"You’ll know you’re on the right path when you realise that no matter how better you get, you’ll always criticise yourself."
We've had way too many occasions to talk about the impostor syndrome and why you shouldn't believe it. And yet, in a way, Anattic TV director and producer Matthew Page thinks you should. For it is only when you realise that you'll always try to improve your own craft that you are on the right path to making your dreams come true.
For this Company Spotlight, we are learning more about an ambitious production house in East Manchester, which can boast a driven team and unparalleled love for the art of filmmaking.
How was your company born and where are you based?
Anattic began about 5 years ago in East Manchester with a passion to make beautiful films, commercials & documentaries. Now we are a small team, unafraid to tackle huge projects and striving to put our mark on the creative industry. We’re currently located in Hope Mill, Ancoats, Manchester UK.
Can you explain your team’s creative process?
We constantly watch content and films and take inspiration from other creatives, photography, art. We usually like to get to the bottom of a story and really understand a brand’s brief, idea and background, then find the angle and the right approach.
I’d say it all starts with a sit-down (or a zoom these days), a big mug of coffee and a good old discussion. We’d go through the basics that I think any creatives go through, start off with a few crazy or bonkers ideas and then start to focus and find the sweet spot. Once we cement our ideas and figure we have something more tangible, we then present this to the client giving them options on the best way to make them happen, on time, on budget and on brief.
How has technology affected the way you work (if at all)?
I think the evolution of technology has its advantages and disadvantages. I’d say the thing we battle with the most is that it's becoming easier and cheaper to get your hands on a small camera that can give the impression that anyone can be a filmmaker. This has seen a generation of ‘Videographers’ arise. On the one hand, it’s opened doors to new talent and fresh blood but on the other it can lead to desensitising of quality and good taste and mystify brands as to what constitutes filmmaking. We really strive to follow traditional filmmaking practices in our work and avoid trends.
All that being said the advantages are amazing. Modern technology has seen a huge push in efficiency of pre-production through to post-production and file delivery. With clients now able to get instant access to offline media (unprocessed video), it’s easier to make sure they are happy every step of the way. The kit we use produces quality at cinema standards, which would have been hard to accomplish under a tight budget in the past.
What’s your team’s secret to staying inspired and motivated?
We want to be known as being humble and honest, I’d say that’s a big part of remaining inspired. We’re a relaxed team and we try to not take life to seriously. When you’re relaxed I think you can take a step back and appreciate everything around you. We are both keen travellers, movie watchers, series bingers, music listeners, advert heeders and we keep ourselves busy with plenty of personal projects.
What’s the work achievement you’re most proud of?
In 2018 I directed and produced an 2 year long online music series from London’s famous Metropolis Studio for ellesse, releasing over 60 live music videos including the likes of Not3s, Nina Nesbitt and Skinny Pelembe. This series taught me so much as a director and being a huge music fan I was pretty much in my element.
How do you recharge away from the office?
Dog Walks. Is that boring? I like challenging myself, finding the next mountain to climb, the next adventure to go on. Or just give me a beach and some sun and I’ll not complain! I do a lot of landscape photography as a hobby, so I’d probably say this is my best source of recharging.
What advice would you give to other aspiring creatives looking for work?
Work hard, try again, keep trying, you’ll get there. Wait actually, you’ll always be trying to get there. I think you’ll know you’re on the right path when you realise that no matter how better you get you’ll always criticise yourself, or look back on old work and cringe a little. It’s a good sign of progress.
What’s your one big hope for the future of the creative industries?
Guess that’s a fairly open question, right? I’d like the value of good, beautiful adverts to come back into power. Like, can we have more of the great John Lewis ads all year round please? Or what about the Great Guinness ad’s of the early naughties? Even the Coca Cola adverts are being recycled these days, I remember being a kid and waiting for the new Coca Cola Christmas advert to know it really is time for Christmas. Let’s see a cut-down of these fast to market commercials and have more strong campaigns with lasting legacy.
If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be?
I’d like to see big corporations inviting new talent and indies to pitch on work, so that everyone has a fair chance and there is encouragement for the future. It’s hard to compete against the industry leading giants when you’re not given the chance. Lets put everything back on the table and let everyone have a fair chance at chipping in, especially the Northerners!