Episode 220 - Featuring Gareth Carr
June 26, 2019
Starting an agency can be a challenge. How do you connect with local businesses, generate leads, build a portfolio and grow? These are questions Gareth Carr found the answer to as grew his passion into a business in a new country.
Yes, not content with the challenges of launching a business alone, he took on the challenge of doing this on the other side of the planet having moved to Australia from the UK.
Things went really well for Gareth and he eventually developed a very successful niche. Highly recommended listen as he has a great journey.
Fast forward to today… He has just moved back to the UK and is about to do it all over again!
Gareth is a video producer and the owner and operator of Exposed Wolf. Specialising in brand promotion, timelapse videos, corporate videos, training videos and event videos. Gareth’s footage has 10.3 million views on Youtube and with over 10 years’ experience, you can be sure to receive results beyond your wildest expectations.
Life After Man Film – click here
Lee Matthew Jackson: Welcome to The Agency Trailblazer Podcast. This is your host Lee. And on today’s show I am talking with my old school friend Gareth Carr, who will be sharing his experiences of niching his business as well as moving back here to the UK. This is a great one. So sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.
Lee Matthew Jackson: On today’s show we have an old school friend of mine. It’s Mr Gareth Carr. How are you doing mate?
Gareth Carr: Hey mate. Yeah, good. Thanks for having me.
Lee Matthew Jackson: It’s all right, it’s kind of weird hearing the northern accent again.
Gareth Carr: It is hopefully not too mixed with Australian.
Lee Matthew Jackson: No, I’m waiting for the odd little Australianism to creep in.
Gareth Carr: My friends have been telling me off with some of the words that I come out with their like, what is that? And I’m like, sorry, sorry still adjusting.
Lee Matthew Jackson: Still adjusting, now you still sound Northern to me. It’s funny whenever I talked to, I’ve lived down south for years now and I’ve got a southern wife and that, and I find myself saying all the words I’d never considered myself saying like grass and path. And then the minute I started talking with my old mates back up north, I find myself switching back into the northern dialect quite easily if I must say. Folks, if you don’t know Gareth Carr, I do really well because we used to hang around at grammar school together cause hey why not? We play football. We used to bike with our friends, Barry and Robin, all of the other guys and we all had squeaky voices. Gareth was a lot shorter than I was and now I think he’s very tall, still kept all his hair, which is really annoying and is exceptionally buff whereas I am kind of more dad bod with no hair. So I think he, he got the luck there, which is phenomenal. Gareth did fly out to Australia, he’s going to tell us all about that and spent some amazing time in Oz. And we’ve reconnected again because he’s back in the UK. And really I just want to find out his journey. So Gareth, before we jump in that time machine and find out more about your journey, can you just introduce yourself, tell us a little bit about yourself, maybe something you feel people might not know about you and then we will jump into the time machine and find out more about your journey.
Gareth Carr: Sure so, my name is Garath Carr. I am a filmmaker and I own a video production company named Exposed Wolf previously GC Imagery in Australia. But now due to evolution of the company, we have now evolved into Exposed Wolf. I have two feature films coming out this year, which is my side kind of love projects. So, look out for them coming up towards Christmas.
Lee Matthew Jackson: And folks you can find out more about them on Title Films. I believe there’ll be a link in the show notes for the Facebook page. And also if you want to check out Exposed Wolf before we carry on, that’s exposedwolf.com a nice easy name. What’s your favourite drink mate, since you’ve been in Austin all this time?
Gareth Carr: Ooh, what my favourite beer?
Lee Matthew Jackson: Probably.
Gareth Carr: Ah, actually since coming back, I’ve really got into my cask ales here. I really miss them being in OZ they don’t, really have them. So, yeah, I think I like a bit of Doom Bar over here or Black Sheep is a nice one.
Lee Matthew Jackson: Oh I love Black Sheep ale. Yeah. We have that whenever we go house. It’s a lovely.
Gareth Carr: I’ve been next exploring lots of pubs since I’ve been backing, you know, making my way around all the cask ales.
