Biography

Founder and History

Exeter’s original ‘video graphics’ pioneer? In 1987 Rick Cresswell (the founder of The Company), is regarded by many local video organisations as the first to effectively pioneer the commercialisation of animation and graphics for video production companies and media studios across for Exeter, Southwest and in parts of London, utillizing a small bank of industrial Cyber storm/vision 24/32bit graphics computers running Lightwave Ver. 1, Scala, and D’Paint. He also supported the development of Exeter Film and Video Workshop (now part of Phoenix Art Centre in Gandy Street, Exeter) for many years working and supporting the then Workshop manager Joyce McCarthy, as managent secretary and a course trainer for 2D cel animation and early 3D animation and compositing, U’Matic (tape) editing and 16mm film production.

After four years as a commercial VT editor / cameraman supporting Alan and Denise Tibbits' company Video-EX, he went to London and gained his first Masters degree in Independent Film and Video at Saint Martin’s (Now University of Arts London - UCL). Rick has acted as a visiting/contract lecturer in schools, colleges and universities across the Southwest teaching on GCE, A’Level, BTEC, BA and MA and assisting Media Arts and Medical specialists on their PhD. programmes. In the 90’s The Company utilised Apple’s Avid and Media 100 for non-linear post production with Betacam SP. In the early part of the millennium Rick Cresswell built his own integrated 2:1 NLE PC based systems using DVCAM, M2, Beta SP and Digital Betacam.

Interview with Rick

What are your weaknesses in media? 

"That’s a great question and it is an area I constantly need to mature in. I tend to get very inspired by the realisation of clients ideas. This might seem like a benefit but actually it can really get in the way, you see unlike many guys I am right One of our weaknesses is that we tend to over-deliver, which while great for the client can put a bit too much pressure on the team. 

Issues

“I believe that 'The customer is always right' is one of the most rediculous statements ever made and it is especially unsuited to the media business. While we try very hard to understand and work with clients, the reality is that unless our clients have proven experience in the media they are not allways right and we have to gently communicate this". Richard Cresswell

When it goes Wrong

“Look it can go wrong and we have had a about three occasions over two decades when it has gone wrong.

These are the reasons:

Clients assuming far too much if you are in business I am sure you’ve heard clients say, “can’t you just do…”, “dont you just have to…”

Clients being oblivious of the reality of what an hourly rate means… If for examples you want me personally to run a media taks and I charge you £50 ph or something. The formular is actulaly like this: 

Cost p/h = 30yrs x media art experience + quality equipment

If you want a crew / production team it is this:




Colleague companies and Competition. We’ll we have seen real growth in production companies in Exeter over the last ten years or so, to somewhat saturation point. Being pragmatic, competition is generally a good thing and keeps production standards high and fees competitive. It would be a lie to say that we never get a little frustrated by some of the claims we hear on the Grape Vine from some companies with great trumpets and weightier marketing programmes. In contrast, I would say that we are marketing weak and creative and workflow strong, a word of mouth kinda company.

 

The Team

The Company has always been a close dedicated core group of experts and also great friends, in a variety of disciplines in broadcasting, and digital media.

Based all around the country. Outside of that there exists a wider team of expert colleagues in television production. When were are really busy we call on an even wider group of professionals with whom we have worked before including, directors, producers, DPs, camera operators, editors, lighting specialists, narrators and presenters.

 

The Future Professionals

Due to Rick Cresswell’s early experience as a University lecturer, we still have a close relationship with schools, universities and overseas language centres for either work experience or internship programmes. With residential either self-catering or full-board facilities for up-to eight students at a time.


Students join us for between two and eight weeks and engage in a wide spectrum production work-flows. Many go on to either complete an MA degrees or employment for larger companies in Bristol and London.

 

Carbon, Recycling and Care

We have moved from Halogen lighting systems to LED and Florescent ‘ballast’ systems requiring as much as 90% less energy than traditional production lighting rigs. In addition, we now exclusively use recyclable Lithium Ion batteries for EFP & ENG (Electronic Field Production and Electronic News Production), again requiring less energy and greater cell life. 99% of outgoing correspondence is digital. All remaining waste paper is taken offsite shredded and created into compost. Staff undertake car sharing policy.

We have a dedicated FTP system for client digital delivery, avoiding the use of endless CD/DVD plastics usage and postage. For television we have a direct-to-broadcast server workflow avoiding the use of tape. We are looking into the future use of ‘Green’ hard disk or solid state systems. To end, we are actively involved in the promotion of companies and charities that create and assist in renewable sources of ecological energy and overseas aid for both Christian or humanitarian welfare.

 

© Rick Cresswell 2014. Website rev. 17. All rights reserved. All logos used for illustration purposes. Pictures owned by: The Company, Shutterstock or BMD. Site map.