Hi there. I’m a 24 year old law undergrad, with a postgraduate diploma in Filmmaking and a penchant for all things photographic and visually delicious – particularly when I’m the one behind the camera. Just last week I moved with my two younger brothers into our new home in Hampton Wick, and while I’ve traded the extended morning commute to class from our last place in Guildford for a significantly shorter bus ride, I’ve also become encumbered with the need to do more unboxing and unpacking than anybody should have to take. We’ve got our work cut out setting up and moving in – particularly while I’m starting a masters degree and operating as a freelance film-maker at the same time – but I have to say I’m looking forward to finally getting fully settled in.
The move closer to London wasn’t only to grant me an extra hour of sleep in the mornings; the real reason is so that, once we all complete our respective studies next year, the three of us will be in a prime position to start a recording studio and media production company together. Our house is conveniently partitioned into living quarters and a fully kitted out recording studio, and we’ve tenderly christened the building Fairlight Studios (hence the name of this blog). Quite how we managed to swing that deal I will never know – but I’m damned sure we’re going to make the most of it.
Perhaps more inspiring than all of this awesomeness however, has been attending the first week of my postgraduate course, ‘Managing in the Creative Economy’ (or MACE) at Kingston University. I was greatly relieved to find out through the enrollment week that the degree was going to be an invigorating, hands-on education in how to understand the creative industries and how to approach establishing myself within them. In other words – exactly what I was looking for in order to prepare myself for running our creative business.
One of the first lessons that I was introduced to was the use empathy as a means of gaining insight into an alternative perspective, and the way that this tool can be used to design better customer interaction with a business or service. The activity that delivered this learning was structured around a team of three people, challenged with the task of navigating their way to using the bathroom one by one. Easy? Not quite. The catch was that we were all handicapped with a disability; one was blind; one deaf-mute; and one a robot who could only act upon instruction from another team member. The details of our journey, while amusing, are not as important as the lessons gleaned from the experience: that the best way to improve a situation for an audience is to personify them, taking the time to empathize with their experience and to truly understand what it is they go through. These are points that I will without doubt use when it comes to building my own interaction with customers of Fairlight Studios, never simply assuming I understand how an individual will interact with our business, and testing before committing to anything.