Teach Inspire Create

Breaking ground in media production with Alex Harman

February 16, 2023 UAL Awarding Body Season 2 Episode 1
Teach Inspire Create
Breaking ground in media production with Alex Harman
Show Notes Transcript

Alex Harman is the CEO and one of the founding members of KODE Media Productions, a London-based production house who represent directors and photographers across a range of creative activities. 

Throughout his career, Alex has helped to produce music videos, advertisements, commercials and other moving image work for companies such as Nike, Adidas and Aston Martin. 

In this episode, Alex discusses his unorthodox trajectory through education, the skills and attributes he likes to see in directors and what it takes to succeed in a very competitive industry. 

Instagram handle: @kodemedia 
KODE Media website: https://kodemedia.com/

Discover more about UAL Awarding Body qualifications.

Matt m: [00:00:00] Hello and welcome to the Teach Inspire Create Podcast. I'm your host, Matt Moseley, Chief Examiner for Art and Design at UAL awarding body.

Each episode I speak to artists and creative industry leaders about three main themes, teaching, inspiring and creating. We talk about their experience of teaching and being taught, who or what inspires them and we explore how they foster creativity in their work with the hope of showing you that there are infinite ways to be creative in the arts.

Today my guest is Alex Harman. Alex is CEO and one of the founding members of KODE Media Productions. KODE Media Production is a production house based in London who represent directors and photographers across a whole gambit of creative activities, producing music videos, advertisements, commercials, and other moving image work.

I'm really excited to speak to Alex about his [00:01:00] unorthodox trajectory through education, the skills and attributes he likes to see in directors and what it takes to succeed in a very competitive industry.

There is a transcript available for this episode. Please click the link in the episode description so you can read as you listen. 


Matt m: Hi Alex. Welcome. How are you today?

Alex H: I'm great. 

Matt m: Thank you very much for joining us today at London College of Fashion. We normally lead off by asking our guests a bit about where kind of creativity started for them. So thinking all the way back to maybe school or college.

Alex H: It's a weird one because like I always think that my creative journey started at sort of 16, 17 when I accidentally picked media out of a handbook because I couldn't join the military, which was always the panel of where I thought I was gonna go with my life. When I was told I couldn't join the military, that was where I, uh, I started to focus on what else could be.

And I guess like always in my [00:02:00] life, I always enjoyed art. I always enjoyed drawing. I never connected with education at all when I was growing up, everything was a struggle, really dyslexic, a classic creative trait. But art was always the lesson you wouldn't get shouted at for not being able to do something.

But really when I was 16, 17, when I picked college and media out of a handbook, I then started to just engross myself in watching other people's work and learning that what we are doing was, okay, student work, but this is what you have to do to be able to progress into being a professional and falling in love with that art, of live action, animation, whatever it might be. 

Matt m: You mentioned dyslexia and academia not sitting particularly well with you. Do you feel like visual communication has become your preferred way of…?

Alex H: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. I think like only later on in life, did I, once YouTube became a thing, do you realize that YouTube is actually probably one of the best tools to teach you anything.

Matt m: It's a brilliant resource.

Alex H: Unfortunately for me, when I [00:03:00] was at school, the way of learning or the way of teaching was very different. So, arts, drawing, it was just peace, peace of mind, I guess. I must have thought of that when selecting what I wanted to do. I must have been like, I do quite like the idea of, of making things for a living and creating, but never in a million years did I think that we would be able to, at that point go on to, to have some sort of career in, in production or film.

Matt m: You choose media cause it looked good in the guide. What happens next?

Alex H: Basically I failed my GCSEs, so I left school with one GCSE. So the actual two year media course that I wanted to do, the BTEC, wasn't, I couldn't get onto it cause it was five GCSEs.

So I ended up going onto a first diploma which was a year before then getting onto the BTEC. So I spent three years in college and the first year I had to redo English and Maths and actually try and pass those to try and get on, which I did do. But in that first year it was the biggest blessing.

