Rainbow Trout Films picks up award at the TMT Media Awards for Best Corporate Film Company – UK
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Rainbow Trout Films is a video production company, founded in 2010 by filmmaker James Mellor. In this interview, James gives us a fascinating insight into the film industry and the challenges he thrives on to make his projects a success.
Based in Ripponden, near Halifax, West Yorkshire, UK, Rainbow Trout Films have worked on corporate films event filming, documentaries, feature films, TV drama, promo spots and trailers. The company works with all sizes of business, no matter how big or small, and can work anywhere in the world.
James Mellor has been part of the film industry for 16 years. He has worked on many film and television productions including Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban, Last of The Summer Wine, London’s Burning and Doctors.
Since he was a child, James has always been passionate about film. He talks us through how he began his career.
“I’ve worked from the ground up working freelance for many years, as a producer at Sky, then working in editing and learning camera work. After this, I started moving into more corporate productions with work for Yahoo doing events. I’ve got a lot of production experience and I’ve used that knowledge on many, different productions. I went on my first TV film set when I was 10 years old, and fell in love with the whole process from that point onwards. It’s always been an ongoing passion.
The biggest challenge for Rainbow Trout Films is keeping up with the latest technology. James describes the way he keeps on top of the all the latest technological trends.
“A few years back, there was a big shift from standard definition to high definition, and now there’s another shift now from HD to 4K, so that requires new investment. There are other challenges with working with 4K resolution which include storage space and data wrangling, which wasn’t the same issue as it was a few years ago with high definition, and certainly not with standard definition.
“I visit the Broadcast Video Expo (BVE) every year so I’m up to date with what’s going on. Companies do technological days where you can go along and test out camera and editing equipment or have a look at what technology is on offer. It’s always a challenge as it’s a fast moving environment. If you don’t keep up to date, then you find out ten things that your competitors are doing that you are not! If I don’t understand part of the industry, then it will make me determined to find out about it so we can create better products all round.”
The latest project that James has been working on is a documentary on airline foods with Scandinavian airlines & Air Baltic. James spent time filming in flight from Copenhagen to Tokyo plus the return leg, as well as spending a few days in Japan’s capital. There were challenges with this project but this didn’t phase James as he explains.
Firstly, getting permission to film in flight and to film in airports can be tough as well as being allowed to film in typically, restricted areas. Also, ensuring we had the right equipment because shoots of this nature are very much run and gun so you can’t have all the massive lighting kits and big cameras like I would do on other productions. I really had to think creatively!” A location trip was completed before hand to assess the location and determine the practicality of filming there. Planning is a vital aspect of any project as James tells us “it’s all about how you can make things work in the different environments you’re faced with.”
James is currently developing some feature film work with writers which will add another string to his bow. He talks us through what makes Rainbow Trout Films stand out from their competitors.
“I think the important thing for me is telling the story. Anybody can film something on their iPhone and put it up on YouTube but it’s about the quality. You can have the most expensive cameras and the most expensive equipment but if you haven’t got the story then you’ve failed. Whether it’s a product or a service that you’re trying to portray for the client, if there’s not an evident story, then it’s up to us to create a story.”
“We are a smaller outfit than other companies so we are much more mobile, can make decisions much quicker and get a much closer relationship with the client. With bigger agencies, sometimes the message of the client can get lost. We have a much more direct approach and because of that we get a clearer message from the client.
“High standards is something I’ve always worked towards and aspired to, so whatever I do I do it with a duty of care. If I learn to do something, I’ll learn to do it really well so then I can incorporate it within filming so it’s looking at the best way to achieve what’s best for the client in a cost effective way.”
Over the next few years, James tells us of his plans to keep growing the business by continuing to work in challenging times. “I’ve got a lot of colleagues who’ve had projects put on hold because of Brexit. So for us, it’s all about keeping steady work coming in with new and interesting projects, its and becoming more well known to future, potential clients, as well as the clients we already have.”
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