Jay Knowles – Producer / Director

Who is Jay Knowles?

I am a London-based video producer who loves creating fresh, engaging content. I enjoy sports, love movies and I have recently discovered a passion for traveling. I grew up in London and love the city – there is always something new to discover, a surprise around every corner. I would say that I am a sociable person, I enjoy working with others and my key strength is the ability to adapt to different personalities and situations in order to achieve the best outcome.

How did your career path develop?

I always knew I wanted to work in video, I have always been obsessed with TV and films and how the production process works. The power of video is growing all the time and the boundaries of what can be achieved are continually being stretched. I started my professional career at a time when online video was just emerging from its infancy, so it was a very exciting time to get into video production.

I studied Film Studies and Screen Production at Roehampton University, where I graduated top of my class. I worked as a roofer in my spared time whilst at university and those construction connections came in very handy once I left university as I found it difficult to find a job in video. I spent my next year doing shoots and edits for free in order to gain experience – this was funded by regular stints on a building site.

I got my break a year later when I took a job at BrightTALK Studios. This was an amazing place for me to learn and develop not only as a video producer but also as a person. BrightTALK were very good at taking on juniors and training them in several different areas of film production. As my experience grew, I was given my own clients to grow and nurture and this is where I truly excelled. I really enjoyed working closely with clients to improve their videos – a huge part of my role was to think of new styles and innovative ways in which to tell their stories, and as my clients’ confidence in video grew, the productions became far more engaging.

After 6 years working for BrightTALK Studios, I decided it was time for a change. I am looking to build on the skills I already have and I am very excited about the opportunity to work with new companies and new people. I have already learned a great deal since becoming a freelancer but I aim to go from strength to strength.

What’s your greatest achievement/s so far?

I think my greatest achievement was breaking into the industry in the first place. After leaving university I suddenly realised that I had no contacts in the industry and no real clue on how to go about getting a job. Luckily I am a very persistent person, I knew what I wanted and I was not going to stop until I got to where I needed to be. I worked for free on any productions that would take me – I made coffee, carried kit bags and drove equipment vans. On each job I learned a little more and my CV gained another entry. Looking back, it was all worth it and I would happily do it all over again in order to work in this business.

Any projects you are most proud of and why?

I have produced a lot of work I am proud of, including a couple of award-winning short films. However, the project I am most proud of is a short promotion film I edited for a small tennis club in South London. This tennis club had been doing great work in the local community for years – with classes for all ages, from under 5s right up to adults, they also had an outstanding record of producing junior national champions, working with a shoe string budget. Unfortunately, due to lack of funding, it was facing closure so my friend and I decided to team up and make a video about the club in order to raise funds. I am delighted to say that our video not only helped prevent the club from closing, but with the additional revenue they were able to build a brand new clubhouse and massively improve their facilities.

Share your biggest lessons in life and work

My biggest lesson in work and life is to work hard and be patient. If you set yourself a goal, no matter how big a challenge it appears to be, if you keep working hard and you are confident you are doing all that can be done to achieve that goal, more often than not you will succeed. There have been a few occasions in my career and my personal life where things were just not happening as I thought they would do. In these situations it is easy to doubt yourself and give up, however I stuck to my guns and kept working hard and eventually I got to where I wanted to be.

View Jay’s Full Portfolio