David Reviews

 "You're not an artist, Peggy. You solve problems." Don Draper.

SPINDLE BRING FRESH ENERGY TO THE PRODUCTION SCENE.
13 September 2019

Following an invitation from Leonie Ellis - who recently joined Spindle to help drive sales - DAVID dropped into the company's headquarters a few weeks ago to meet co-founder Greg Hackett.

Ellis is one of two new recruits, the other being Miles Nathan, who used to work at AMV, and their recruitment is a clear signal of intent from Hackett and his partners.

Spindle had an unusual genesis, having come into existence after being commissioned to make a series of films for the New York Times. This unplanned beginning appears to have informed the companies core values which are expressed by Hackett with an impressive sincerity.

When the Spindle Films story, Greg Hackett is almost messianic in his enthusiasm for what he has already built, and his ambition to the future. When listening to him by his vision, you cannot help but be impressed by the determination and energy he brings to the table.

If Hackett's ambition isn't clear enough when you speak to him, you can glance at two the other people sat in the room for confirmation. Leonie Ellis and Miles Nathan are a pair of heavy hitters with tremendous track records, and, by bringing them on-board, Hackett is making it clear that he wants Spindle to raise its game.

Greg Hackett is very young for a company boss, and is untouched by the cynicism that courses through the veins of many of those who work in the advertising industry. Originally a musician, he came to terms with the unlikeliness of his band taking over the world a few years ago, and turned his attention to filmmaking instead. There was a stint at university in between, but the real Spindle story starts with a short film called 'Experiments in Speed' which was sufficiently good to capture a lot of attention.



Two million YouTube views later, they found themselves at the centre of a viral hit with The Times and The Guardian picking it up for their websites, and gaining a coveted Vimeo staff pick. Hackett reveals an extraordinary impact: "it just went nuts and suddenly, because we put it through Spindle, the phone started ringing."

One of the calls was from the New York Times who ultimately commissioned Spindle to make several films to mark their advertising partnership with Volvo.


We knew we needed personality… we knew it needed a person like Miles to take on the leadership side of things.

 ”

The relationship with the New York Times grew from there which led to further exciting projects. Without really aiming to, Greg Hackett had launched a film production company.

A brief dalliance with Passion Pictures during their Strangelove phase, saw Hackett and Spindle represented on their roster, but when Strangelove didn't work out, Hackett was more than happy to develop Spindle himself instead.

This brings us to today, and Spindle's decision to invest in Miles Nathan and Leonie Ellis.


Leonie Ellis has a lot of experience representing directors and film production companies and could be forgiven if she was a little jaded so her enthusiasm for the culture at Spindle is something to pay attention to. Shortly after DAVID's visit, Ellis contacted us to tell us about a new initiative which would, she hoped, see all of Spindle's productions go carbon neutral thanks to an ambitious tree planting scheme.

As she put it in a follow-up email: "The global environmental crisis needs us all to take immediate action. Spindle has a plan in place to offset the carbon footprint our business creates and become a fully sustainable production company. We want to operate with the environment at the forefront of our conscious and are committed to reducing the environmental impact of our work."

What appeared to please her more than anything was the ease with which it had been accepted and adopted by Spindle.


When thinking about the future, Greg Hackett is very clear about Spindle's approach… they are determined to show faith in the talent of young directors. He identifies Somesuch as a company to emulate: "You look what they've done with their younger directors... and that's exactly how we want to be. We want to build long-term relationships with and put money into their personal projects... to help them develop as directors."


That's what's important to us. Build your talent, build your directors, and ultimately make the best work.

 ”

Hackett describes how he has been a beneficiary of this approach himself, as it was the principle that lay behind his recent Tam Tam project. It's a policy which has gained even more attention for Spindle's directors, and helps fulfils Hackett's declared ambition to "Build your talent, build your directors, and ultimately make the best work."


Having worked at other companies, Greg Hackett knows what it's like when the buzz of excitement is absent, and he's certain that it's present at Spindle. Leonie Ellis agrees: "It's a very different feeling from other companies, in terms of the structure. It's exciting for me to tell people about it and help develop the talent, and help nurture the brand."

Hackett knows how easy it is for film production companies to neglect the directors on their roster, and he's determined to ensure that Spindle's directors are aware how invested the company is in them: "this is a real open forum for directors to develop with us like a family essentially."

While there's nothing revolutionary about this philosophy, the sincerity with which it's being espoused creates the real impression that Greg Hackett is one of the good guys… and, for that reason alone, it would be great to see this company thrive.

To find out more, contact Leonie Ellis on 07779 583234 or via email using leonie@spindle.co.

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David Reviews - Lovely Lenzie Ltd, Woodbourne House, Seven Sisters, Lenzie, G66 3AW. Telephone: +44 141 776 7766. Editor: Jason Stone.