• Kim Bailey

Meet James Cullen & Jordan Malthouse of Merigo Films

We may not be in Hollywood, but a new video-production company – headed up by two graduates of York St John University – is already making waves in Yorkshire, having worked with some of York and the wider region’s best-loved brands.

Here, James Cullen and Jordan Malthouse of Merigo Films tell us more about their new small video production company and their passion for working with local small to medium food and drink businesses.

Establishing a video production company

We met at York St John University on the Film & Television Production BA in 2011 and stayed in touch following our graduation in 2014. While James continued studying with an MSc in Marketing, going on to work in-house and as a freelance marketer, Jordan worked in TV before joining the ranks of a marketing agency.

Midway through 2018 we realised now was as good a time as any to pool our skills and expertise and take the leap to form a video production company.

Merigo Films officially launched on 14 November 2018, 130 years to the day that the first film was made by Louis le Prince in Leeds.

Working with much-loved Yorkshire brands

So far, we have worked with much-loved Yorkshire brands including York's Chocolate Story, York Gin, North Star Coffee, The Yorkshire Marketing Company, and Brown & Blond.

We also developed a film for Indie York to showcase at their Christmas market stall and demonstrate the virtues of independent businesses in the city.

Bringing concepts to life

Our favourite part of running the business is being able to take the creative edge learned through our degree and TV experience and combine it with the marketing and business know-how in order to take intangible creative concepts and commit them to film in a tangible way to help SMEs.

Seeing clients pleased with how their ideas play out on the screen is a highlight and being able to express creativity within the constraints of business objectives is also a challenge we relish.

Becoming a recognisable Yorkshire brand

The biggest challenge of running a small business is making the leap to a larger business and making a name for ourselves. We were particularly pleased with some PR coverage in the Wetherspoon Magazine back in January, but feel we are still a long way off being a recognisable Yorkshire brand.

One-stop solution for food & drink brands

Our scope in 2019 has narrowed down to work on where our interests lie – which is within the food and drink industries.

Informed from work we have already done and our goals for the future, we are streamlining the business to offer a full-stop content solution for food and drink brands, formed essentially around their film content. Just because we're not in Hollywood, doesn't mean we can't take advantage of the cinematic look and feel.

Flexible and reflective rate

We are particularly interested in working with small to medium food and drink businesses that are looking to scale up and increase their marketing output with video. We are willing to offer a flexible and reflective rate to businesses that show passion for their products or services.

Best advice for those thinking of setting up their own business

Just go for it! There are hundreds of things you don't even want to do that can go wrong, so why not at least try to do something that you do want to do!

Obviously there are barriers to diving into a business, but try to remain optimistic and flexible to mitigate against these.

York, UK

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