Newbies to Welsh ICE, GreenNova graduated this week after three years studying BA Film at The University of South Wales. It was there that Christopher Deakin, James Clarke, Dominic Harrison, Tom Large and Livy Cheung all met, each specialising in different areas on the course but bonding over a united love for film to create GreenNova Production, a video production company dedicated to the moving image art form.
GreenNova is always trying to push itself and adapt new ways telling its stories. Its mission is to make cinematic promotional, music and short videos with the ultimate goal of being able to shoot its own Feature Film hopefully within the next two years.
Managing Director Christopher Deakin always had the ambition to start his own video production company back in college and has been using the name since 2013. Last year he took the plunge and registered the business ready to start making promotional videos and short films. After spending his time in university studying the business of film he gathered together a talented team and set off into the world.
The name comes from Chris’s favourite colour and he likes space “less interesting version”. He wanted something space themed to go with the genre of films he wanted to make which was Science Fiction (more interesting version). Nova derives from a Supernova which is fundamentally a star that’s used up all its energy and collapses in on itself before exploding outwards into the cosmos on a huge scale; the exploding star releases energy into the universe which later forms other stars/planets, essentially bringing life to the universe which the colour green also falls into the theme of life and nature. The logo in that essence has the circle which represents the sun and life cycle (bringing life to film) and inside the circle if you tilt your head to the right spells NOVA. It also kind of looks like a death star!
Chris specialises in Cinematography and Producing, his passion for building fictional stories and the love of making films is what lead him to start the company GreenNova Productions. After 6 years out of education choosing to jump straight into working in retail doing both day and night shifts he felt stuck in a rut. Taking a trip away to Thailand for 2 weeks he made a little holiday film out there with a friend who’d recently bought a video camera and quickly become addicted to the whole film making process.
On returning within days he’d enrolled onto a TV and Film course and never looked back. Five years later he is now leaving university with a First Class Honours and a talented team of filmmakers to make films with. Chris struggles to find a favourite film but his favourite genre is Science Fiction, in particular Space Opera’s and sub genre Cyberpunk.
Director of Photography, James Clarke‘s love for cameras lead him into specialising in Cinematography and Film Producing. He now doesn’t travel anywhere without some form of camera within hands reach (May be addicted to Instagram). James really wanted to be a wildlife cinematographer being able to travel all over the world documenting nature. His journey started through taking pictures which over time developed into video, leading him to further his studies in a university based environment. As yet, he has still not shot a nature documentary but its up there on his to do list over the coming years. His favourite film is Fight Club and favourite genre is Thriller.
Director of Post Production, Tom Large is a highly creative team member specialising in Editing and Cinematography and a highly skilled musician; being able to compose music for film while also being able to play a trumpet, piano and guitar. He is also a dab hand with Photoshop. Tom was originally a musician playing trumpet semi-professionally, then as a task in his animation class in year 12 he had to film random sound bites and cut them into a song in Final Cut. He did it and instantly fell in love with editing, decided there and then that’s what he wanted to do and hasn’t looked back. Tom’s favourite film is Whiplash.
Production Manager, Dominic Harrison went on to specialise in Documentary film making preferring to build stories around real people than creating worlds of fiction like the rest of the team. He is also trained in Sound and knows how to work his way around a boom pole. Watching Louis Theroux documentaries inspired him to make documentary films and he’s a huge film buff in general. Dom loves the whole Lord of the Rings Trilogy and his favourite genre is Animation.
Production Designer, Livy Cheung specialised in Sound and Film Producing but her love for the arts lead her to be more hands on creatively; preferring to get stuck into making props and set dress scenes. She has now started her own business ‘Firebird Creative’ but is still very much apart of GreenNova’s team helping out on film and music video projects requiring her talents. For someone who never watched films Livy has no conceivable idea why she chose to study film. Literally chosen on a whim she quickly fell in love with the whole idea of actually creating the physical worlds needed to make a film reality. Liv doesn’t have a favourite film but enjoys animations.
Their favourite project so far was the music video they made for a local band ‘Himalayas’, a 22 hour shoot which was great fun to make.
“We got given a lot of creative control and we really got to play with it unrestricted, we also landed an amazing location which really added to the aesthetic. We hope to work on more of their upcoming singles in the near future.”
On choosing ICE as their startup home, the GreenNova team said:
“When we came to Welsh ICE we were literally blown away by this place. The creative environment, the facilities and the true team aspect and cross business relationships was something we really wanted to be apart of. They also have specialist business figures to come in and give talks and advice on a weekly basis (however we believe Chris and James were secretly won over by the prospect of playing Dungeons and Dragons).”
They cite the best part about being in ICE as being able to split their work life with social.
“It always adds that level of professionalism we couldn’t ever achieve in our previous office space (a shared student quarters living room surrounded by pizza boxes).”
For any aspiring graduate thinking about starting their own business, the team say;
“In the words of Shia LaBeouf ‘Just Do IT’. In all seriousness starting a business is a big step, Welsh ICE gives you the environment to collaborate with fellow creatives so if you never feel like your in this alone. If you have a strong dedicated team behind you and the drive to do it, to go out there and make films, whats stopping you?”
Visit the GreenNova website for more info!