Going into that year I met [00:04:00] Nathan, one of my business partners now. It was much needed cause it was the first time I'd ever engaged with education, with people teaching me and me actually enjoying being taught rather than resenting absolutely everything. And tasks weren't just writing essays and booklets constantly.

It was like, you need to go out for a week and film a short film. Doesn't matter how good it was, it was just, that was incredible. Like I had a car at the time and it was just like life was going at a really good pace. I was so thankful of that first year. And Nathan and I passed with distinctions, the best grades, first time I ever got good grades, like my, the first time my parents had like a report that was good so it was all kind of improving. And then in the second year of college, that is where I met Jack. So me, Nathan, and Jack, three of the partners from KODE all went to college together from 16, 17…

Matt m: Wow. Right.

Alex H: … onwards to today. So we then did two years with Jack, and during that time, the three of us basically partnered up for pretty much everything and did as much work as we [00:05:00] possibly could together and built this bond that, that doing stuff together was better than doing it on our own or with other groups of people. And that was a massive part of it. But most importantly to all of this were were the teachers.

Matt m: Yes. 

Alex H: Jules and Justin taught us at Weymouth College and both of them were just incredible to us, understanding of certain things being slower. My paperwork, my writing was terrible, like at the time it was awful. They played to our strengths, which I think is so, so important in education and even in business. And I guess we'll get onto that more later, but I think that's probably one of the most important things in business, is playing to people's strengths.

You're never gonna have five people in a group who can all do the same things as well as each other. And if you do, you shouldn't be working together, because it's not how it works or not how it works best, you'll be fighting over the same position. So, for us it was just like so, so important to have that experience and the teachers to be so cool with us and letting us borrow [00:06:00] equipment on the weekends to go and shoot stuff.

Throughout the whole period of that college, you don't realize, cause the last year of college you're just like, “I can't wait to go to university, I can't wait to get out of my hometown”. All this kinda stuff. Which was true. But also then once you go to university you're like, oh wow. That period of time was so magical. Yeah. You know, no bills, no problems, no stresses. 

Matt m: But an opportunity to, cause it sounds as though KODE is being born at this time, isn't it? 

Alex H: Yeah. I guess like it was the embryonic stage and Matt and Elliot, our other two partners were developing.

They also had a very small company like me and Jack and Nathan did at college. And they were growing at their side, and we were growing at our side and we brought all of our sort of morals together for it. But yeah, yeah, a hundred percent. It was so important. We had a small little business. 

Matt m: You were taking on work for clients during college.

Alex H: It was independently, alongside, in fact, a lot of the work we did was for Jack's dad who had a small production company based in Weymouth.

So we did business shows, corporate [00:07:00] events, filming electrical stations and shops that wanted to do like promo videos. Yeah, and then it got into music, it got into local bands. We did a kind of bit of everything really, metal.

And, we would drum up a few hundred quid budget and we'd try and make something and those music videos were massively important to us. Like we would build our own dolly systems. We would try and get 35 mil filter, look on XH A1 tape cameras. We were trying to push the boundaries of the look of our film, even when we were at college.

Matt m: Do you think it's important not to be, you know, overly aspirational. Just get the, take the work, make the work to begin with. Is that important?

Alex H: Yeah, I would say it is, and I think it is a subjective question because some people are so focused on the art, they don't want to be associated with anything else, and it works out for them.

They're so ridiculously talented that they can not go about making the work that no one really wants to make, but needs to make, to pay the bills. I've heard a saying all along, which is [00:08:00] like, you make one film for the real, one film for the meal. And so I think it's very important for creatives to understand that like, just because you've made one good film, the trajectory might not be, you know, banger after banger after banger. You might have to do some work to pay the bills.

So my opinion on it and, and KODE's opinion has always been that, we should do what work we can to grow within reason and, and over the years, you know, we, we've shot, city traders, we've shot the biggest wedding planners in the world. Our growth wasn't just doing all these amazing projects we're doing now. There was years and years of just doing jobs cause they paid the bills.


