While 2020 was a challenge for many businesses, the team at Wander Films thought on their feet, swiftly adapting their services and pushing harder than ever before to overcome the obstacles that Covid brought.
The result has been an expanding portfolio of clients and an increase in staff – though it didn’t always look quite so rosy.
“After the first lockdown, when clients were pausing contracts, we thought, ‘Oh dear, this isn’t good’,” recalls managing director Lou Tonner.
“But we stayed focused and committed, and by the time of the second lockdown we could see that most businesses – including ourselves – were more prepared.”
Being prepared for Wander meant investment in training and upgrading kit that allowed them to take on new and different commissions and the recruitment of some of the region’s most talented creatives.
In August, Wander had three new starters – social media manager Dean Wales, who works alongside Charlotte Mitchell, filmmaker Heather Luke and junior content producer Jay Horner.
In September, filmmaker Callum Neve joined the team, followed in November by post-production lead Phil Wray. Phil works alongside Simon Pettett, heading up those technical edits.
“This has meant we can continue to work closely with our clients and deliver the best services,” said Chloe Clover, creative director.
As well as appreciating their own continued success, Wander also made sure they supported those who were struggling.
“We are so lucky to have a lot of people who support us along our journey, and we wanted to give back,” explained Lou.
“We launched a social media service for our clients, which meant we could help them get the most out of the video content we created. The distribution process is a massive part of the film industry, so why should it be missing in corporate filmmaking? We’ve also been giving extra love to other businesses on social media.
“One of the best things about social is that it allows us to lift up and support each other. During both lockdowns, we gave away consultation time to businesses who needed it the most.”
The Wander team is shooting the nomination films for the Tees Businesswomen Awards, a project they’re hugely excited about.
They’ve also been busy thinking about their next steps for 2021.
“We are going next level with marketing plans and we might be in double figures with team members early in the New Year,” says Chloe.
“Hopefully, the pandemic will soon be something no one has to worry about – for health or finance reasons. Right now, people are spending more time than ever before on their screens, but with a proper strategy and distribution process, we can help our clients Beat The Scroll – as our slogan says – by creating and posting Wander vids, selfie/organic videos, graphics, GIFs and motion graphics.
“We have insanely talented graphic designers on our team who can revamp social channels, too. It’s exciting because it allows us to delve into the culture of the companies we work with.”
Whatever 2021 brings, Chloe is confident that the Tees Valley will continue to thrive.
“2020 highlighted just how ambitious and caring the people and businesses of Teesside are,” she says.
“For Wander, we just want to keep pushing forward to achieve those personal and business goals and keep working on mega-exciting and epic projects.”