Case study

Production manager — Odhran Taylor

Odhran explains how he and some friends successfully built their own content creation agency, Goldbox Productions

What degree did you study?

In 2017 I joined the University of Derby to study Film Production (now called Film and High-End Television Production). Having successfully completed my three-year degree I graduated in 2020 during the Coronavirus pandemic.

What job did your film degree lead to?

I currently run a content creation agency, called Goldbox Productions, based in Derby with three of my close friends who I met on my course at university. Having started Goldbox during our second year we decided to go at it full time and properly commit to turning it into a success. To achieve this, we dedicated roles and responsibilities based on our interests and skill sets.

My role within Goldbox is production manager, which means I oversee the production process from start to finish by creating a production system, which we follow. Equally I am responsible for ensuring that our high level of production and quality is maintained throughout.

How did you get your job?

I have always had an interest in cameras growing up. I remember I used to 'borrow' my dad's camera and film random things that I found interesting. I studied media at GCSE and A-level, which further deepened my interests and passions in cameras and film making.

This led to me and my friend Josh, our CEO, creating short films in our spare time. Following my interests in film making I then applied to study film production at Derby, which I was successful at.

Goldbox is a classic start up story. Me, Joshua Spattichia, James Heaney and Ben Collison were all on the same course (although I have known Josh since year 7) and we bonded by creating a short film called 'Virtual Brutality' during our second year.

We realised that we all worked well together and had a shared interest of taking control of our futures and creating something that will last post-university, which was Goldbox Productions. We continued to develop and grow our client portfolio throughout our second and third year of university and we decided to pursue it once we finished despite the challenges of the pandemic.

How relevant is your degree?

My film production degree is relevant because it taught me the skills I need to be a professional filmmaker in terms of filming and editing techniques but, just as importantly, it taught me how to communicate in a professional manor to clients.

What's a typical working day like?

For Goldbox a typical day includes catching up on emails, practising techniques and working on current client projects. We typically start each week with a meeting where we set our goals and targets for the week and at the end of each day we track our progress by meeting up and updating each other on what we achieved and did that day.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

What I enjoy most about running my own business is the exciting opportunities and fresh challenges that we face week in and week out. For example, each client project is new and exciting and presents new challenges for us. Furthermore, being involved in the Derby business community through Marketing Derby has allowed us to be involved in key circles.

What are the challenges?

Each project comes with a lot of responsibility, it's not only the financial investment that the client has put into the project but also the confidence that the client has in us to deliver their project to the high standard that they expect. Equally we hold ourselves to a high standard, so the responsibility is the biggest challenge we face.

In addition, the responsibility of business is a major factor on our day-to-day lives such as ensuring we meet business and financial targets each month.

Where do you hope to be in five years?

I hope that Goldbox is the go-to video and content agency in Derby in terms of quality, reliability and business portfolio.

What advice can you give to others?

  • Do not be afraid to put yourself out there by knocking on doors and showcasing your creativity.
  • Have a plan, set a goal and break down how you will achieve that goal.
  • Research is key - research your target audience and practice your skill set and constantly aim to improve yourself and your work.
  • Be positive and have fun.

I would also say to find the people you work and get along with and work as a collective to achieve success. Believe in what you have to offer and back it up with a strong portfolio. But in my opinion, the most important thing is to believe in yourself and have confidence in what you do.

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