ScreenSpace student James Parker launches production company Potent London
By Danny Kelly
18 June 2021
It’s not only our tutors working within the industry, it’s our current students too. James Parker, a second-year student on our BA Content, Media & Film Production – ScreenSpace, is putting his learnings into action with the launch of Potent London – a production company specialising in high-quality video and photo content for brands and YouTubers.
Since becoming a registered business in January 2021, Potent London has been collaborating with fashion brands including Cold Prints and Dank of London, as well as producing and filming episodes for YouTuber DTG.
We speak with James about getting things started, life at MetFilm School’s ScreenSpace, and the perks of being a creative in London…
Hi James! Where did the idea for Potent London come from?
The idea came during the first lockdown when myself and a videographer friend of mine, Finlay Coulter, started speaking about how big UK YouTube creators like The Sidemen have a dedicated team that allows them to produce content with high production value. So many smaller creators want to start making the same level of videos but aren’t sure where to start.
We want to fill that gap and provide professional videography to these smaller creators, creating engaging content on par with the best on the scene. We then also decided to expand that ballpark to work with brands too, providing content to push products and services, specifically on social media.
What can you tell us about the work you have done so far?
The first big YouTube production we did was a 10-part series called ‘Get2Gaming’ for YouTuber and musician DTG, who was recently nominated for a BRIT award for his single Rover. We worked with his team to plan the show; creating the set and filming/editing the final product. A lot of our brand and influencer work can be found on our Instagram @potent.ldn and we are currently working on two more big YouTube shows that are yet to be announced.
So far, our productions at Potent London have only had us two members of crew. But as our projects get bigger, knowing I have so many talented crew members around me at ScreenSpace, means I’ll never have to go hunting for people to get involved.
What sort of trends are you seeing a rise in at the moment with YouTube creators?
In a lot of YouTube content, I’m seeing a huge change towards bigger concept ideas. You still have the typical Reddit videos and reactions which will always be popular. But so many UK creators are now also pushing to create shows with high production value. They use sets and studios, sometimes making feature-length pieces of content each week, and really setting the bar for production value on YouTube. That’s where we initially had the idea for Potent, to produce videos of this caliber for creators.
What for you makes a piece of content engaging?
I think what makes a piece of content engaging, especially for YouTube and social media, is momentum. You never want there to be a dull moment because it’s so easy for people to just switch off nowadays. The best way to create is with dynamic and fast-paced editing, cutting out every half-second that you don’t need.
How has your course helped you in setting up the company?
The course has really helped me in a few aspects with this company. This year I’ve especially focused on lessons on lighting. Our productions – like Get2Gaming – have had much more dynamic lighting as a result of me taking over the gaffer role. Also, Semester 1 on branded content came at a great time. As a company, we were pitching to brands, while in class I was learning how to create the perfect pitch deck!
What do you think makes ScreenSpace unique?
I think one thing that’s great about ScreenSpace is the variety of the content it provides. It’s not just a traditional Film and TV course. The fact that it also teaches the social content side of things, as well as branded content, means that you have a lot more to offer clients in terms of creative range, and will end up being involved in a much broader variety of jobs.
Finally, why do you think London is a great place to be a creative?
I think London is the best place to be creative. ScreenSpace being located here was one of the main reasons I chose it as a university. There is always something happening and you get the opportunity to meet so many people that you wouldn’t get to meet otherwise. The creative community in London is like no other in the country. With a good amount of success in the industry reliant on who you know, it’s great because I’ve found that there is an interesting creative round every corner.
James Parker is currently studying our BA Content, Media & Film Production – ScreenSpace
You can follow him on Instagram @jamesparker000, and Finlay Coulter @finlaycoulter.