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Reeta Varpama, co-founder of Colour Films
Reeta Varpama took full advantage of the resources Anglia Ruskin University put at her disposal while she was a student here and built her own start-up. Here's how she did it:
Colour Films is an independent digital film production company. We’ve been up and running for over a year now, and from the very beginning our vision has been to make high quality promotional films, event films and corporate videos for companies of any size. So far we’ve been working with a variety of businesses and organisations as well as individuals.
One of our most recent clients is SureFlap Ltd who originally came across our work in the School of Art Degree Show. Due to our Colour Films work commitments we weren’t able to attend, but thankfully my tutor got talking with them and got us all in touch with each other. It was a start of a fruitful collaboration which is hopefully going to continue over a number of projects.
What are the main benefits with your job?
One of the biggest benefits with my job is the fact that I can put in use the creative and technical skills that I’ve practiced and developed over the past three years. I have been able to kick-start my career by working for myself.
How did you found the company?
During my second year in ARU, one of my classmates and I were keen to get into ‘the industry’ as soon as possible and we pondered ways to start developing a career in our chosen fields. Neither of us had any experience in business whatsoever, but as we had teamed up on creative projects before and worked well together, it made sense for us to make our working partnership official. Establishing a business where we could combine both our skills and provide a quality service to the market was something that drove us to create Colour Films.
Because we started to develop the business while still at university, we got a great deal of support from the StartUp Lab after joining the mentoring scheme. We were spoiled with help and guidance throughout our journey in building a solid ground for a potentially successful business. Our mentors were like fairy godfathers, carefully guiding us on our magical pathway in the business world of wonders.
What main characteristics do you think are needed to work in the Creative Industries?
The ability to muster determination and ambition and keep up the drive and passion despite the difficulties to ‘get in’, the increasing competition and decreasing financial support for, and within, the industry.
What was your degree in?
My degree was in Film and Television Production. I had worked in Film & TV before, so the course was an obvious choice.
What are some of the key skills you have learnt in your degree that can be transferred to the work place?
During my degree, I absorbed the most important skills in the first 1,5 years: mastering the basics of practical filmmaking, using the equipment, gaining a deeper understanding of editorial structuring and learning the importance of concise, constructive feedback, critical thinking - and most crucially, gaining the respect and gratitude for people with great communication skills.
Describe some of the key tasks you do on a daily basis?
Each day is different in the life of Colour Films - usually finely balanced between management and administration, client communications, production work, marketing and training.
Tell us a little more about the core skills you have learnt in the work place?
Since we started, I’ve learned to be much more attentive to detail. I’ve learned a huge amount about marketing, finance and business in general. My skills in leadership, team work, time and resources management, budgeting and financial planning have experienced a significant boost.
What aspirations do you have for your future career?
I wish to be in a position where I can have a positive influence on the world through the work I do.
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