Inspired by... blog

2 posts categorized "Television"

18 August 2013

Interview with Michael Jacobsen author of The Business of Creativity

Add comment Comments (0)

Entrepreneur and businessman Michael Jacobsen is becoming a regular at our Business & IP Centre, advising creative practitioners on how to keep rooted in business essentials and inspiring them to innovate and grow. He is the author of the popular book The Business of Creativity - An expert guide to starting and growing a business in the creative sector. Want to earn a living doing what you love? Check out Michael's book. Or come to the Library and meet him! He’s literally mobbed after events – people are so keen to ask him questions and learn from his experiences. He kindly gave us this interview:

What do you think are the biggest challenges today for small businesses in the creative industries?

Businesses in the Creative Industries need to realise that they are, in fact, in business. If you wish to make your life’s work your passion and your passion your income stream, you need to make some adjustments to your mindset and your structure.

A lot of Creative Sector businesses think they are selling their soul but the reality is - why not continue your gift to the world and earn your living from it at the same time? It’s just a mindset shift!

What advice would you give recent graduates from fashion, graphic design or film?

Don’t leave with an employee mentality. If you want to get a job sure, that’s fine, but don’t think that is your only option.

In Britain there is so much assistance available to you to start a business (which can involve being a contractor or freelancer also). Have  a good think and work out what you want to do with your life, but count this as a real option!

Students are taught to get jobs and are rarely encouraged to work for themselves! This is a mistake!

What is your take on the creative industries sector in the UK? What are its strengths and weaknesses?

The UK Creative Sector is the best in the world. Look at William Shakespeare, Emily Bronte, Indigo Jones and in this century James Dyson, Jamie Oliver and Simon Cowell.

The business community and the City need to realise that the Creative Sector is investable, and the reticence to get fully behind it (as they do the tech sector ) is a weakness and is hampering the growth of a sector that produces major financial returns and is one of the oldest sectors in the world!

Which entrepreneurs do you follow?

I love True Entrepreneurs who take risks and are all consuming passionate about their work. I love Elon Musk, Founder of Paypal, Tesla Motors and Space X. He is a major risk taker and fervently passionate about his companies’ vision.

I also really rate Simon Cowell. He has not only made a successful brand out of himself, but he has changed the face of television globally. People may not all like his shows, but the fact is he is a risk taker and has made a success of it in terms of finances but also in terms of legacy! 

You co-founded Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story on Stage. Are you a dancer too?

I have a trainer and do Pilates and Yoga also. I think if I do them daily until 2025 I may be ready to do the Dirty Dancing ‘lift’!

Michael is running a masterclass on his book The Business of Creativity on 26 September at our Business & IP Centre. For more information and to book your place click here.



26 June 2012

Behind the scenes of Frozen Planet (Sheffield Doc/ Fest part 2)

Add comment Comments (0)


Following on from my last blog on Sheffield Doc/Fest, this is a write-up of another amazing talk I went to at the Festival: the making of the BBC's Frozen Planet.

As a successor to Planet Earth it tells the story of the world's dramatic and relatively unexplored frozen wildernesses of the Arctic and Antarctic. The challenges from a filming perspective were huge: how do you find cameras that can shoot at -40C? How do you keep a team safe? How do you shoot under ice?

There were lots of juicy facts which got everyone in the audience very excited (me included) which I thought I’d share with you:

  • It was shot on film as it proved most effective at low temperatures.
  • The crew first tested their camera equipment in a Tesco freezer to eliminate models that would break.
  • The crew were given training in Svalbard in how to use avalanche probes, rifles and how to get out of a sinking helicopter (sounds terrifying).  
  • All the shots were carefully planned with storyboards in advance, including animal characters.
  • Lastly, when diving in freezing temperatures your face can go completely numb so you have to be very careful that your equipment is working as you might not be able to feel anything under the water.

At the end of the session an aspiring student film maker asked about how to break through into this kind of programme making. The advice from the panel was to keep contacting people regularly for opportunities and be persistent to get your first break. It isn't going to be easy! A second question was about the backgrounds of the team members: what stood out to me is that they all started out as biology and conservation experts, rather than film makers.