Graduate Produces Commercials for Squarespace and Music Videos for Sufjan Stevens
Aaron Craig '10 Now Runs Successful Film Production Company
Aaron Craig ‘10 became an entrepreneur at a young age. "It all started back when I would go trick-or-treating as a kid. I'd save the candy, stick price tags on it, then sell it to kids in my neighborhood after Halloween. That was my first business," said Craig.
"All joking aside, King's helped me immensely in getting settled into the professional world." In the three years since graduating from The King’s College, Aaron Craig created We Are Films, a production company he co-owns with his brother Alex. Their work includes projects for The Food Network and Squarespace and countless music videos for artists such as Sufjan Stevens.
Craig studied Politics, Philosophy, and Economics at King’s, which, along with business electives like Principles of Management and Organization, gave him the tools he needs to succeed in business.
Aaron said PMO taught him how to solve problems in the workplace. "Sometimes we're working with large crews of over 30 people and it's almost inevitable that something will go wrong. But every single problem has some kind of solution. It's my job to make sure that we plan properly and that we have backup plans in case of an emergency." King’s also taught him how to run a business without wasting resources. We Are Films specializes in completing projects for a reasonable price without sacrificing quality.
When Aaron started his education at King's in 2006, the media landscape was completely different. Most production budgets were given to large media companies. "Startup production companies like mine simply didn't stand a chance against the big guys. But the progression of the Internet and digital marketing has allowed smaller production companies to get their feet wet with highly established clients because the larger production companies many times only deal with television ads," said Craig.
We Are Films established their business by creating high quality video content for the web. And as web content becomes the focus for many major brands, Aaron says it only makes sense for his company to continue making web content.
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One of Aaron’s most recent projects was with Squarespace. The company hired We Are Films to help rebrand the company. "Before we made any videos for Squarespace, the only kinds of videos they had on their site were tutorial videos, which were basically screen grabs from their website with a voiceover. We came in and added a personal touch to their image by creating very interesting customer testimonial videos that focused on some of the most prominent users of Squarespace," said Craig.
Squarespace originally just wanted We Are Films to make these videos and post them to a blog, but as the project moved forward it became apparent that the videos were a central part of the brand. Squarespace redesigned their entire landing page and the videos are now integrated to their site.
Aaron’s production company makes everything from music videos to documentaries, commercials, and short films. "I'm trying to get my hands wet in everything with the ultimate goal of focussing on feature films in the future," said Craig.
Earlier this year, We Are Films experimented with a short film, and in March the company will produce their first feature film with director Peter Bishai, who just completed the $6 million feature "A Million Colours" in South Africa.
"Peter approached us with the story and asked if we'd like to be involved, and We Are Films is going to be the main production house behind his next film," said Craig. Aaron says the film is going to be a challenge, but one that We Are Films is willing to accept.
"We've already started producing various parts of the film. For instance, most of the film takes place in Times Square so we've had to secure permits for building a set and filming in Times Square," said Craig. The film requires Aaron to hire a crew and visual effects artists to complete the film. Aaron encourages current King’s students who are interested in doing production assistant work to send their resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Working as a PA is beneficial to anyone who wants to be involved in any aspect of the filmmaking process. It allows you to see all of the different positions that are available and what each position does on set," said Craig. "The main thing I look for in a PA is someone who is excited about the filmmaking process and works hard to do whatever it takes to get the film made. We like to have a lot of fun on set and appreciate someone with a great attitude."
Aaron went from doing production assistant work to managing production assistants, all in three short years. And it was his training at The King’s College that moved him forward.
"King's wasn't easy for me, but I worked hard every single day to succeed in my studies. Starting We Are Films has required the same amount of hard work" said Craig. "On top of this, King's placed me in the center of the world of media and filmmaking -- NYC. Being here for four years before starting We Are Films helped me to make the contacts I needed ahead of time to start the company instead of starting from scratch after college. That's what's beautiful about The King's College: they don’t just prepare you for the real world, they’re in it."
In the heart of New York City, The King's College is an accredited, Christian liberal arts college. Through the truths of Christianity and great works in politics, philosophy, and economics, we are educating the next generation of leaders for America and the world.
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Chad G. Abbott