Meet Our Member: Chris McCallum of Northern Exposure
06 Oct 2017
Chris McCallum of video production team Northern Exposure has been working in sound, video and content creation since he was 16 and is passionate about telling stories that connect with audiences. The Gold Coast-based company works with any-size business to create polished video and digital. Check out Chris's work on Northern Exposure's Content Makers Directory. We love his enthusiasm for Content Makers, and we're happy to have Northern Exposure on board.
How many people in your office? Typically we work in crew sizes of 1 – hundreds.
Tell us how your business came about/how you came to do this kind of work? I left school at 16 and caught the bus to my local radio station and started work that same day. From that moment I fell in love with the craft of creating a message that impacts on people. I have since been lucky enough to work in the realms of music production, television, feature films and documentaries. My aim these days is to enable a business of any size to utilise the power of a video message for everything from social media promotion to your CEO's Christmas message to staff. It's the perfect medium for product demonstration, technical instruction or business promotion.
What do you love most about working in this space? I love working with people inspired with a creative vision. We all work in a very tightly knit environment when a project is happening and by the end of the second week of filming we know all there is to know about each other!
If you had to describe your business in one word, what would it be? Stories.
Who is your main clientele? I have been lucky to work with so many diverse people from Prime Ministers to rock stars. This week alone is finalising a documentary on shark attacks for Nat Geo Wild NYC, corporate interviews for Microsoft and covering the Splendour in the Grass music festival in Byron Bay.
What memorable projects have you worked on? You tend not to think too much about the specifics when you are there but in hindsight some of the highlights have been recording dialogue for the TV shows Northern Exposure and Xena Warrier Princess through to the heartbreaking stories of Once Upon a Time in Cabramatta, a 3 part documentary series on how things went terribly wrong for a generation of kids in Sydney's south-west. But probably an all-time highlight was to have the opportunity to be in South Africa for Nelson Mandela's funeral.
A typical work day for you is? Having very little idea of the challenges that will await me on location until we encounter them! Most of my day is spent putting people at ease about being in front of a camera and getting the best possible story from them.
How would you describe your business style? Laid back and casual. Life is complicated enough there is no reason to make it moreso.
Do you have a point of difference in the market? What is it? Scaleability. I have a great team of really clever people I can call upon to make a production happen. Sometimes it will be just me but I can scale that up to service whatever it is we are trying to achieve. Budgets are very tight these days and people want the best result for their dollar spent. It is my job to make sure that happens for them.
Are there any common mistakes you see businesses make that drive you crazy? Clients hiring experts in their field and then not listening to the advice they bring.
What is the most common piece of advice you give to clients? When spending money on a video production be as prepared as you possibly can. Leave nothing to chance on the day.
What trends do you think will be big in the year ahead in copywriting? Smaller more nimble production and film crews. Technology allows us to do so much more with less.
GRILLED BY CM
Favourite hashtag? #gearporn
Favourite magazine? Cool Tears - a roundup of cool retro Tear Drop caravans from around the world.
Favourite TV show? I haven't watched TV since 1996, but back then it would have been Twin Peaks
Favourite book? TI read instead of watching TV, everything from Crime to History. My last book was Porcelain The memoirs of musician Moby.
Favourite word? Serendipity.
Posts you are most likely to share on Facebook? Political and food.
Coffee or tea? I am a compulsive tea drinker but it has to be by Madura.
Cats or dogs? Highly allergic to cats.
Sweet or savoury? I have joined the Thermomix cult so there is plenty of both
Find Northern Exposure on the Content Makers Directory.