Matt m: Yeah. And so you said that you were pushing the envelope on your aesthetic. What was influencing you at the time. What were you looking at? 

Alex H: We were just blessed with the internet, right? We were blessed with YouTube and with the boom of music videos. Like any track, get some music videos. When we started KODE, that was primarily what we were making.

We did some corporate things on the side to, to pay the bills, but music videos were primarily what we were making. So you can see all these different [00:09:00] videos coming out. There was different platforms like Radar Music Videos, which was commissioning £500 budget videos to directors and companies that were much smaller and there was an opportunity to start getting in with commissioners.

So, for us it was so important to get the bills paid so the fun work would follow on. I'm not a massive believer in if you make a piece of bad work that it's gonna stay with you forever. Um, but then it depends what that piece of bad work is, it's relative. If it's truly awful, then perhaps just don't talk about it. You can white label work, you can, there's so many clever ways. There's no production company in London that puts out publicly every piece of work they make. Take that how you want. I would personally take the work, take the pressure off, and then allow you to be creative. 


Matt m: You are working collaboratively, you know, yourself and your, your two partners in, in making these early films, did it become immediately apparent who was gonna take which roles in that? 

Alex H: We were so lucky. This goes back to my earlier point about [00:10:00] playing to your strengths. I think it's really important that when the five of us sat down to decide that we were gonna merge our two companies together to make KODE, we all knew what our strengths and weaknesses were. Not all our weaknesses, but we knew what our strengths were.

Alex H: So we started playing to those strengths. And within the first year when we wanted to really like learn how to structure the business properly, start looking after directors and building that side of the business, it was always an idea that I had had. Jack always was producing commercials or producing music videos.

Nath was always producing, and me and Elliot were always doing more operations, so it kind of just fell into it. And Matt was the cameraman, the editor, just a bit of everything. And then we started to have these roles that are now still the roles at the time it, you know, I got like head of business development because the idea of being an MD or a CEO of a company where there was only five of you didn't really sound like it needed to happen. We were [00:11:00] doing these roles from the very start, but perhaps there were named slightly differently. But yeah, we were very, very lucky that we didn't fight over trying to take different roles.

Matt m: And so then you fast forward a few years to now and KODE is, is thriving, and is growing substantially. Can you outline KODE to the listeners a little bit?

Alex H: Yeah, so KODE is a production studio. We're based in London. We work globally, we have a team of 40 full-time staff, producers, editors, visual [00:19:00] effects artists, we have a studio building in Old Street where we do all of our work. 

We work with agencies, direct to client with music, labels, producing video content, live action, animation, adverts, short films. And we look after a roster of photographers and directors, we make stuff for creative companies. It's probably the best way of describing it.

Matt m: Yeah.

Alex H: Over the years it's grown from kind of doing a few music videos here and there to doing 200 projects a year for clients like Nike, Adidas, New Balance in sport. We've shot Aston Martin this year, there's so many dream projects that we've been lucky to be involved with.

When you know us and you work with us, it's so very clear what each of us are brilliant at. Like, I would never step over the line of the other four boys’ work because I know I'm not as good at it as they are. And I would like to say that they think the same. So I think that's really incredibly important.

If you're setting up a business with your friends, you need to make sure you are all understanding of where you're going with it and what you're all doing within the business.

Matt m: I wondered whether or not there was any specific strategies that you employ or any advice that you can give to students listening to this starting to feel out some of those collaborative relationships and trying to find that positive middle ground to work effectively with people.

Alex H: The way that we persuaded people to want to try and work with us at the very beginning when we were just a student [00:12:00] startup, is to try and find mega talented people that were also at the same stage of life as us, but, who wanted to go on a journey, who wanted to perhaps make some stuff where there wasn't a budget involved, where you had to shoot four or five days in a row for no money in a cold field. Cause it's a passion project that's gonna build the reel, and I'm talking from a real, directing, making film standpoint. But that is so, so important.

