Today we have selected Bill McQueen to take his interview. He is the Founder/Creative Director at lime-content studios.
First of all, how are you and your team doing in these COVID-19 times?
Hong Kong is currently covid free, so we aren’t in any peril to speak of.
Tell us about your career and how you founded or joined this company?
I started in the bowels of a TV station in Perth, Australia as a videotape operator in 1987. I freelanced in London, where I worked for MTV and a Scandinavian cable company called Scans. I returned to Perth in 92 and pitched an idea for a music/culture youth program for TVW channel 7. It was quite cutting edge for its time as we only focused on indie and local music and went deep into subculture stories about sex, drugs, drag queens’ you name.
I went to Sydney and landed a job in promos for Channel 10. I was then asked to create a kid’s show called Cheez Tv, a cultural turning point for kids’ television from 1995-2005.
Eventually, I went back to want I loved, making promos, commercials, and video production. I was the Creative Director for National Geographic Channels Asia/Fox International channels for 6 years. In 2010 I launched Lime Content Studios* and am still here today!
How does your company innovate?
We just announced that we accept crypto as payment, and we are working on a top-secret blockchain project that we hope will disrupt a certain part of the video industry. That’s all I am allowed to say at this time. But I will say the metaverse will create new opportunities for creators.
How the Coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
We are still here, but it’s not been easy. A lot of our business is traveling, especially to China. We also do a lot of work for Hotels so as you can imagine it’s not been the best time for us.
Did you have to make difficult choices and the lessons learned?
We have always operated as a small team that relies on amazing freelancers, so we haven’t had to cut jobs or drop pay, for example. If anything, we have all enjoyed working from home a lot more, and I don’t feel my staff should have to come in if they don’t need to be here. We will never drop this policy.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
We don’t see it as a crisis, just that things have changed, and our attitude needs to change. I’ve never really believed in the concept of normal. Keep calm and keep making great videos.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
We now have had two companies steal our work and pass it off as their own, and we feel we don’t have competitors. We are the leading video production company in Hong Kong because we only work with teams of highly experienced producers/directors, dops, and creatives like myself. We look forward, not sideways, so we will be ok as long as our work is at the level of creativity I demand.
Your final thoughts:
The video industry is attacked by people buying cheap, high-quality cameras and passing themselves off as production companies. In any profession, experience matters more; just because you have the tools doesn’t mean you know how to use them. Our industry is part art and part science, and experience in both is the difference between a good video and a great one!