Laura Cartledge learns what it takes to work with the best in the business.
Hard work is just as important as talent – that is the advice from video producer Peter Reeve. They are words which have stood him in good stead, as shown with a recent commission from none other than Ed Sheeran.
“We had previously pitched on a few projects for them [Warner Music], but each time, although they were impressed with our ideas, for one reason or another nothing had come off,” explains Peter, founder of Horsham-based RMV Productions.
“I kept in touch via email every so often to see if there was anything coming up we could help with. During one of these emails we discussed the Brit Awards, which was that week, and he said he was missing it as they had a big campaign to get out for Ed Sheeran.
“I replied saying we’d love to do something for Ed and if he needed a hand to let me know.
“One week later we were full steam ahead creating three lyric videos for the new album, which will be released in the next few months,” he smiles.
Peter says he believes securing the project came down to the company’s ‘quality of the work’ and its ‘relational customer service approach’.
“I think this developed a relationship that made them feel confident in trusting us with a very fast turn around, high profile campaign,” he admits.
While all of this might seem quite old school, the work RMV Productions produces is far from it as the projects are often trend led.
The ‘lyric videos’ are a great example, and something Peter says have evolved from ‘very simplistic slide shows’ to ‘highly complex and creative animations’ over the last five years or so.
“It’s been really interesting,” he enthuses, “and we’ve enjoyed playing our own small part in this fledgling genre.”
So why the shift?
“Essentially the reason they have taken off is because of how people’s listening habits have drastically changed over the last few years,” he explains.
“Radio or purchasing your own copy of an album is no longer the primary way people listen to the music they enjoy. Online streaming has taken off in a big way and YouTube, although a video service, is the second biggest place that people stream music online.
“I think record label commissioners have really woken up to this in the last two years and realised that if they offer something more than static artwork or just simple words, then this gives more value to their fans and keeps them coming back to the official artist page.”
As opposed to fans listening on unofficial pages or other places online, Peter says it also provides another revenue stream which “ultimately is good for the music industry.”
Reacting to change, and demand, is something Peter’s career path also reflects.
“I’d love to say that I set up RMV Productions with a great plan and grand vision for how to run the best creative agency in the world,” he smiles, “but the truth is it became a natural progression from the work I did as a freelance creative director and motion designer.”
Motivated by variety and a love of ‘working on lots of different kinds of projects’, saw things snowball – and as the size of the assignments grew so did Peter’s workforce.
“I started using more fellow freelancers to help out and this naturally developed into becoming a production company,” he recalls.
“We moved into our office in Horsham in early January 2015 and haven’t looked back.”
In fact it is going from strength to strength with two additional staff members due to start this summer.
Despite his success, Peter warns production “can be a very challenging industry to get into, even if you’re very good at what you do”.
As for if there is anything about his role which might surprise people, Peter replies: “It’s not always as fun and glamorous as people think.”
Thankfully working hard is soothed by being “in the heart of Sussex”, somewhere Peter admits he is “very proud” to be.
“I can walk out the door and 500 yards down the road there are fields and Denne Hill to walk up. Getting out into nature is very inspiring. The clean air and open fields can give you some ‘headspace’ or inspiration which isn’t possible in the city, and where better than the South Downs for that?
“It’s not easy running a creative agency outside London. There is often an unconscious attitude that creativity doesn’t exist outside the M25 but this is something we are determined to change,” he reveals.
“Horsham is half way between London and Brighton so it’s really not a problem meeting clients. Many of our recent clients are in New York or LA, so it really doesn’t matter where you are. We’re very used to working flexibly and delivering for anyone anywhere.”
To find out more about the company visit rmvproductions.co.uk
This first featured in the July edition of etc Magazine pick up your copy now.