When Kamera Books asked if I was interested in reading one of their latest Creative Essentials books, RUNNING A CREATIVE COMPANY IN THE DIGITAL AGE, by Lucy Baxter, I was intrigued.
I’m a huge fan of the entire series – I honestly can’t think of anything negative about any of them review-wise. They’re all focussed on different areas to do with screenwriting and the movie industry, which makes them really great to collect and dip into when you feel a bit stuck or rusty on any particular subject or genre.
This book, though, seemed particularly unique/niche. The title seems general – like it could apply to any type of creative company – and that’s true in terms of its excellent range of business advice. However, it is still very much geared towards the movie industry, with lots of focus on filmmaking and funding/commissioning in the industry.
NOT A READ-IN-ONE-GO TOME
I’ve been reading this book for quite some time now. It’s not one you can easily digest in a few hours, though it is easy to navigate and dip into. I wanted to read it in order, though, and properly take in all the brilliant nuggets of information.
Lucy essentially takes us through what the current industry is like (complete with lots of insights on the effects of Brexit), how you can stand out and how you can set up, run and even expand or sell on your creative business once it has reached maturity.
Even though Lucy is talking directly to those who want to set up a production company, there are still lots of things writers and business owners can take away from this book. The importance of a company name, different service types and what’s coming next re: the climate of content consumption to name but a few.
ALL THE RESOURCES!
One of my favourite things about this book were the masses of resources throughout. There were so many that I wasn’t aware of including funding options, networking events and distribution options. There’s also a great breakdown of how the top players work, a list of ‘superindies’ and independents and, at the back of the book, you get a whole load of sample documents like options, contracts and budgets.
NOT ALL TEXTBOOK THO
Don’t worry, though, it’s not all like a business studies textbook – Lucy’s experiences offer some great insights and humour that back up the points she makes, such as the mistake of calling an early company “Whipping Boy Films” which sounded a bit dodgy!
ENCOURAGING & SAGE ADVICE
There’s advice that will apply to writers and other creatives, too – my favourite is to stop falling in love with your artistic talent/vision and to think more like a tech business! Essentially: there’s only so far that raw talent or vision can get you. To succeed at making what you love a successful venture, you have to treat it like a business too!
RECOMMENDED TO LEVEL-UP YOUR GAME
Running a Creative Company in the Digital Age will definitely help you underatand how to go about this. It’s essential reading for any writers and filmmakers who want to work for themselves or set up their own company.
Lucy’s festival recommendations are focussed on content distribution, but another great place to learn the biz and network is London Screenwriters’ Festival! Use my special discount code: SOFLUID-17X to get a £23 discount! Buy your tickets HERE.