Lee Matthew Jackson: Ah classic. I fancy a black sheep right now, although it’s still the morning, we probably can’t do that. All right mate. Well let’s jump in this time machine and let’s find out how you got into it. So you and me hung out at school, which was awesome. We both left to do our own thing. At what point did you get into video? Because I don’t remember when we were hanging out you doing any sort of video production at all? So what were your first steps into that?
Gareth Carr: I used to do kind of, when I was a lot younger, the family had like the old camcorder with the tape cassette in the side. So I used to kind of play around and make little videos with my pets and stuff. And I used to try and do like animation stuff with my toys, but that was just kind of a little hobby thing on the side. And then after school I went and did graphic design. Went through all the graphic design motions. And then once I went to uni and finish uni, I got out and just struggled to find a job in graphic design. But while I was doing the graphic design, I kind of stumbled upon iMovie. That was kind of where it all started. Started to play around with iMovie and then I was like, oh, this is pretty cool. And then I’d go on holiday with friends and stuff and partners and I’d make little holiday movies. And then the odd friend would get married and they’d be like, Oh, you know, you, I know you shoot video a bit, don’t you? So I do the odd wedding as well. And then it just kind of, I got into photography and I got the Canon 7D and then that really kind of made me think that, oh hang on, you can kind of shoot images that look, look like films a bit here and then just kind of I moved to Australia. I don’t know. Do you want to get into that now? But the whole Australia move or?
Lee Matthew Jackson: No that’s fine. Do as much as you want. Tell us. Tell us the whole lot.
Gareth Carr: So yeah, I actually got a job as a land surveyor in the UK. And that was why I was trying to do the graphic design, but at the same time as land surveying, I always had this passion for kind of photography on the side. And just one day got a bit fed up with the weather here and thought, why don’t I just go to Australia for a year? See how I like it. So went over there and then nine years later I’ve returned. So, whilst I was there, I got sponsored as a land surveyor and again, never really enjoyed it. It was just kind of doing it just to kind of have the security of a full time job. But at the same time I was always just building up my photography and video skills in the background.
Gareth Carr: And then whilst over there, one day I did a time lapse video in a place I was living called Manly Beach and I put it out on Twitter.
Lee Matthew Jackson: Sorry is that manly beach, did you say?
Gareth Carr: Manly Beach. Yeah. So I think it gets its name because when the first settlers came, they saw the aboriginal women there and described them as quite manly so it got its name. So there you go. So yeah, living at Manly Beach, which is a beautiful spot, and it’s at this time up to video, put it out on Twitter. And then this guy saw it and he said, ‘Oh, I love the time lapse video you did at Manly. How would you like to come and do something similar for our show that we’re putting on called sculpture by the sea?’ Now sculpture by the sea is this big event, I think it is 22 years old now.
Gareth Carr: So one of the biggest kind of things in the Sydney calendar, all these beautiful sculptures along the Bondai to Bronte beach walkway, that’s their coastal walk. So I went over there and yeah, it did this timelapse for them and everyone was blown away and you know, staff was saying it was giving them goosebumps and all this. So I was, you know, and then it got paid for it and I was like, oh, hang on a minute, you can get paid for this kind of stuff. And I love it.
Lee Matthew Jackson: Oh, so no way. So all the way in OZ, you weren’t actually ever getting paid properly. This was just more of the hobby. This was your first actual Gig then?
Gareth Carr: Exactly. That was my first Gig and it all just started from this one guy. So I have him to thank, his name’s David Weston if he’s listening.
Lee Matthew Jackson: Folks if you want to see any pictures of the video by sculpture by the sea on Bondi to go to exposedwolf.com/portfolio-videos. There’s a cool video in there. Sorry mate. Carry on.
Gareth Carr: So yeah, and then all just stemmed from there. So I got my permanent residency through the surveying in Australia and then as soon as I got the permanent residency, I just jacked in the surveying and started to chase my video production dreams. And the rest is history as they say.
Lee Matthew Jackson: So how did you start pursuing those dreams? So brand spanking new Gareth Car’rs just got his permanent residency. He’s had his first client that’s given them the bug for producing photography and video for clients. How did you start to find those first clients out there?
