In this edition of DGG Interviews, we talk to Samuel, founder of Reelfilmpro. Explore his story of a career switch from banking to videography and photography, and how he overcame the many challenges along the way. You can also head on here to find out more about his services!
Q: Could you introduce yourself and your background?
I come from a very diverse background. My diploma was in Biomedical and the last thing on my mind was to enter a creative industry.
After graduation, I knew I wasn’t going to be in the biomedical industry. I didn’t want to be stuck in a laboratory. My certification was very specialised, and it was in 2009 during the financial crisis so job opportunities were scarce.
I landed my first job as a cinema manager, and later joined the banking industry for 6 years, before finally pursuing my passion in Videography.
Reel Film Productions focuses on both photography and videography. One of its key focuses is to produce social media content such as videos that are short and digestible for audiences.
Making the Move
Q: What sparked the move from banking to videography/photography?
I always have this notion: Life is short, you should make the best out of it. I was happy working in banking but videography is the port of call for me.
I bought my first camera, Gopro4 silver. That was how I started into videography. I was quite a fast learner and I realised that I was enjoying making videos very much!
I also noticed a rising trend in internet usage. As more and more users are engage in the internet and social media, I believed that this would have a large impact on the way businesses work and interact with their customers.
As I fell in love with videography, I was sure that I should make the move. Prior to this, I have yet to find anything that I was truly passionate about.
Q: What were some of the challenges when making the move?
I saw that many people were stuck at their jobs because of their years of experience, comfortable salary range and fear of change.
My first challenge was taking the financial hit. I was leaving a job that I had 6 years of experience in, to a job where I am going to start at the foot of the mountain. I needed to accept that for a start, I am going to be paid peanuts or worse, nothing at all.
The second challenge that I faced was from friends and family, as they told me that I was crazy to leave a corporate job and do something totally new like this.
Q: How did you overcome these challenges and persist on your change?
Since I was young, I have never believed in following the crowd. I always believe that to stand out is to be different. To be different is to do things and walk a path that is less travelled.
I don’t believe in a ‘No’, and the way to convince me that my path is wrong is for me to walk that path and realise that it is wrong. I need to experience it myself, rather than to hear other people telling me it is wrong.
I would rather do it and fail, than not doing it at all.
Q: What do you enjoy so much about videography and photography?
It’s hard to pinpoint what specifically I like about videography and photography, but I really enjoy the whole process from planning and editing to seeing the final piece of work.
When you take a good shot, you eternalise that moment.
That is one thing that fuels my passion for videography and photography: Capturing moments and creating memories.
Q: What has been the most satisfying/fulfilling movement after changing careers?
Shooting short films and making commercials for clients have been really satisfying for me. Next up, I would like to shoot a proper travelogue or travel-documentary work.
Reflections and Advice
Q: Looking back, what do you think of the move now? What are some of the things you would do different?
I think it was the right move for me, but there was a lot of risk and uncertainty. I don’t really like to look back on things. But looking back, I am definitely happy to have taken the plunge.
As the saying goes, ‘The best time to plant a tree is 10years ago’. I guess I would start out my videography journey earlier if I could start over again.
Q: What would you tell someone that is thinking of making a big change or trying an unconventional route today?
I have many people coming to me telling me that they want to pursue their passion as well. But I always tell them:
- Be sure that this is you they want
- Prepare to take the financial hit, and a change of lifestyle
- Work twice as hard, and be determined
You need to have an adventurous mind; Your new path is going to show you new challenges and help you gain new experiences.
You really need to get out of the comfort zone in order to make the switch.
You really need to be sure of what you want to do. The worse thing is to make the switch and realise that it is not something you envisioned.
You also need to have the belief that you can do equally as well, or even better than your current status.
Finally, you also need to make sure that they are able to monetise what you are passionate in. Not every dreams and passions can be monetised. You need to have a plan to make it all work out.
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