That’s the question Affixxius Films ask themselves when making video content. For them it’s what matters above all else. Fads like Vine and 3D may come and go, but whatever the channel or device, the viewer will decide to watch if they believe it’ll be worth it.
The strategy has served them well. A clutch of EVCOM and RTS Awards, including the EVCOM Screen Awards Platinum in 2017, and over 3 million views for Kayleigh’s Love Story have put Affixxius on the moving image map.
Affixxius founders Miles Latham and Tim Cabrelli started early when a local drill manufacturer offered them £50 to make a video in 2003. A tight budget perhaps, but they were 16-year old schoolboys at the time. The video worked, other businesses got in touch. They spent their school holidays making more £50 videos.
Miles was offered a good university place and the business kept coming in despite budgets increasing a little. They created active and dormant periods, lining up work in the vacations. Miles set up a three screen edit suite in his university digs while Tim took the calls and operated the camera.
When Miles graduated in 2006 they carried on doing what came naturally, moving into an office in a former paint factory in Loughborough. They took on assistant editor and friend Dave Whayman, now the Affixxius Creative Director, then others. The business grew further.
Education films to the rescue
When the economic crisis hit in 2007, like most video agencies Affixxius was hit hard. They reinvented themselves as an education specialist and it worked. Academic projects have been around half of their turnover ever since.
Needing a stronger sense of purpose, they developed the Affixxius Films brand in 2010. This was no simple logo redesign. They increased prices 40% and started questioning and challenging the briefs they received, some of which they declined. The talents of the film-makers they had employed stood out. Why just tick the boxes when you can make something memorable? Is it worth watching?
Growth was ‘bonkers’, says Miles. They hit their 3-5 year revenue target in 8 months. They moved into new premises in Loughborough, buying a run-down building at auction before refurbishing.
More financial security allowed them to push creative risk-taking further, always aiming for authenticity and intelligence in their approach. Pitching against 21 competitors for Kayleigh’s Love Story for Leicestershire Police, they won thanks to a rigorous proposal that went beyond a standard two-page creative approach. They argued the real-life Kayleigh was in love and the film would connect with the audience if it recognised and never undermined that.
They see the industry shifting towards a meritocracy. Quality matters and bad videos don’t work. This is driven by video subscription services and TV drama offering an unprecedented level of high-end, accessible content. Ambitious mid-level brands get this and take the opportunity to stand out against bigger competitors.
Is it worth watching? If Affixxius Films continue to build their business at this rate, they will be.
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