How Joe Skillington is using Whistle Video to produce high-quality videos during the Covid-19 pandemic.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Joe Skillington: My family and I are doing well. We had our second child during the lockdown, which brought its own challenges – but we are getting there!
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Whistle Video.
Joe Skillington: I am a keen runner and enjoy anything ‘outdoorsy’. I have two young children (3 and 9 months) who are keeping me on my feet but are also bringing things to my life that I didn’t know were missing. I have been running Whistle Video for 9 years now. I have worked in video production for many years but really got inspired whilst living in New Zealand in 2013-14. I started creating holiday home videos for clients to showcase their properties. On my return to the UK, my passion for video production was in full swing. The availability and improvement of technology over the years has really made it a lot easier to create the content you want for your clients. I am now able to turn videos around a lot faster and for a lower cost which opens up new doors. Clients that would never have considered video production now have options.
How does Whistle Video innovate?
Joe Skillington: We constantly look at what is happening around us and try not to get stuck in our ways. It’s dangerous to be stagnant for too long as there are more people able to do what we offer. We like to try to work with a mix of clients and crew to get a different perspective.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Joe Skillington: In the start, it was tough. Ninety-five percent of our booking dropped off, which was a huge blow. However, as time went on, some clients returned, and we also did a lot more animation work. This was mainly companies wanting to inform potential customers of changes in their procedures due to Covid-19. The animation was a great way to show this with things like reminders about social distancing and hand sanitizing. Creating so much animation was a real bonus as we could create all the content remotely. Things have been steady for the last few months now, and things are picking up a lot this year.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Joe Skillington: Luckily, no big decisions had to be made, and we were in a position to carry on as normal, which we are extremely grateful for.
What specific tools, software and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Joe Skillington: Like everyone, Zoom has been a lifesaver, and Microsoft teams has come on leaps and bounds.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Joe Skillington: Our main competitors are young university leavers. Due to the reduction in production costs, they have the most technical skills and have amazing access to high-quality kits. We plan to ‘stay in the game’ by working with new creatives and keeping a keen eye on what others are doing around us. Also, keeping on top and improving our software skills is a must.
Your final thoughts?
Joe Skillington: We know lots of people in various businesses have really struggled through the last year, and we haven’t had it easy by any means. But we are really thankful that things have run relatively smoothly and project that probably wouldn’t have arisen before lockdown became available. We just hope things settle into some sort of pattern now, as we have had enough ups and downs over the last few months!
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