Gareth Carr: It was all pretty much word of mouth, kind of look at it like a tree and the branches were growing and then all just stemmed from this kind of trunk of sculpture by the sea. You know, a branch went off to one side, there was a sponsor there, Sydney water who are this big government water company. So they were there and they said, Oh why you’re here, why you do this video for us. So you know, I’ve had the money to pull them in as a client and have, you know, they’ve been a client now for six, seven years now. So and then from there you know, someone at the company would know some one or you know, and just social media as well. I was always posting stuff and being very active and even when I wasn’t working on gigs I would be out just shooting stock footage. I just love it so much that I would just do it, you know, even when I wasn’t getting paid and just the love of it just brought more work in and people would even see me out. Shooting and they’d be like, oh, what are you working on? And I’d be like, I am just, you know, shooting some stuff here, some surfers. Oh yeah, I run this company, do you do kind of videos like this? And they’d be like, well yeah, we do. And then that was it. So just getting out there and making myself seen and known.
Lee Matthew Jackson: That’s really good. Show up, be seen and also you’re doing something that’s absolutely your passion. So if you compare that with the land surveying, that was something you were doing as a means to an end just to live. However, you know, clearly photography and video are a passion. Something that you’ll do even when it’s not work time. You know, like you said, you’re out on the videoing surface, etc, all of those opportunities because your seen, you’re showing up and you’re doing clearly what you love.
Lee Matthew Jackson: And I actually remember you sharing a lot of those things on social media even years ago. I feel like I remember you doing a I could be wrong, it might not be you, but I feel like you did a video on a bike as well. So like from a bikes perspective or that could have been someone else. It could have been Barry actually.
Gareth Carr: I’ve done a lot of a lot of videos and yeah, I did a video for an electric bike company as well. Which was pretty cool.
Lee Matthew Jackson: Yeah. Well you see Barry’s into biking you see as well. So sometimes they get you two get confused. But yeah, that could have been, you could have been your video actually, so that’s awesome. So that was very much then any industry word of mouth then. I mean you’ve covered things like the Sydney fast fashion festival. You’ve, you’ve done a nutrition plan. I’m looking at your portfolio right now. You’ve even done a Stephen King sculpture install for, I can’t even say that Bank. So all of this essentially it was just built up, I assume therefore from that base of word of mouth and you showing up on social and you being out and about, there was no particular method, initial method for who you are targeting, I presume. Would that be correct?
Gareth Carr: It was all pretty much all over the place at first, but in a good way because it was given me a lot of experience and a lot of challenges, you know, creatively and things like that.
Lee Matthew Jackson: I think that’s a way a lot of us need to grow as well because we need to do different types of work to find out what work we excel at the most or what types of people we like to work with the most, etc.
Lee Matthew Jackson: So over time, and I mean that was back your called GC Imagery I think I remember helping you with your website once a cause you needed a few pointers. This was donkey’s years ago. At what point did you change into Exposed Wolf and why did you go for that?
Gareth Carr: Well Exposed Wolf is fairly recently. Word of mouth can only get you so far. So I decided that I needed to kind of niche down, find my niche and just kind of target one particular type of client. But I was also worried about, if I only target one industry or one type of client and then what if other people come to me and you know, I’m going to be able to say to them sorry I can’t do that because you’re not a food retailer and I only wear it with food or something like that. So I actually did kind of a business audit on my past kind of clients over the past few years and found out that I’d got a couple of agencies on board and they were actually kind of where I was getting most of my work and also kind of the work that I was enjoying the most. So I was like, well, why don’t I just target agencies and just stick to that. And then I niche down probably about a year and a half ago and just concentrated on the agencies and then all the work does come in and that’s fine. As long as I can fit it in between the agencies, I still get to do that kind of thing. But what I wanted to do was just to provide a video production service and photography for agencies so that they don’t have to have an inhouse videographer because you know, when they’re not shooting video what’s their videographer doing? They are just sitting around so, you know, I want agencies to be able to come to me and just have the confidence to know that going to deliver exactly what they need and be a good representation for their company. Because you know, they’re acting, they go to their client and they say, you know, your social strategy, how about you do video to tell your story blah blah, blah. And then they, they can just, you know, they know my rates so they, they can quote to their client and then, you know, they just know that they’re going to get the quality that they need.
