PS: So who’s Another Robot and what are you guys about?
AR: We’re Jake and Adam and Another Robot is a video production company, that specialises in promotional videos, music videos, motion graphics, for anyone that wants it really! We work a lot with other businesses in the city as well as being part of the Knowledge Collective, which is basically just a a group of people with a number of different skills, working together. We also work with Dom Moore, a local photographer, who also is part of the collective.
PS: You’ve done a number of different things, from corporate videos to festival sessions to music videos, how does the work compare and what do you enjoy most?
AR: They’re all different, but I think it’s best when you get a project that sort of meets in the middle. We get some really creative projects, such as working with Artory recently, where we get the opportunity to push the more creative side of things, something that we don’t always get to explore in the more corporate aspect of things.
We’ve done sessions for Knee Deep Festival for a couple of years now, as well as working for Leopallooza Festival, which has been great. Getting to go to a festival for free isn’t bad, but also getting to meet all the bands and get an exclusive look at what they do is really cool. Unfortunately, both of those festivals are taking a year out, but there’s plenty of fields down here, I’m sure we’ll find somewhere else to get involved in.
PS: So how was Another Robot born?
AR: We both met here, at Plymouth University, studying the same course, Media Arts, and it stemmed from there really. We started working on a lot of projects together and then doing bits and pieces here and there, and it snowballed from there. It seemed to lead into a great working relationship. At uni, you start to fit into certain groups and begin to find yourself a little. You’ve also got so much extra time on your hands and the freedom to be able to work on projects and be creative. You get to know the people that like the same sort of things you do and you learn quickly who you can work with and who you can’t.
PS: Where did the name come from?
AR: Oh, we didn’t talk about what we were gonna say for this one! We should have thought of that. We always try and make up a different story every time, but I’ve forgotten to make one this time! You’ve caught us off guard. In all honesty though, I don’t really know where the name came from. When we started out, we sat down and began throwing things out there. We didn’t necessarily want to have something that was just video studio or something like that, we wanted to be a bit different and to stand out a little.
PS: What inspired the robot heads?
AR: We know we needed head shots, but we wanted to remain anonymous. It was an idea just to chuck some boxes on our heads. We’re hiding away from something, we’re building the mystery.
PS: You’ve worked with a lot of different businesses and artists, who continues to inspire you?
AR: Well, all the guys we work with in the office at the Knowledge Collective have really helped from the start. Since they were already an existing business, they helped set us up, and got us a few projects to sink our teeth into. It’s grown from there and now we work in the office with them which is great. The mutants, of Mutant Labs, a game design company work in the same building as us, and we’re great friends with all of them. We don’t necessarily work with them a lot since they’re so different to what we do but we know that if we ever needed different skills on a project, we’ve got potential collaboration there. It’s just nice to bounce ideas off of people in different fields to you, but still in a creative way. That way you can get some different angles and ideas.
Another artist we’ve worked with is Susan Austin, who has developed an underwater wheelchair, and is currently in the process of developing a flying wheelchair. We’ve worked with her in the past, editing her videos, helping her produce some of her content. She goes off around the world, demonstrating her inventions, the underwater one being demoed in Egypt I think! She straps on a GoPro and films it all, then we get the chance to sit down and work with her to see what we can turn it into.
We’re really into the idea of collaboration though. It helps our creativity to bounce ideas off people, even if it’s helping someone with something that we’re not going to be involved in. Working in video tends to be massively collaborative to start with, because you tend to work with a number of different people and it’s often part of a campaign or as part of promotion, so you often have to collaborate to come up with ideas to suit everyone. Good ideas stick with you, even if it’s about something completely different, you can rework and rehash it and it can turn into something great. You can always recognise a good idea, no matter what field it’s in.
PS: What does 2015 hold for Another Robot?
AR: Well, we launched our new website in January, which was exciting, but as for the rest of the year, just keep growing really! 2014 was great, we managed to come into an office environment and started to secure a few more contracts within the city which is good, so continue that momentum really. We need to fuel the creative side of things as well, because even though it is a creative business, it’s still a business! That can bring you down a little bit, so that’s why try to do stuff with festivals and bands. There might not be the most money there, but it allows us to fuel our creative side. Keep our souls happy and help us sleep better at night.
PS: What advice would you give young people in your situation? Thinking of setting up a business, getting into a notoriously difficult industry, etc.
AR: Just do it! Oh wait, that’s someone else’s catchphrase. But no! Just do it! A lot of people say they wanna do this, or wanna do that but until you try it and get stuck in, you just don’t know. It’s hard, ridiculously hard, it’s taken us a long time to get to the level where we are now, where we’re happy and comfortable and we know we can keep pushing on. It doesn’t mean anything without hard work.
If you’re thinking of getting into videography and media, I’d say just make as much as possible. It doesn’t matter who it’s for, or if you’re trying to get into music videos or corporate promotional videos, everyone’s going to look at what you’ve made in the past. Keep making things! If it’s what you wanna do, you’re going to enjoy making them anyway. The average person isn’t going to look at your one best piece of work, they’ll look at the fact you’ve been out there week in and week out trying to create something. If you’ve got a back catalog of ten projects, as opposed to one good one, that can sometimes look better, like you’re spreading your effort out a lot more.