In this instalment of Meet the Creatives, we chat to director Junaid Faiz about his creative workspace-for-hire, Studio 220 Brick Lane — the studio in the heart of Shoreditch that’s perfectly suited to small shoots with big ambitions…
Junaid Faiz is an award-winning director and producer of short films and music videos.
Why did you set up your own Studio?
As a freelance director, you only work if you make space for yourself. I took this a bit literally and when an opportunity came up to take over a good-sized basement space in the heart of Shoreditch it was something I couldn’t let go of.
What is Studio 220 Brick Lane?
Studio 220 Brick Lane is a professional creative workspace for small shoots that still want to use the high-end equipment normally found in bigger sets. The development of the studio coincided with my directing opening more doors for me and I was able to talk to production companies and brands directly about their studio needs. Mixing this with my own dream creative space I built a modern, flexible studio space that’s both friendly for creatives and also client execs you might want to impress.
Studio 220 Brick Lane highlight?
The first major client! I always try to get as much feedback as possible from clients and hearing my business pitch come back to me as the reason why they loved the studio was a big vindication for all the hard work to get to that point. It was a real ‘Field of Dreams’ moment for me.
What type of productions use a studio?
We’ve been really blessed in the first few months of operation. We’ve had huge brands like Nike and Lidl and also lots of exciting new startups. It’s also been great offering the studio out to good causes when we can. We’ve donated the studio to Help Refugees and their Choose Love campaign which is close to my heart, and have also been able to give heavily discounted rates for students. I still remember all the small acts of kindness that helped me out early in my career and being able to say yes to someone asking for a favour is always nice.
What can it add to a production?
Location and studio shoots can often be a headache. You’ll rarely find ones that don’t come with some obstacle or another as many are simply old warehouses or a repurposed office. Our studio was purpose built to be a film and photography studio while the entire building was being developed from the ground up. Having been on many productions myself I’ve tried to eliminate any potential blocks to creative work as I could possibly see. As such productions we’ve hosted are often relaxed and efficient. Our equipment is the best you’ll find in a studio our size bar none thanks to the input I’ve had from directors, cinematographers and gaffers working on professional shoots day in day out. Simply put it’s the best place to make content!
In the next instalment of Meet the Creatives, we speak to sound editor and mixer Claire Stephens. She tells us how her passion for sound was evident from a young age, leading her to work on a wide range of projects including a powerful documentary feature…