Lee Matthew Jackson: That’s phenomenal. Now you went into GC Imagery with just yourself and from what I understand from the conversations that me and you have had online, that you actually still have your team out there in Oz. Like are they contractors? But you’ve got a team who will still continue to service your clients out there in Oz whilst you’ve moved over here to the UK to kind of expand the business. Tell us a little bit more about how you grew the team.
Gareth Carr: Yeah. So they’re just on bigger jobs over the years I’ve brought in contractors just to help me out. Like I may need a second shooter if i’ve got a lot of ground to cover or I may need a photographer while i’m just shooting video. So yeah, just made these contacts and kept in touch with them over the years. So now that I’ve left Australia, I can then just put them forward to the clients. You know, I’ve trained them up, they know the quality that I deliver, so I make sure that the my contractors are going to deliver that same amount of quality because again, they’re a representation of me and then we’re a representation of these agencies as well. So yeah, that that’s going well at the moment. I’ve only been back in the UK three weeks, so it’s all kind of all new to me at the moment. I’ve had a few late nights and having to kind of set my alarm for 1:00 AM to wake up 9:00 AM Sydney time, just to kind of make sure everything’s happening and going like that. Yeah, a couple of late nights but it’s going well and I can’t complain. I’m keeping my clients happy over there and it’s also given me a bit of a buffer while I get things going over here.
Lee Matthew Jackson: Yeah, that’s I guess quite a scary but very exciting process. I mean, the burning question is, you went to Oz for the sun, you’ve come back to the UK and unfortunately we’ve had at least a week of rain here. What’s brought you back to the UK?
Gareth Carr: Yeah, not sure now looking out of the window and the rain we’ve had, I’m startingto regret. No, no, look, I wanted to spend more time with my family. Mum and dad aren’t getting any younger, so wanting to come back, spend time with them. I also love it here. Like the people are so much friendlier and I just love the history as well and the countryside when the sun’s out England is just stunning. I love it.
Lee Matthew Jackson: Well, I take it your back at where we were kind of up north then are you in Lancashire.
Gareth Carr: Yeah i’m up north in Lancashire.
Lee Matthew Jackson: Yeah so you’re right, we don’t get the best weather in Lancashire, but we do have beautiful countryside and fast access to the countryside as well. And tonnes of history. Are you went to history?
Gareth Carr: Oh yeah. I’m loving, I’d never had any interest when I lived here before, but since moving to Australia and they’ve got like zero history. I’m just like, I’ve just got this new passion for it.
Lee Matthew Jackson: Absolutely. There’s a mill in Manchester that I really recommend you check out. It’s an old cotton and if I feel like we all went on a school trip there and it was just, it blew me away back then. And then we went back with my mum and dad several times. They’ve got a full cottage, they’ve got all the cotton mills as it was all set up and they’ve got like these stories of how the kids used to have to work in there and that and they’ve, they’ve done it up with even the cottage inside is set up as if it, their cottage was being lived in and stuff that’s next to the mill and everything. So it’s really fascinating and amazing grounds around it, can’t remember for the life of me the name mate, but if you can take your camera with you, I think you’ll have a field day because it is absolutely phenomenal. So I highly recommend that near Manchester and also Tatton park that’s a nice place. We used to go hang out in there a lot. I don’t know if it’s nice anymore, I mean crumbs that with like 30 years ago now, actually no it wasn’t it was 25 years ago. Sorry, I’m not that old. So right now then you’ve gone from, you know, the initial, the initial job that came in from that guy that led to more and more work. You grew your business, I guess you call it a video production company. You’ve started building relationships with contractors and then over time recognise that actually the best place for you to be is working with those agencies who have lots of clients coming in where you can kind of provide that, here is your rate card, we will come in and make you guys look awesome and add to that service to your business.
Lee Matthew Jackson: So that’s kind of lessening the amount of work you’re having to do, finding clients. And it also gives you the opportunity to work with what you’ve continued to do anyway, which is a varied client list. They aren’t all the same industry. You’re still getting that opportunity to work with very many different types of clients, but through the agency partners that you have, and then you’ve also built up a great contractor network as well, which is phenomenal because your, you know, obviously it’s only three weeks in, but you’ve been able to come over here to the UK knowing that exposed wolf can continue as a brand. As a recognised brand out there in Australia, and you’re now here building up your, your brand here. How different does it feel if you could compare the days before you had your niche, like you knew who you served. So back in the day it was, I will essentially take on any work based on word of mouth versus now you know who you serve. If you could compare the two, how does it feel? What are the benefits from knowing who your audience are, etc?
