FOR aspiring local filmmaker and risktaker Adam Groves, being independent at an early age allowed him to let his creativity flow freely which significantly impacted his business.
Already self-employed and making a name for himself before reaching the age of 30, Mohd Adam Mohd Ali or popularly known in the local media and entertainment community as Adam Groves uses his skills in videography to create Visual Dimensions Production.
Founded in 2007, the agency was the result of Adam's love of cameras and filmmaking, and has been sought after by many newlyweds in Brunei who wants that "Hollywood" touch. The company specialises in wedding videography, event coverages, corporate videos and advertising films. Adam has also produced various short films which had created a lot of buzz with the local online community, such as the popular "Break" series and "The Jo & Jul Show".
As a film buff, he takes his interest in film very seriously. The creation of short films and wedding videos over the years were part of his learning process in the local entertainment industry as well as gaining experience and knowledge along the way.
Before venturing into the business full-time and setting up his own company, Adam has held 15 different jobs in a span of six years from working in a restaurant to being a production crew and tour guide, and made extra income out of shooting videos of weddings part-time.
"I've always wanted to try many different things. I've always had this curiosity and the drive to learn new skills and experiences. At one point, I acquired the technical knowledge and the art of videography, and another I learned about business management as well as people skills. Eventually after I got into my 15th job as a tour guide, I made my decision to run my own business full time and purchased my first video camera," said the 27-year-old.
On the field, Adam and his team arm themselves with an array of Canon digital SLRs capable of shooting videos in high definition to create the uniqueness of a film-like look, and use professional software such as Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro Studio for his video and audio post-production work.
"The challenge for me in this business has always been in getting clients. In the beginning, I had to go out there and sell myself, through my friends, through the Internet. So it was a lot of work to begin with. But after several wedding projects, my reputation (grew) and my clients started recommending my services to their friends and families," he said.
However, Adam said that maintaining his reputation as well as providing value-added services are also crucial in this line of business where competition is high.
"As technology advances and at the same time become even more affordable to everyone, where now anyone can just record cinema-quality video out of their high end digital cameras, many would jump (onto) the bandwagon and come up with their own prices," he added.
Adam's work is known to include scripts and personally directing newlyweds to act in various scenes to give a more cinematic feel to the videos. "For videographers and filmakers, having high end equipment and the technical know how is not enough. You've got to have a good flow of fresh ideas and creativity and give more than a hundred per cent of your service," he said.
Adam's firm is at present in the process of expansion. With more projects pouring in, he needed more manpower to support his operations.
"When I first started this business I had to do it alone, I was literally a one man show. Things have changed now. I keep getting new bookings almost every week, and two wedding projects on every weekends. At this rate, I had to start hiring people," he said. Adam now hires five crew members to support his operations.
"Business has never been better. We have been really packed these past few months and well all the way towards early next year," he added. Despite his increasing workload and busier schedule, Adam said he is happier in his position as a self-employed videographer.
"On weekdays I'd be in my editing room at home doing post-production work for my weekly projects. I work from home so I get to be with my wife and newborn son. I'll be much busier on weekends, but I have to say I'm having a great time doing this," he said.
Outside the wedding scene, Adam continues to show his prowess in producing short films and share them freely on YouTube to promote his name and work to the public. "I love making films, and I like to entertain people with my films. This is one way for me to express my work and also show to the world that we Bruneians can produce quality films," he said.
Adam aspires to be a successful filmmaker in the future, following the footsteps of his role models Khairil M Bahar, Michael Bay and M Night Shyamalan.
"There isn't much of a lucrative film industry in Brunei, nowhere near the standards of film industries in even our neighbouring countries, but that's not going to stop me from doing this elsewhere and grab the international market. Eventually, I will have to break out of the local market and look for opportunities out there, but still giving a good name for our country," he said. The Brunei Times