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Manifesto for Filmmaking

Updated: Apr 29, 2022

The Art and Science of FILMMAKING

Traveling through America and tasting the magic of Hollywood led Ben Thornley down the path he has since excelled in—creating inspirational content for delivery over a global platform with thousands of clients from Madagascar's rainforests to Mumbai's streets, where his films have been viewed by over a billion people.

Ben envisioning the art of the possible, Manchester.

The manifesto for filmmaking is:

1 Imagination.

Create, design, and make new things with childlike imagination and discovery by seeing the unseen and navigating the journey to get there through rapid ideation and experimentation that evokes magic and delight, dreaming up what doesn't exist, and turning your imagination into visual stories that spread!

"Our creative process typically starts with a need to communicate something. If someone comes to us with a requirement, we go away and brainstorm after that initial conversation and try and come up with as many ideas as possible. Get as many ideas on the board as possible. Then we go through them with a fine-tooth comb and figure out what's doable and what's not doable, and just nail that down into work."

2 Do-It-Yourself.

Rejecting conventions and originating new ideals with direct action and not selling out. Doing it in your own style and pace. Embrace challenges, accept failure, persist in the face of setbacks, learn by doing as the path to mastery, and create without fear.

"We deliver up to 250 projects a year worldwide, and the Do-It-Yourself ethos is instrumental in our work ethic. Simply put; pulling up your sleeves and just doing it."

3 Mentorship.

Engage with industry experts and immerse yourself in the domain. Reflect on things from your past. Capture knowledge and insight. Record expert opinions, read publications, discover context. Use collaboration and help to find, reference, synthesize, and gain inspiration.

"If you're a young filmmaker looking to break into the business, try and meet someone like I did, who can be a mentor to you by providing hands on advice. Most important is getting out there and making films, even if it's just on your own to start with."

"Restless Natives" - the core of Sitcom Soldiers, from left to right: Ben Thornley, Chris Jones, Paul Burrows, Malcolm Smith, and James Broadfoot.

4 Craftsmanship.

Blend art and science with excellence in craftsmanship through continuous learning and improvement, inspired by culture and aesthetics connected to emotions and imagination to craft engaging and brand-positioned artistic solutions. Let your craftsmanship be laser-focused to the last detail because care and accuracy show mindfulness and respect for your audience.

"We grow our craft and learn new things through experimentation and pushing for ideas that are outside of our comfort zone, and push ourselves to achieve them."

5 Create unforgettable experiences.

When you connect emotionally to people by providing personalized, unique experiences, alchemy happens, and your audience becomes loyal. Make what you provide matter to people by creating trust, and making people feel good and connected to something bigger. When you put your audience authentically at your brand's heart and show up where they are, you make a difference by truly understanding and synthesizing their desires into providing unforgettable experiences.

"We've made many friends since our inception in 2002, most of whom still work with us. It's mind-blowing to hear them say, "That shoot was the best day of my life!" because you are creating an experience that becomes a defining moment in someone's life!"


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"Unknown Origins" soundtrack composed and performed by Iain Mutch


Roy Sharples

Founder and CEO of Unknown Origins, a creative studio on a mission to save the world from unoriginality by unleashing the power of creativity. Author of "Creativity Without Frontiers: How to make the invisible visible by lighting the way into the future."

Photo credit: Brian Smale

Attitude. Imagination. Execution.

Unknown Origins. All rights reserved © copyright 2021

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