Origin Films is a boutique production agency founded by James Leigh, Matt Duncan and Chas Howell, three friends who were interested in “finding the nucleus in a film which expresses the relationship between a brand and its audience.” Since its inception, the company has produced various short films, commercials and advertisements for companies like Spotify, New Balance and Rimmel.
I sat down with one of their Production Assistant to learn a bit more about recent and upcoming projects. Nicolas Fofana has been working at Origin for a little over a year and says “so far, it has been a great learning experience. I love being hands on, it has given me the opportunity to implement the methodologies I learned in film school.” Nicolas onboarded with Origin shortly after graduating from ESRA Film School in Paris.
What has it been like to transition out of film school in Paris into a full time role in NYC?
- New York is one of the most fast-paced cities in the world, and my role at Origin films is no different. I am constantly wearing multiple hats. One day I could be editing video clips for a short docuseries and the next I could be behind the camera for a 360 VR New Balance commercial. That is something I really love about the role, no two days are the same.
Tell me a bit more about your day to day….
- As mentioned, each day is different and usually depends if I am on Production for the day or Editing. Sometime I focus on editing commercials when there is an upcoming deadline, which can take up a lot of the day. That being said, most of the time I arrive, get set up at my desk, check on upcoming deadlines and get going into the project for the week. All while trying to be present and absorb as much information as I can along the way!
What has been your favorite project to work on?
- I enjoyed editing and developing video for Apollo’s Daring Mission, which is about NASA’s Apollo 8 mission. The project resulted in us securing a commission from PBS Nova to make this documentary in 2018 with astronauts Jim Lovell, Frank Borman and Bill Anders. Which is insane!
Has Origin won any awards or key partnerships in your time at the company?
- Yes, I have been able to do some editing for a few key pieces of work for our advertising and marketing clients, including the Travel Video Alliance award. We also recently won work for Windstar Cruises, a project I am really excited about being involved in.
What are you most proud of thus far in your time at Origin Films?
- I came on board with the goal of learning and developing various skills and I have to say I am proud of how proficient I have become in things like After Effects, Adobe Premiere, and 3D commercial production. These each took hours and hours to perfect and that work recently became fruitful when I was put in charge of leading a team for Redbull, Gevalia, Pandora, HP, and Mohegan Sun project. I also mentor other production assistants in the aspects I previously mentioned. You can see some of the work here.
What is your long term goal?
- I love the collaborative aspect of Production, so long term I would like to stay in film or creative production. My goal is to continue to develop my video editing and project management skills and see where they can take me in NYC!
What would your advice be for recent grads looking to get into a Production role at a production agency?
- My advice would be to go for it! Be open to learning all of the aspects that go into video production and take advantage of any learning experience you can. Also, take advantage of the client facing opportunities, you can really see into how marketing agencies or consumer brands operate. Lastly, try to apply to the companies that are working on projects you feel passionate about, that will ultimately make the work you do so much more fulfilling!
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