Gareth Carr: I think it’s just the mindset that you’re in just in a lot more positive mindset and focused as well. You know, before I felt like I was just like a cork bobbing in the ocean with no direction.
Lee Matthew Jackson: That’s a really good similie.
Gareth Carr: Yeah these boats will come along and somebody’s like, oh yeah, you know, I’ll, I’ll jump on you about and film for you. So now I am one of those boats and I’m heading, you know, for the, for the right port let’s say. And Yeah, just having that focus is just what it’s all about really.The confidence to keep moving forward and to approach new agencies, you know, rather than trying to cold call the million different businesses that may need video I can now just kind of go in and talk to agencies. But yeah, I’m facing a real challenge since getting back, you know, I don’t really have any contacts here. So I’m literally going in cold selling with these agencies so that’s the new challenge to face since since arriving.
Lee Matthew Jackson: Well before we carry on guys, check out exposedwolf.com you are on The Agency Trailblazer Podcast with agencies from literally all around the world, including the UK and Australia listening to this show and folks if you want to go ahead and check out Gareth’s work. He is a great guy. His video quality is phenomenal from him and his team so you should check that out and if you are looking for anyone in video production to partner with, then please be sure to connect with Gareth or if you can recommend him to or introduce him to any agencies here in the UK that would be phenomenal as well guys. So as exposedwolf.com, we’re a community that looks after each other. So, I appreciate any of you who are listening looking out for my mate Gazza as I believe we used to call you. I used to call you Gazza. I don’t think you liked it.
Gareth Carr: No I don’t, Gazza’s all right. Better than better than Gary. Gary’s a shocker.
Lee Matthew Jackson: One of the things as well that strikes me with regards to your target audience as well as is I’ve seen the progression of your business from GC Imagery into Exposed Wolf. One of the things that really struck me was your messaging. So you’ve gone from a nice website, don’t get me wrong, I’m not criticising GC Imagery, but it was very hard for me to latch on to, Oh yes, this guy can solve all of my problems. Whereas now I’m, you know, looking at Exposed Wolf, your messaging is clearly at your target audience and you are talking to those. You don’t have to, you’d have to be vague or make big, big kind of go in circles on anything. You can just be very specific. We can be the backbone of your video production, we can add this service to your, here are our prices, you know, here is our rate card, etc. All of that is just very, very, very focused to your niche, which I think is also very helpful. So folks, we do talk about niching a lot. Niching can be an industry. It can be a type of service, it can be a type of client that you can work with as well. But Gareth here is a great example and he’s going to be experimenting here in the UK obviously by essentially relaunching the brand as it were here in the UK as well as maintaining it out there and then Australia. So I’m going to be fascinated Gareth to kind of watch how this goes for you over the next year, especially because you have your niche, which has also allowed you to show up on a podcast where your potential audience is also listening.
Lee Matthew Jackson: I’d love to then jump onto something completely different and talk about Title Films for a little bit if you don’t mind. Cause that show feels like it’s not related at all to Exposed Wolf. What led you down the journey of making a couple of feature films and launching Title Films?
Gareth Carr: It all just comes into the whole film making kind of genre, let’s say. And just wanting to create beautiful images and to tell stories. So I like to try and tell stories no matter what I’m filming. Even for the agencies, I’m kind of like, where’s the story in this, let’s find a story. You know, we love to tell stories, we love to listen to stories. So the film making is just kind of like, well, I get to control my own story and put these things out there and you know, entertain people. So yeah, Title Films actually stands for tomorrow is too late entertainment.
Lee Matthew Jackson: That’s a cool name. I didn’t know that.
Gareth Carr: Yeah. So it’s a little Easter egg, you know? But yeah, that tomorrow is too late. It was just kind of came to me one day. Because my mindset was all over the place. Like I’ve been through some dark times in my business journey over the years. And then I don’t even know what the trigger was, but something just made me switch and just changed my mindset. And I was kind of like, this, tomorrow is too late came into my head and it’s was one of them. I was like, did I invent it or what? But I’ve tried to Google and stuff, can’t find it anywhere else. So i’m claiming it. Okay? So tomorrow is too late. So instead of putting things off.
