constant state of flux
Like most things in life and the films they create, this company has flourished from where it began two years ago, but it’s still changing. The team are reaching out and forming an extensive network of quality collaborations. This is Arthur’s main piece of advice for startups looking to excel in video production. “I’m still in touch with clients I did editing work for almost a decade ago. Every point along the way I’ve been trying to win their trust by delivering good work. This has helped build the company to where it is now – just from those initial contacts.” It’s also important to take on challenges and remain flexible whilst knowing your limitations, something that Arthur has learnt from along the way.
“I’m still in touch with clients I did editing work for almost a decade ago.”
Rooting themselves at an Uncommon workspace has facilitated this. The need for increased resources is an inevitable challenge for any growing business. Flexible hours, locations and workspace contracts are a godsend to independent-minded people looking to set up a business that challenges established competitors. They’re also particularly ideal for people in the arts industry. Rather than safe, steady and monotonous, their workflow is unpredictable, varied and colourful. Being able to switch office or studio as and when your projects demand is a blessing with no disguise. Uncommon locations and contracts allow you to optimise your team’s output with maximised economic efficiency within an environment that your team want to return to.
“We looked around quite a few spaces and nothing was quite right.” Luckily, not willing to accept compromise for his team and clients, Arthur persisted in his search. “When we came to view Uncommon, even though at the time they were renovating it, you could quite clearly get a feel for the style of it. It was closely aligned with our own style and in a way it now feels part of our own brand.”
If hearing Arthur’s story has inspired you, maybe it’s time to take the leap and find your dream team and industry. Look out for Ecstasy of Gold latest work for the likes of FremantleMedia. Or if you’re already working in one of our spaces, take his piece of networking advice and go and ask him about it yourself.