In terms of how we persuaded directors to join us as a roster in 2013, now that's a difficult question to answer. I don't really know. Whereas some people perhaps box their dreams up, we were like very open and vocal with, we want to have a production company, we want to have a post studio.

We want to look after directors. These were all things that were part of our sort of everyday mantra from day one. Whether we'd achieve that or not, that was the vision and people fell and followed the vision. Some people stayed, some people left. We've grown, we've [00:13:00] adapted, we've brought new people on, but the core from the very beginning is still there.

Matt m: But it sounds like you've left, you've intentionally left a sort of agile space where you can support and celebrate the different styles of the directors that you bring on board. So each individual gets their own voice, and you are not, you're supporting that, not affecting that in the work you do.

Alex H: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. We're there to help advise and to help directors make their visions a reality. And sometimes, they're not a reality, you know, and you have to explain why it's not, or there's not enough budget, trying to help them through that.

But most of the time, with a creative that we are collaborating with, we're on the same journey. If, if we are pitching on a piece of work and they don't win the work, we are not winning the work either. It's all with one single goal. But yeah, going back to the point of working with people, I do believe that if, even if you message people you don't think will ever respond to you, you'd be surprised.

And you've gotta, you've gotta put the groundwork, you've gotta expect to get a lot of rejection.

Matt m: So you have to be resilient to that?

Alex H: Yeah.


Matt m: Post-college, you [00:14:00] established the company for real. You went to university for a period, is that correct? And then…

Alex H: Went to Ravensbourne. Me, Nathan, Jack, left College, went to Ravensbourne.

We did eight months and then we dropped out. And there's a multitude of reasons of why we did that. One of them was we were working, our other company that we had before was  busy-ish. We were starting to pick up music videos for artists that had slightly bigger budgets and we'd been promised a whole load of work and it, it just seemed like the right idea for us to do.

We set up KODE. Matt and Elliot were UCA Farnham, they were finishing, so they were a year above us, they were finishing their BAs. So, once we kind of got to that point, it was like pre-Olympics 2012. We, that's when we set up KODE, we merged our two companies together. I mean, it was the world's smallest merger, but it, you know, it sounded great on a, on a press release.

Matt m: It’s significant to, to you guys, isn't it?

Alex H: Yeah. I mean, looking back on it now, it was funny how we did it, but, also it just shows you how serious we took the whole thing. You know, we didn't joke [00:15:00] around with it. It was everything needed to have a message, a PR. 

Matt m: Was there an early project that stood out to you as a moment when KODE had arrived, kind of thing?

Alex H: There's several, we started our lives, we were very lucky where our friends were in a band called Enter Shikari and at the time we were doing loads and loads and loads of video work for them. And then through them we started to build up a slightly bigger portfolio. And I remember the dream always was a major label music video commission.

And we were told from freelance crew that it was super hard, especially at the very beginning. And then, we won our first commission I think in the September for a band called Don Broco. If I remember now rightly, the budget would've been probably like £8,000 or something.

And to us that was like hitting the jackpot, it was like, we can make something great, we can get a red camera, which were all the rage at the time. A red cam is like a super, super high end cinema camera. Now, I mean they, I think they can go up to like £8,000.

I've kind of [00:16:00] really fallen off the wagon of camera geekery, but back in the day, at the time that was the dream, was to shoot on a red. Yeah. So we did that on that video. And yeah, I think for us it was just game changing because it was like, right now we're working with Sony Records.

Matt m: We're being taken seriously by a serious organisation.

Alex H: Seriously. And we are meeting the commissioners and then we started to see flows of work out of it. And so that for us I guess was probably one of the big catalysts.

Matt m: And what was it like having those early meetings with those execs? That might be something which feels quite terrifying to potential students listening to this.

Alex H: I was always good at talking to people. I think I got my mum to thank to that, my mum spent her career training people to sell things, mainly within the finance institution, mainly for banks. But, she taught high-end individuals how to sell more in different ways and using different techniques.

