Features

A week in the life of… a commercial director

The working diary of Will Webb from the Waltham Forest Business Network

Will on set (credit: Mountain Way Pictures)

My name is Will Webb and I run Mountain Way Pictures with my business partner George Magner. We are an agency that creates impactful, cinematic videos for clients like the Royal Opera House, the Barbican and the Lord Mayor’s Appeal. I’m based in Walthamstow and George is in Bath but our work regularly takes us all over the UK.

My week started on Saturday in Doncaster, more than 150 miles from home. I was working on a project for The Royal Ballet, filming 300 young people dancing for their families and friends in the open air. It ended up being a marathon day of work, followed by a sprint on the train home to edit the video so it would be ready for the following Monday.

By the time that video came out, I was deep into filming our next project: an advert for Scottish indie game developer Hairy Heart. This complex video packed a lot into its 45-second runtime, including extensive 3D computer graphics of cars added into real world footage. In practice, this meant filming a lot of empty rooms!


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Tuesday was another ambitious project for Cambridge University. George had been working with them to create a film in response to some hard-hitting research, which ended up being far more like a conventional film than our usual work. Preparation for this project included casting a diverse range of actors, hiring a crew and sourcing locations.

Most weeks aren’t as busy as this one. Since we’re a small team, normally a lot of our time is spent reaching out to potential clients or bidding on projects rather than filming. Additionally, every day we do spend filming means many more days spent editing what we’ve shot, as we also do this in-house.

From Wednesday onwards, I sat at my desk working at shaping messages and visuals for our clients, which included finishing a round of videos for Walthamstow’s own Beaten By A Whisker. On top of that, I did the usual work of an entrepreneur: meetings with clients, answering emails, responding to briefs, and negotiating whose turn it is to make coffee with my partner. Our work takes us to some extraordinary places, with long hours and complex logistics, so it’s good to end the week focusing back on the stories we’re trying to tell.

Find out more about Mountain Way Pictures here.


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