Jist Studios Headshot

How the UK’s creative small businesses have coped with COVID-19

Jist Studios

Manchester-based mostly Jist Studios generates films for models, companies, companies and broadcasters, and faced two important issues as a outcome of the COVID-19 lockdown.

One particular of these was economic – assignments were paused, and desire fell. In fact, the Oxford Economics report mentioned above predicted a £4.2bn fall in marketing invest thanks to COVID-19.

The other was artistic – large shoots teeming with people today ended up out, and the company had to begin generating compelling written content when maintaining people today safe and adhering to the coronavirus rules.

Jon Stroud, Resourceful Director at Jist Studios (pictured above), shares how they tackled these twin obstacles, setting up with how the business managed to maintain cash and jobs coming in throughout lockdown:

‘‘Financially, COVID has been an attention-grabbing ride. And as the founder and only director of the business, it has been nerve-racking at times.

‘‘We had to put two big initiatives on pause as lockdown strike, which includes a large advert which is nevertheless on ice. As soon as it was crystal clear that some type of lockdown would be in position for the lengthier-expression, thoughts moved to how we could both a) deliver new articles for the manufacturers we by now do the job with through lockdown, or b) adapt prior options to work in this new planet.

‘‘Thankfully, we managed each. We’ve been fortunate enough to consider on new initiatives with existing prospects, encouraging them with their written content desires even though lots of models went tranquil. It’s been genuinely attention-grabbing doing work out what we can and can’t do. It is forced some pretty creative thinking.

‘‘The Governing administration help schemes have also been a excellent aid, which include a modest company rates grant from Manchester Town Council. Owing to our ongoing workload, furlough wasn’t heading to be an possibility for the full crew, but we have furloughed a person junior member of staff.”

Jon also stresses that, inspite of the demanding conditions, he wished to make investments for the long term expansion of his organization. To this stop, he took the strange stage of using the services of and onboarding a new team member through lockdown.

Just as importantly, he notes that the pandemic meant obtaining a full new way of doing work:

Jist Studios - Covid 19 video shoot

‘‘As a staff of movie information creators, we operate in tons of distinctive environments – almost everything from the regular studio set-up to filming a documentary on the highway, to animation. What all of these have in typical is persons coming collectively – digicam operators, producers, lighting, actors, clients… the checklist goes on.

‘‘Social distancing indicates obtaining a comprehensive cast and crew with each other hasn’t been achievable, and which is the place I’ve seen a whole lot of misplaced prospective. ‘Let’s just wait around till lockdown’s over and decide it up then.’”

“But failure to think creatively usually means organisations lose out on massive possibilities to continue storytelling and link with individuals, at a time when human conversation is additional significant than at any time.

‘‘At Jist, we’ve been establishing and adopting several procedures to deliver information with temperament. We lately delivered a social media marketing campaign for a residence FMCG brand that involved sending out GoPros to contributors. We supplied tutorials on how to use them, together with a quite clear temporary, and despatched them on their way.

“For a different undertaking in the depths of lockdown, we tasked men and women with re-enacting a video contact with colleagues in their kitchens whilst savoring breakfast, all recorded more than a video clip conference. And we have just invested 3 days centered out of a camper van filming on locale, putting on complete PPE on just one the hottest times of the yr to produce a re-imagined model of a undertaking we pitched pre-lockdown.

“The outcome throughout all of these assignments is candid, relatable, and shareable information that doesn’t tumble into the entice of COVID-exhaustion.

“The most significant problem has been casting and areas. In which a lo-fi strategy with telephones or GoPros will not suffice, we’ve experienced to consider about how we perform in-line with business finest apply, which has been continuously building.

“Skeleton crews, stay streaming material to clients from locale (from the back again of a camper van!), as effectively as casting contributors who are eager to enable us to movie in their very own household as a place.

Manufacturing has always been a multi-competent jigsaw puzzle – now extra so than at any time prior to.”

Despite these issues, Jon continues to be defiant and passionate about his operate, describing COVID-19 as the embodiment of “whatever doesn’t get rid of you, tends to make you stronger.”

Above all, he factors out that “‘Stories do not end simply because of COVID-19. Storytelling doesn’t need to have to quit due to the fact of COVID-19. Consequently, our enterprise needn’t prevent because of COVID-19.”

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