Two Staffordshire University graduates are preparing to jet off to the US to make a promotional video about famous guitars.
Kathy Plaskitt and Colin Mottram fly out to Boston at the end of the month (January) to shoot a film about Gibson guitars.
Their company Lenzflare won the contract after impressing company bosses with a film about Fender guitars, which formed part of the Fender Interactive Bible.
They met while working on the Media Production course at Staffordshire University and set up Lenzflare with the help of the University’s HE Full Circle team.
As well as receiving a bursary, they were offered business advice and support, and membership of the Chamber of Commerce.
“HE Full Circle was an enormous help to us,” Kathy said.
“Even now, we are in touch with them and they pop in to see how things are going for us.”
Kathy is excited about Lenzflare’s latest work.
“It’s very exciting to be working on a project that has such popular appeal,” she said.
“Although it’s a pressurised environment, it’s great working in such a professional atmosphere.”
Kathy and Colin filmed with Supertramp’s Carl Verheyen and handled guitars worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, including Eddie Van Halen’s Fender.
Kathy and Colin also collaborated on a final year project called Paying For It – a documentary on prostitution made for Stoke-on-Trent City Council.
The film is being used in schools around Staffordshire to teach youngsters about the reality of prostitution and the effect it has on the community.
Although the Newcastle-under-Lyme-based company has work in Staffordshire, Kathy said many new contracts were based in London, Birmingham and Manchester.
“We do lots of work in the region, but it’s good to build our reputation across the UK,” she said.
Colin won a Royal Television Society Award for his film FishOut Of Water in 2004.
He applied for jobs in London and Birmingham after graduating, but wasn’t impressed with the outcome.
“I didn’t want to end up making tea for two years,” he said.
“Being from Stoke I wanted to continue to work in films and, as it’s quite difficult we decided to set up ourselves. It was a struggle at first – I worked at Alton Towers, while Kathy did bar work for ten months to support ourselves financially.”
Kathy and Colin continue to lecture and support students on Staffordshire University’s Media Production course.