There’s an advertising slogan on a hoarding just outside the offices of Wander Films that shouts a bold message – Great Ideas Start in Middlesbrough.
But in the case of this vibrant filmmaking business which has made the town its home, the above is not strictly the case.
For the great idea to launch Wander Films came whilst company founders Lou Tonner and Chloë Clover (pictured above) were sitting on a beach in Melbourne, Australia, 10,500 miles away on the other side of the world.
They’d upped sticks and headed off on their travels and Oz was the place where the pair realised their knowledge and flair for film and TV production, putting creative ideas into action and sheer enthusiasm and energy could combine to make something special.
Fast forward just a few short years and that reality has become a buzzing business in an office at the heart of Teesside’s thriving digital and creative community with an expanding team and an impressive client list that boasts national and international clients.
Wander Films has worked with games developers, sports stars, financial companies, hotel chains, engineering businesses, universities and top-end restaurants to name just a few.
What do they do? In short, the talented team of filmmakers and creatives help businesses stand out in the ever-expanding world of social media and online marketing and they do it with clever films that aim to have a high impact.
“People come to us because we are different,” says managing director Lou (pictured below).
“We are all about changing the way businesses sell themselves online.
“We coined a phrase ‘beat the scroll’ and that sums it up really. Wander Films creates high-impact and engaging videos helping businesses ‘beat the scroll.’
“We’re all about turning digital filmmaking on its head.”
From that beach in Melbourne, Lou and Chloë pulled together a business plan and took on work making promotional videos for businesses as they continued their travels across Vietnam, Thailand and through Europe too. Home has always been Teesside – Lou is from Middlesbrough and Chloë from Redcar – and when they arrived back from their travels, friends and acquaintances started commissioning work.
A search for a base began and they found themselves at the door of Boho 5 in Middlesbrough last July, a natural fit.
Within the past year, the business has taken off – Wander’s team has expanded to five and now includes content producer Simon Pettett, filmmaker Jack Holmes and digital marketer Charlotte Mitchell. The company and its individuals have been nominated for – and won – a number of awards recognising their excellence and growth and clients are queueing up to offer positive feedback.
The team can find themselves on a shoot detailing a heavy engineering project one day to filming an innovative docu-series the next; sending up a drone to shoot an innovative angle to capturing the essence of a thriving restaurant kitchen with clever camerawork.
There’s a rapidly developing and talented creative industry hub on Teesside and Wander taps into that vibe with an energy that is infectious.
“We saw the growth of digital and tech companies on Teesside, it is an exciting place to be and is also our home, it feels right to be here,” said creative director Chloë.
“There is a creative buzz going on and it is great to be part of that community.
“We have ambitious plans and Wander is continually developing, including strategies that will help us work with clients remotely all over the world.”
Wanderland, it seems, is an exciting place to be. Dive in, you’ll be stoked.
Find out more at wander-films.co.uk