And so we had been filming that for a long time as well, so I'd kind of been in the room. I've been around her, so it never scared me. [00:17:00] I think now if I could go back, I would not take some of the meetings I managed to get early on as early on. Because we showed what KODE was then rather than maybe a year later, once we'd built it more.

So that was probably a lesson I learned. But I did go back and get back in with those people. It just took longer.

Matt m: Do you think you learned something from those more challenging early meetings?

Alex H: I didn't find them that challenging, cause you don't know what to expect.

You go in there completely naive. Like our sales pitch was like, we are young, we are tiny, but we want a chance. This is something we've just done for Coca Cola with MOFILM. This is something we've just done for Sony Records. We're getting opportunities, give us a chance. Now you need to go into hundreds of those to get one or two chances.

Dan, my head of new business, and me, we have a saying of being a glutton of rejection, because…

Matt m: A good mantra.

Alex H: … for so long, we just had to like put up with the fact that like, it was no, no, no, no, no. But that also fed the fire. 

Matt m: Did it help having [00:18:00] partners for that resilience? 

Alex H: Not only helpful, imperative, cause we were best mates. I was getting to know Matt and Elliot at the very beginning, but they were still seen as my best mates.

Some days were dark and bleak. You were sitting in our small little student houses, sat in front of an iMac for days on end trying to get responses from people, not getting anything. And at the time we were fighting over music videos, you're fighting over tiny amounts of money just to be able to survive. But resilience is all part of it.

Matt m: Yeah. Yeah.

Alex H: Business is not easy. Business is not easy now, and it wasn't easy then. There's challenges that throw up. The early challenges are just, really difficult to overcome.


Matt m: You mentioned earlier about your sort of core values, et cetera, for the company. What, what are those? 

Alex H: Can I swear? Of course. Don't be a dickhead

Matt m: Of course.

Alex H: Don't be a dickhead.

Matt m: It's underrated. It's a highly underrated, uh, core value.

Alex H: Yeah, it's a simple one. We started a business with five friends, like the core [00:20:00] values were always like, that is the most important thing.

It's more important than absolutely anything. So the work has to be good, the people have to be good, and the mantra for us is you want to enjoy every single day. And so we've built a company with a culture based around it, rather than a company that's gonna just meet shareholders' needs the whole time.

The five of us are the shareholders, so you know, what's most important to us is what happens and that is that.

Matt m: So now you are the organization that people come knocking to. You receive the emails from prospective directors, photographers, creatives, I suppose. What does it take to work for KODE? What do you need?

Alex H: Well, it depends what kind of position you want to come in as.

The majority of our industry is freelance. So if you are going in as a camera assistant, as an assistant director, as a runner, whatever kind of position you want to go in on the set, then, we use freelance crew every single day of the week. In terms of the core side of how we do things and in terms of how directors and photographers can send work, [00:21:00] we try and pride ourselves on watching everything that's sent. And, giving as much of a response as we possibly can. Obviously, we only have a limited number of people that we can represent fairly.

You never want to take people on and waste their time cause it's their life and career. But, I always love seeing people's work and I love being involved in directors’ journeys from the very beginning 

Matt m: Are there things that people can do to help them to stand out more to you?

Alex H: Doing proper portfolios, building proper websites, if you're a director, look at other directors’ websites. They're very clear. They tell you all the information you need to know about you, about what the films are, who you made them with, who the crew are on the jobs. I think it's really important to visually show yourself off. You're a director, right? So if you have a website that's really easy to navigate and is enjoyable to read, that is a really good starting point.

The other thing I say to all directors is just shoot, shoot, shoot. Whether you talk about it or not is up to you. You see how good it is. Some of the [00:22:00] things that we didn't want to shoot or we were less excited about shooting ended up being pieces of work that we were most excited about once we'd done them.

Also, find ways to shoot spec, whether, if you are looking to get into commercials, that's how we did it. At the time there was a company called MOFILM, I think they still exist, they offer grants to companies, small production companies, directors, to produce a Coca Cola ad for instance.

