Five years of creativity

May 1, 2019

Managing director Matt McGough, reflects on the fifth birthday of Ithica Films

May 6, 2014 was a day that changed my life. I launched the company I’d been working on in the background for two months. With a cup of tea and a very deep breath I locked myself away and made numerous phone calls. When I started to get the very first bits of momentum going I remember pausing to wonder where it would all lead to. I asked myself, ‘will this be here and what would it look like in five years’ time?’. As Ithica Films celebrates its fifth anniversary, it’s the ideal time to look back at how the company got here.

It’s been an amazing journey and I’ve been incredibly lucky that people bought into what we were doing from the start. The level of trust people have put in the company, from day one, has been something that I’ve never taken for granted. Repaying that trust with a cinematic film is always my favourite part of the job. The accomplishments in that time have far surpassed anything I hoped for; four office moves, a Best New Creative & Digital Business award along with a Best Creative Company at the North East Business Awards, trips to Denmark, Germany, Holland, Spain and Austria, projects for the US, Italy, France and Malaysia delivered from Middlesbrough.

Ithica Films has brought people to tears with films at events; the company’s been involved in a fascinating time for the Tees Valley through our work with the Wilton Group, Tees Valley Combined Authority and Sirius Minerals. We’ve had to push our creativity to the limit for some projects, while pushing the logistics of filmmaking even further for others. The key to every film has always been the approach of understanding and getting enthusiastic about our subject.

Building the team has been the most challenging and rewarding part of the company’s journey so far. The ambition was that Ithica Films was always meant to be a company, rather than support just myself. In six months we went from one to two, then quickly, to from two to four and then where we are now at six looking towards eight. Seeing the company resonate with people who felt that the way we created our films, the types of people we worked with and what the vibe of Ithica Films was for them has been incredible – we’ve been blessed with some real talented people all the way through. My mantra around this has always been that we make better films collectively than we would individually, and seeing the results of our team blows my mind on a regular basis. Keeping this together while building double figure growth every year has kept it incredibly fresh.

Landmarks are great, and in the same spirit as we take contract wins, awards and praise we must give it a little acknowledgment and move on. The future is an exciting prospect – we’ve signed into Boho One as our headquarters for the next three years, we must look at having a space of our own with a facility for shooting where people can come to us. I love spending time with my team and we’re expanding our North East, national
and international work with the demands always increasing. Filmmaking is always a challenging craft to have, with nuances, subtleties and subjectivity at every turn. I wouldn’t want to do anything else though.

Ithica Films