Gareth Carr: It was just T I T L at first, but it looks like tittle and people would call it a tittle, not tittle tattle. So title was born and it also changed my whole business and mindset because I was always a big procrastinator. So rather than putting things off till tomorrow, I would just be like, I’m just going to do it now. And then since since doing that, everything has just changed. You know, two feature films have come out of it, whereas I’d normally be like, ah, I’ll think about writing this script. I’ll start the script tomorrow. Then tomorrow comes, you make another excuse, you know, and then it never comes around. So rather than doing that and you know, I just say, right, I’m going to write the script now.
Lee Matthew Jackson: What I like about that, we talk about this in our community a lot is having a mission and having kind of a statement that you live by and you actually named your company Title Films after Your Mission, which is what has therefore driven you tomorrow is too late so I am going to write the script and I am going to make the film life after men happen, which I believe was, was that the first feature film you’ve made now?
Gareth Carr: No, Saving Grace is actually my first, I actually kind of shot them at the same time. So back to back, which wasn’t the best idea because there’s a lot involved and I’ve probably taken on too much than assured, especially with trying to run the business. But still I’ve got to, you know, I’m at a point now with the both shot and finished while they’re in post production now. I went to LA last year to the American film market and spoke to distributors about trying to sell them to Netflix or wherever. So got a lot of interest then. So I’m going to go back with the finish films this year in October and see where we go from there and hopefully get them sold and out there.
Lee Matthew Jackson: That’s phenomenal. There’s a really cool trailer I watched as well, I think. Is that on the life after man website?
Gareth Carr: Yeah, it’s probably on lifeafterman.com.
Lee Matthew Jackson: That’s the one lifeafterman.com. There’s great photography on here, but I really love the trailer that you guys did as well. And there’s a funny picture of you holding up a Lenten looking a little bit psycho there. Am I right in thinking that you also did a cameo?
Gareth Carr: Yeah, I was actually a Zombie in that, so got my cameo in there.
Lee Matthew Jackson: Nice one. I love anything like this. Zombie movies are just the best.
Gareth Carr: That’s it. I did some acting lessons in Australia just so I could learn how to speak to actors. So I was like i’ve done my training I know how to eat someone. Yeah.
Lee Matthew Jackson: Just just imagine that there’s like a burger and you’re really hungry. Oh, that’s awesome. So folks, check that out as well lifeafterman.com you can check out and keep yout eye on that. A feature film from an independent production. I think that’s really, really exciting mate. So, I wish you all the very best and folks, if you can kind of adopt something like that, some sort of mission in your life. For example, tomorrow is too late, I think is a great motto. Can’t steal it obviously, as that’s Gareth’s but the idea of tomorrow is too late and actually let’s get on with the stuff we want to do now because we don’t know what’s going to happen in the future, etc. So Gareth’s got those two scripts written. He’s produced two films at the same time, like a crazy man, and he’s following his dreams, which I think we can all take inspiration from. Well, thank you so much for being on the show. It’s been great learning about you great. Seeing the fact that you are going after your niche, but also you’re going after your dreams as well. So you’re creating a business that allows you to go in several directions, which includes making films, serving agencies, growing a team of contractors, and to add more pressure on the cake, coming over here to the UK to almost start from scratch and build up a new client base here in the UK. So I would love to have you on in a about a year’s time to do a catch up and see what, where things have gone if you’re up for it.
Gareth Carr: Yeah, it’d be great to look back actually. There’s a big, big challenges ahead, but I love meeting new people and you know, I love working hard, so hopefully this time next year I’ll be too busy to call you at. No, I’m joking. That’d be nice though.
Lee Matthew Jackson: Guys exposedwolf.com. Gareth, you are a legend. Thanks so much for coming on the show and for not telling anyone my secrets.
Gareth Carr: Thanks Lee. I really appreciate it mate.
Lee Matthew Jackson: Take care.
Gareth Carr: Cheers bye.
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