Shoot co-founder Henry Wilks outlines the vision behind Creative Shoots

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As with any growth strategy we are constantly evaluating the landscape within the industry and how as a business we structure ourselves to fit within it. We have grown and changed during the 16 years of Shoot the Company as the content landscape has diversified. What is considered ‘content’ is as varied as it’s ever been ranging from long form documentaries to 10 second TikTok videos. Wildly different in terms of creative and execution yet equally valid in a world in which we are consuming content more than ever. The challenge for an agency like Shoot the Company is how we continue to create great content for clients with such a wide variety of creative and editorial briefs. This challenge came to the fore when we started our rebrand. Whilst focusing on the challenges around how we present ourselves externally, we realised it opened up a huge opportunity. Rather than just finding a solution to our marketing challenge we decided to address the issue from the inside out. From which Creative Shoots – Shoot the Company’s creative and design studio - was born.

Creative Shoots was founded to produce short form, fast turnaround, impactful digital content. We realised that the ‘one size fits all’ approach to the diverse content that we create for our clients was becoming increasingly challenging. The ability to have our own in-house studio whose sole focus is to invest in creating contemporary visuals and develop cutting edge ideas is a game changer for our business. One of the surprising benefits as we watch Creative Shoots develop is that rather than working as a separate entity it has created greater integration and collaboration across the business. We now have synergy between the departments. As well as managing its own clients it also takes creative briefs from the wider business to create digital assets and graphics for our long form projects.

Another big benefit of setting up Creative Shoots is the ability to offer a more flexible approach to budgets and quoting. The set-up of the studio has enabled us to re-evaluate the financial framework of the business across our rate cards, fee structure and budget templates. The combination of creative excellence coupled with the nimble approach to production, cements our ability to work with clients with smaller budgets.  

Creative Shoots is run by senior content creator Sera Sakarya, who leads a growing team.

Sera said: “Running Creative Shoots has given me a lot of confidence. It’s exciting to not only be developing my own career but leading part of the company as it expands too. The creation of Creative Shoots enables us to keep up with current trends within the industry. We are constantly brainstorming ideas so that we can react quickly and creatively to service our clients. For me personally I love being able to work on projects that I am really passionate about and creating work for good causes. Our flexible approach to budgets means that there is a freedom which enables us to select a project due to its creative merit.

By setting up Creative Shoots the business has given time and space to the team, enabling us to act as a sponge to soak up all of the creativity that already existed within the business. Everyone on the team is consuming content constantly and we take a bit of everyone’s personal taste into our work. We have earned a huge amount of trust from our clients often working with them at the start of their branded content journey.

The company has always championed the people within it but with Creative Shoots there is a sense that they are enabling everyone within the team to really shine. Each person understands their role and the part that they have to play. I’m really excited about the future.”

There is no doubt that the business case for Creative Shoots is strong, but the most rewarding benefit has been the ability to create the next generation of leaders within the company. When the industry is struggling to both attract new talent and retain staff this is an essential part of our growth strategy and allows us to recruit more widely. The studio is now responsible for its own recruitment and team management as well as external marketing and business development. For an agency already riding high and producing great work the launch of Creative Shoots has injected another boost of confidence to a team that is excited for what comes next.

To celebrate Shoot the Company turning 15 we ran a competition giving a budget to a talented young director to make a short film. The Creative Shoots team ran this competition, selecting the winner - Amber Akaunu - and working closely with her across pre-production, production and post. Amber and the Creative Shoots team formed a strong partnership and the brilliant film they made, 0151: Liverpool, Rap & Politics, has fittingly just been nominated at the Liverpool Film Festival. A great early success story for the Creative Shoots team.

Henry Wilks Shoot The Company

Henry Wilks is co-founder of Shoot The Company.