Careers Service

Craig Hawkes and Vikas Kapil

Craig Hawkes and Vikas Kapil

DocYOUmentary Films Ltd

DocYOUmentary is an independent film Production Company based in the North East.

We specialize in making films for all kinds of businesses ranging from independent projects within the Creative Sector to corporate videos for business and large institutions. We are a group of creatives, trained in various creative faculties from different universities. Among us, we have creative writers, filmmakers, and artists.

Through the use of effective story telling techniques, DocYOUmentary helps its clients to engage a target audience with a more humane and personal approach. These stories could be centred on an entrepreneur, a customer, or an employee. The aim is to express the ethos behind a brand in an engaging way.

What made you decide to start up your own business?    

We decided to start our business after we realized there was a much-neglected gap within the Video Production market. In a social-media dominated business landscape, floodgates for content have been opened. In our interactions with various business people in and around the North East has shown a need for content that will allow them to stand out from the crowd.

Our team is made up of Ex-art, creative writing and film studies students, and as such this business acts as an extension of our own passions, thus our personalities. This is the main driving force behind DocYOUmentary as we don’t see it as a job; rather, it is a vehicle which helps to make use of our creative outputs.

Tell us about your journey so far    

Our biggest challenge was adapting our original idea to new market demands. We began as a company that specialized in making films for the consumer market, focusing on personal stories, such as, films for father’s day, weddings, wedding invites, amongst other niche products. Although we received great feedback and it was a business idea that had a great future, we soon realized that our skills were better suited to the B2B market.

From the beginning we have developed great relationships with various institutions and business and found that due to the nature of advertising within B2B sector, it offered us more creative control and more opportunities. Therefore, adapting to this change was challenging as this forced to re-structure the whole company. However, soon after this small, yet instrumental, transition we very quickly fell into sync as a business which has literally given us the opportunity to work in our dream jobs, while also increasing our revenue by more than 10 folds in the second year.

Vikas and Craig

What impact have you achieved to date?    

We learned about the markets and the industry in our first year, and have significantly grown our revenue by end of the second year.

This was made possible through the conscious development of our customer relationships. Notably a project we completed for the NHS helped in this respect. It was a campaign that involved all the NHS trusts in the northeast with a very important message, which had a lot of political influence.

Developing a project of that magnitude with so much importance on delivering a top product while ensuring the clients message is clear was milestone for the company. Although we had 100% belief in our abilities it was the first time that a huge institution chose us instead of the bigger, more experienced film production companies. This gave us so much confidence and we learnt so much from it.

After the change in approach we have been concentrating on developing the business into a company that solves all content marketing needs. In a sense, we are developing into an advertising agency. We cater for all aspects of production, such as Social media assistance, photography, graphic design.

What is your key tip for Newcastle University students and graduates setting up a business?

Live and learn it.

At the beginning, we spent too much time procrastinating and considering all the options without leaving the office and experiencing it for ourselves.     We were too fearful of rejection or making mistakes. Eventually, after acquiring a few jobs we realised that making mistakes is the most important aspect of learning and business. This experience is vital to your development and sometimes requires you putting yourself in a situation firmly outside your comfort zone. It is in these moments that one realizes that certain changes need to be made to allow the business to evolve with customer demand and achieve its full potential.

How was your experience of working with Rise Up?

If it weren’t for Rise Up we genuinely would not have a business. The support we have received in terms of business knowledge and mentoring is exceptional. However, the most important aspect to Rise Up that is key to our existence is that they make you always feel welcomed and that you are part of a very nurturing family. This gave us the confidence to go out and try new things all the while knowing that we will always have the support of Rise Up.

Company Details

Craig Hawkes and Vikas Kapil, DocYOUmentary Films Ltd

MA Film, 2013 and MA Creative Writing, 2013
Business start date: 13 December 2013
No. of Employees: Four
Web Address: www.docyoumentary.co.uk