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Alex H: A spec commercial is when you've made it yourself. So you find a client that you want to work with, and you want, say if it's an Audi, you own an Audi car or whatever, and you wanna make an Audi commercial. It's not licensed by them so we call themem spec commercials. And directors use them quite often to build their portfolios.

Now, working through say, MOFILM, that isn't a spec commercial because the brand have actually funded them. So say Coca Cola will give MOFILM say 50 grand and they'll make 10 grand films rather than one 50 grand film. And [00:23:00] those kind of opportunities allow you to make something that is really decent for your reel, but also has a message behind it. 

We did loads of Chevrolet work at the time. We did Coke as well, Lipton Iced Tea, Cornetto. Um, we got to travel all over the world, went to Mexico for, for Lipton. We went to Istanbul for Cornetto and those films also went on to win D&ADs, Cannes Lions, they were all theoretically spec.

Matt m: But there's nothing stopping students taking their favorite brand of drink and making their own version of an advert or a film, short film for that?

Alex H: It's perfect. Do you know what, German universities seem to be at the forefront of doing it, but in all of the award ceremonies that we judged, like the new director awards for shots, there was two spec commercials from young German writers and you'll see like whiskey commercials written by a 20 year old kid that, that touches everyone and goes to all the award ceremonies. It's a spec commercial. The brand will eventually buy it off of [00:24:00] you if it’s good enough, but never think like that. Never think you're gonna sell it or whatever. Just make it because it's a product, a brand and a film that you believe in, but more importantly, it gets you something on your reel, which then helps you build your portfolio.

Matt m: That's really great advice. With your pool of directors that you work with, has there been someone whose career trajectory you've seen change and develop through their time with KODE?

Alex H: I think to be fair, I think I have to talk about two directors, because they were both the first directors at KODE and they have been friends with us for a very long time, and Dan Broadley and Harry Cauty. I had known Dan through him making music videos for bands in Plymouth and Harry came recommended by a friend of a friend and he at the time was working with an artist called Rizzle Kicks. Doing all of their video stuff and, and touring. And so they both had similar ethos to what we were doing.

And both have gone on different trajectories, but they're both still with us as the [00:25:00] first two directors. And Dan's gone on to be one of the biggest music video directors that we've ever, we've ever worked with and we've ever produced. And now he's focusing and challenging himself to do travel commercials, spending a lot of time traveling all over the world, making films that are incredible and stuff that he really, truly believes in. Photography alongside it. And then Harry Cauty, his trajectory has been commercial focused. He's, he is one of our biggest commercial directors now, and one of the most sought after, and people want to work with him. And his trajectory has been focusing on making things. He was never the director to say no. He was always just willing to say yes to things, to take opportunities on. To take things on that might have seemed a bit more risky, didn't have enough money. One of them being a project for Adidas for Bruised Banana for Arsenal that he made where it sort of came in super last minute, couple of weeks till the shoot. And it, and that film genuinely changed his [00:26:00] career. And the style of what he's made for that has seen him go on a four or five year, mega burner, really and he's just, he's smashing it.


Matt m: Would you advise internships and getting some real life industry experience to young people? Is that a good way in?

Alex H: It's a great way in. What we do with interns when we, we have an internship programme at KODE that lasts one year and we try and get that intern to work across every department in the company as much as possible, so they're getting a feeler of the different roles because there's probably 30 or 40 different roles that I could sit here and name.

Since we've run it, this is the first year that our intern isn't staying full-time, and that's because they want to become a director and a photographer. And working full-time at a production company means that your vision will be tunneled on just trying to produce, even though your passion is something else. What we don't wanna do is, is we don't wanna stifle people's passion because the job at KODE is comfortable.

So, we will support, we are gonna give him contacts, we're gonna give him work, he's gonna shoot behind the scenes for [00:27:00] us. So we are gonna still keep that flow of work going for him while he picks up other clients. And that is the way that he needs to follow his career to be a cameraman within the industry. 

