Simon Owen of Standby Productions Chats to Business Boom

This morning we talk to the man behind South Manchester film company Standby Productions. Simon Owen has always had a passion for creating and editing films and with a company that’s going from strength to strength, it’s fair to say that he’s in his element. Here’s what Simon had to say to Business Boom! 

Hi Simon, first and foremost,  who are Standby productions and what are the kind of projects do you produce on a daily basis?

Standby Productions Ltd have a wealth of experience in creating films for a range of clients, from music and fashion through to corporate and charity events. We’re based in South Manchester but our clients are national and more recently European, so we travel to our clients which enables us to build a good working relationship and helps us understand their business and culture. We’re a young business, but growing rapidly, both in terms of the Standby team but also the clients we’re working with and films we’re producing. We work largely on recommendations and word of mouth, the best way for a business to grow, and we’ve certainly had some great responses to our films since we started shooting!

Who are the typical clients that approach you to discuss a brief or idea?

To be honest, we don’t have a ‘typical’ client. All of our clients are completely different and are treated as such. One of the best parts of what we do is getting to know a new client and all about their business, story and what messages they want to present. Of course budgets vary between clients and jobs, but we’re happy to work together to create something which is visually stunning, conveys a message but of course, without breaking the bank.

Have any of your projects turned into national success stories for the company?

We’re happy to be the company ‘behind the camera’ and for the films to create or be a success for our clients. Having said that we have received great feedback from one national client, “You’re in danger of being just too good!!… I’m delighted with how you have put our company across. Standby has been the find of the year for our business!”

A recent client who’s film is currently in the edit suite will be shown at exhibitions nationwide. Showing off their new ‘Slipstream’ model of HGV lorry involved us filming at a testing location in the south (and at high speed!). The innovative new design stands to save their customers (large supermarkets and retail chains) a substantial amount of money in haulage expenses as the new model will save over 10% in fuel expenditure. Showing the new model, explaining the ‘science’ bit as well as selling the financial benefits that the new lorries will bring were all key in producing the film and they’re expecting it to have a big impact when it gets premiered!

Where are you based and are you involved in any of the local creative groups/networking events?

The team is largely based in Didsbury, South Manchester. We’ve already established links with local businesses in the area and will shortly be working on films for an exclusive members gym as well as a vintage cake shop (all about balance!). We’ve also connected with the community through creating films highlighting local events such as ‘WestFest’ , ‘CavFest ‘ and the Didsbury Arts Festival . These events aim at furthering a community feel whilst also promoting local businesses and creating a fun-filled few days for families in the area.

We’ve also worked with various local companies who specialise in getting businesses to network and work together on projects, these have been invaluable in making new contacts within the area.

How does social media and networking work for the company?

Alongside and linking in to word of mouth recommendations, we’ve found that Twitter in particular has been useful in making new contacts and spreading the Standby word. We regularly tweet about films we like, inspiration we’ve seen or heard of, as well as using our ‘followers’ as sounding boards for ideas. We’ve also introduced Twitter to Sydney, our Standby mascot (a Westie puppy) which adds a ‘fun’ element to our brand and who has proved very popular! Twitter alone has led to several collaborations with local businesses as well as enquiries from further afield.

We regularly write a blog (which is also integrated in to our Twitter and Facebook feeds) which details the Standby team’s adventures, from cherry pickers to high-speed filming and cake creations to European trips. The blog enables us to show prospective clients the latest projects we’ve worked on as well as a bit about the technical know-how and feedback received from clients. They can also see the many different styles of films we can create and the wide range of clients we’ve worked with.

We’re now planning to use our client database to target communications more effectively, using both ‘pull’ and ‘push’ tools including film, website, social media, e-newsletter and a touch of ‘extra’ customer service with a box of cakes occasionally!

Thanks Simon, best of luck for everything in the future.

Follow Standby Productions on their website at, Facebook and Twitter @standbyprod.

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