Danny Franklin always wanted to head out in business on his own, but the cost of camera equipment constantly held him back.
Now, thanks to the Sir Thomas White Loan Charity, he’s thriving through being self-employed.
In January 2011, Danny was approaching the age limit for receiving the Charity’s support, 35, and felt like it was “now or never” to follow his dream.
“Becoming self-employed was always a long term goal for me, but the cost of professional camera kit was always holding me back,” said Danny, “I’d heard about Sir Thomas White and, as I was approaching the age limit for the loan, it felt like a now or never situation – so I went for it and have never looked back.”
Best of all he’s been able to choose what to take on, controlling his own time and output, meaning he’s focussed on what he wants, when he wants.
“The nature of my job means I work long hours and travel a lot, being self-employed means I’m in control of my own schedule, helping me to achieve a better work life balance,” Danny explained.
Operating independently has also allowed Danny to enamour himself more to certain clients, and create a niche within a highly competitive industry: “In terms of being unique I guess it’s that you’re hiring the ‘me’, being freelance means working with teams of people all the time, so you have to be easy to get on with and work with. I think you’re hiring the person as much as the skill.
“Working as a freelancer means I have a huge network of contacts, this means I can call on the most suitable people to work on projects depending on their experience.”
Looking ahead, Danny wants to continue to build upon his freelance experience, but also aims to develop his long-term client portfolio. Teaming up with a producer, he wants to grow that arm of his company. This in turn will give him the benefits he has discussed of working independently, while also being able to offer production services in full when the opportunity arises.
Expanding on these aspirational goals, Danny said: “As an experienced cameraman and editor with over 13 years in the business – I work on a freelance basis for a huge variety of clients. But I also have a selection of my own clients for whom I manage the full production, from the initial idea right through to the final outputs.
“I plan to continue with the freelance side of the business but I’ve also teamed up with an experienced producer to build the client side of the business. The aim is to get projects where we’ll have more control of schedules and the creative.”
Danny’s drive is obvious for anyone to see and thankfully, with Sir Thomas White Loan Charity backing, he’s been able to put this blend of passion, enthusiasm and technical prowess into action – on his own terms.
When asked what he’d say to anybody wanting to apply for funding from the Charity, he said: “If you’re thinking of applying for a STWLC loan, all I can say is go for it – there’s nothing to lose! It gave me the ability to kick start my business and I have never looked back.”
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