Now signed to NTSH productions, filmmakers I Owe Youth – Dom and fellow director Lewis Foster – have 'a passion to make cool work'. They were one of the first companies to move into Workspace's Pill Box in Bethnal Green.
Tell us a bit about yourself...
I’ve always wanted to explore new things and experiences. I am a vegan. And a footballer. I’m a self-motivated Arsenal fan... You have to be; it’s been a hard few years. I am also a motorcycle rider and boxer. You can probably tell I love my sport. Films and photography occupy half of my brain at all times.
Tell us about your business and how you got started.
I spend my days pitching, photographing, reading, printing and watching a lot of Vimeo. It’s only when it all comes together that I can finally sit down in front of a monitor and direct people to do stuff! That’s pretty much how it happens. I don't actually sit down, though. I always thought directors could do that on set. Perhaps only when I’m directing feature films!
Where were you based before? Why did you decide to move into Pill Box?
I worked from my lounge at home. I needed to separate business from home and find a space that was comfortable, professional, flexible and secure for all our film kit. The productivity of our work shot up as soon as we moved into Pill Box.
Business-wise, what are you most proud of?
We started I Owe Youth to give us (new grads) the opportunity to take the reins and steer projects in our own modern way. Today we’re signed to a production company and pitch on some of the biggest music videos in the country. That’s my proudest business achievement: I am doing what we set out to do two years ago.
What have been your biggest business challenges?
Managing time and finding processes to fit the tasks and projects that we take on. Each project is different and requires a completely unique approach. Filmmaking involves a lot of very different tasks and skills, and things need to happen instantaneously which can be the hardest thing to manage.
At I Owe Youth we do our best to be as organised as possible using technology – Dropbox, Dropmark and cloud sharing programs. We can access any document on the move at the same time as the camera equipment we use on set. It’s always important to be tech savvy in this industry; it’s another layer of creativity to use in a unique way.
How are you funded? Did you seek any outside help?
When I left university, my auntie sadly passed away and left me some money. I used this to set up I Owe Youth. She would be happy it's helped me to start my career in films.
Where do you see your company in a year's time? In three years’ time?
I Owe Youth wants to be pitching on more music videos and bigger ones come next year. We want to expand and bring in new members to help with our projects. We also have plans to invest long-term in feature length film.
What are the most important trends in your industry?
Being tech savvy, commenting on society, what’s current and what everyone’s talking about. It’s about coming up with original ideas and executing them in a visually powerful way. If you can get all these things nailed you’re looking at a great project: concept, execution, technology and creativity all in the same basket.
If you weren’t doing what you’re doing, where would you be? What do you think the rest of your team would be doing?
Probably travelling the world! Which isn’t such as bad thing. The good thing about what I do is that I can get to do a bit of everything. Travel, meet people and see new things, and have an office to come back to for some down time, planning and editing. I feel we have good balance here at Pill Box.
What are the most important things for you in an office space? What's your office luxury?
Security, privacy, 24-hour access, light and air. I love the balcony at the top of Pill Box.
Find out more about I Owe Youth and follow them on Twitter.