Osama Hassaballa & Stewart Rawlins Film-Makers
Growing up on the same South London street we both also shared a common interest in film-making and with the advent of DSLR cameras we decided that it was a great time to write and shoot our own short films. Soon it dawned on us that we’d need to raise funds if we were to ever put the theory in to practice. Luckily and in no time we started to be approached by musicians asking us to film their live performances and eventually music videos.
Once we were confident enough and understood our value and learned the business aspects of the video industry, we decided it was time to form a company and offer services in four areas we were involved in and comfortable with: production management, music videos, corporate videos and promotional videos. Our next challenge was to market ourselves as reputation and word–of-mouth alone weren’t enough to pay the bills. So after getting a logo designed, we needed a website.
About my website
After signing up to multiple website builders we decided two things. We were not web-designers and most website builders were extremely hard and even ‘clunky’ to use with limited aesthetic options. Cheap web designers weren’t an option either as most of their designs seemed generic and better suited to local restaurants or stores. That was when we discovered Wix.com.
When signing up we were surprised at how user-friendly the the website builder was and all for a price that was more than accommodating to our budget. Also Wix’s range of professional and creative templates made our job a lot easier and gave us a starting point. Browsing the examples from other users on Wix was extremely valuable and gave us many ideas and opportunities to experiment with. Also getting to know about other small businesses and how they designed their sites was insightful.
How Wix helped my business
Our website is an integral part of our business as it is the main port of call for any of our current or potential clients. Without it our professional standing would be greatly affected. It was only when we launched our website that we started to market ourselves. It all grew from then on.
The video industry is extremely competitive now and we expect will grow as newer, better and cheaper technologies and camera equipment constantly emerge. It is becoming increasingly difficult to stand out from the crowd. So being marketing savvy is now a necessity especially for smaller video companies. This also means that we have to ‘step up our game’ and push the envelope creatively with just to stand out.
Wix gave us the space to showcase what we are about as a company. The home page is the first thing anyone sees and it is important to make an impact with that first click! To be able to do this while neither of us had any experience in web-design was a testament to the user friendly nature of Wix. Also the wealth of professional and user examples and templates on Wix was an essential ingredient in what ended up being our final design.
One added value with Wix is the invaluable customer care we get. At one point in designing our site it dawned on us that Flash websites were no longer going to be working on tablets so we realised we may have to start all over again using the HTML5 builder. However, when using the forum to ask about an alternative solution a friendly representative from Wix responded by explaining how our site could be converted from Flash to HTML5 and did so for us. The speed of the response and conversion was very impressive and saved us a whole lot of valuable time.
Our three tips for anyone wanting to start out in the video/’digital film’ industry:
- Do not consider this industry unless you learn to have an abundance of patience! Long before you see any success you will need to put in a lot of time and build your reputation on the quality of your work whilst meeting deadlines. In the process your social life will take a hit so be prepared especially if it is your own business!
- Be passionate! This is a key factor if you are to persevere and stand out in this industry. You can’t coast in this business, you wouldn’t last.
- Be foolhardy! Another important trait for anyone wanting to start any own business let alone one in the film and video industry. If every filmmaker waited until they learned all aspects of film-making before starting their career there wouldn’t be an industry to begin with!