Matt m: So you mentioned that you've worked with some pretty prestigious brands and obviously on some pretty big projects. Have there been any projects which have required a lot of problem solving or things have been more challenging than others? 

Alex H: Problems on an, on an insane scale, like two days before shoots. Yeah. I mean, it happens. You speak to anyone in production and they've always got stories that are entertaining after they've happened.

Matt m: Yeah. But at the time it's not quite the same.

Alex H: At the time, terrible. Yeah. Even just looking back at Covid where you've got crew and talent getting covid the day or two days before the shoots. In the height of Covid, there was backup directors, backup producers. There was backup everything, but obviously it cost the clients more, so that doesn't exist so much anymore. We did a shoot earlier this year in Bulgaria.

We did two adverts in the same week, so it was basically 10 days of shooting two different directors. We did the first [00:28:00] one and then by the time the second director had to step up to work he had got Covid. And so he was stuck in a hotel, so Jack had to direct, the job on the ground. He's an executive producer, but he's having to direct for the director who is on FaceTime to him all day.

Matt m: You've gotta be prepared to step out of what you perceive to be your primary, your normal role, and do things that are unexpected at the last minute then in order to get the work done.

Alex H: If you wanna work in production, like you gotta be prepared for it to be bonkers at times, like completely, utterly out of this world. But it's so rewarding when it does go right. We've shot in the worst, the beast from the east, we shot an overnight music video right the way through it

Matt m: Right. And with those big brands that you've worked with, is there a dream project for you personally that you'd love to see KODE do?

Alex H: We've pitched on them in the past, you know, like we've come very close. I mean, we're still on that trajectory.

We've just kind of made it into the top 30 production companies, and so now we're [00:29:00] being taken seriously at the very top of the table. So we're pitching on some of them, but you see like the Nike World Cup advert the other day, like that would be, that would be an absolute ideal proper dream project for me. There are so many projects that we've achieved, I guess that were dreams and have been dreams. But there, there is definitely still a long list of things that I'd like to tick off.


Matt m: We ask all of our guests to set a creative provocation to our listeners, so that can be anything from a specific task that you want them to do, a thought you'd like them to consider, is there anything that springs to mind that you'd like to set them? 

Alex H: For me, the number one important thing to do, especially at university or you know as a recent graduate, is to watch as much work as you possibly can of people that you would see you're competing against to get the jobs that you are competing for, and research what they're doing differently.

And if you are at the stage where you are pitching on music videos and you are losing, then work out [00:30:00] what you can be doing differently. It's what we did at the very beginning and we've spent a lot of time spending, “how is that company beating us or how is that director beating us over and over again?”

I think it's really, really important  to do what you can to follow the, the competition as much as possible and, and try and keep yourself going.

Matt m: Brilliant. You mentioned that school wasn't the best experience for you. Is there a piece of advice that you could give them or, some words of encouragement about their current situation and the future?

Alex H: Mm-hmm. It gets better.

I think, like, the number one thing for me at school was to realize that I wasn't there to make friends for life. I was there just to get an education. It comes to an end and there are these kind of pathways within college and university to do things that are fun and, and are important to you and, most people aren't having fun for, for so many different reasons.

But the reason I wasn't is cause I struggled so much with learning. So for me it was just this case of like, [00:31:00] there's so much more to happen as you get older.

Matt m: Brilliant. Thank you Alex.

Alex H: No worries at all.

Matt m: Thank you very much. Honestly, it's been wonderfully informative.

Thank you for listening to today's episode of Teach Inspire Create, and thank you to Alex for being so honest about his experiences at school and in education and about all the methods, techniques, and strategies that he employed to survive and make his way through to find his passion in media production. 

If you'd like to know more about KODE Media and their work, you can follow them on Instagram @kodemedia, or you can check out their website at www.kodemedia.com

You can find links to these in our episode description. 

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Thanks for listening, and until [00:32:00] next time, take care.