Creative in association withGear Seven

Light + Shade Celebrates 10 Years

Advertising Agency
Brisbane, Australia
Sit down with the Light + Shade team to celebrate this milestone and learn more about where it all began and where it’s all going

Co-Founder, Joshua Zaini: "10 years... it feels like a lifetime, but equally just the beginning as well". 

When Matt and Josh, the founders of Light + Shade started out, they were trying to solve a problem. To create a more seamless production offering for clients. Digital platforms were increasing by the day and they could sense the pressure for brands to up their presence, communicating more often and faster. Thus Light + Shade was born; bringing pre, production and post production all under one roof for projects of all scales and to support clients in the increasingly always-on world. Light + Shade currently works with advertising agencies and brands across all facets of production across Australia, headquartered in Brisbane.

Co-Founder, Matthew Bamkin, comments: “Coming from Documentary backgrounds it seemed like the logical way to do things in advertising when Production and Post-Production” houses were often segmented. We were always asking ourselves, why hadn’t someone done this in Queensland sooner?”

LBB> How was it starting out?

Matt> It was really hard. Starting Light + Shade wasn’t just about creating a unique technical pipeline that did what it said it could do, or having the creative talent to make the ideas happen. It was breaking a mindset. The industry had worked the same way for years. Production was Production. Post was Post. There seemed to be a perception that if the two were somehow joined, that you weren’t taken seriously or that the quality of the job wouldn’t be the same.

Josh> Yeah, another potential stumbling block was the fact that very few people had heard of us in the ad space at this time. Which to be honest was not intimidating for us being the mid-20’s, naive and ruthlessly ambitious versions of ourselves. 

LBB> Any funny anecdotes from the early days?

Josh> Have you got all day? Haha, there’s so many that it’s hard to choose just one. One moment I recall vividly was 1 month in, renting 900 sqft office space in Brisbane’s CBD with just the two of us. I'm not sure what we were thinking. To say we got ahead of ourselves is an understatement and I remember us both laughing about it sitting opposite each other in this gigantic space.

Fast forward to today and Light + Shade have worked with some of the most well-known brands in the game. Creating National and International work for Paramount Pictures, Myer, Sony Entertainment, Nickelodeon and Australian Government to name a few. Their campaigns reach the masses and they’re always striving to do the best work possible.

LBB> Where did your tagline Enjoy the journey + Love the work come from?

Business Director, Anna Phillips> It's a reminder to not take ourselves too seriously. To enjoy the process as well as the final result, which applies to many facets in life really.

Matt> Yeah, we have a strict leave your egos at the door policy, which makes for a more open and transparent environment. Both factors in making great work, which ultimately is what we’re here to do.

Josh> It’s a great feeling when you speak to one of the producers and tell them ‘I need to get this rare Australian bird to fly into shot from directly behind the sun and land on this car at precisely the right moment then look to camera and  and deliver his line’’ and they look back at your unfazed ‘yeah no worries’. Or when you come back into post from a shoot in the desert and each frame you shot had a thousand flies in it and you say to the VFX artist ‘I need all those flies gone by Tuesday at 12’ and they reply with ’thought you’d say that, no worries.

Anna> Yeah, our team is everything. If we have great people, we attract great clients and this combination makes for great work. Which leads us to our mission within projects: to make creating more accessible, more collaborative and more rewarding for all involved. Everyone enjoys it more when they play a role in the final outcome. 

LBB> How do you do this?

Emma Horne, Producer> It goes back to having the capability to provide the current offering all under one roof really. We’re fortunate to be able to take the client on the entire production journey, clearly communicating and collaborating with them across all stages. This is attractive for me as a Producer. It helps me to see the project holistically, continue to learn from all areas of production and continually strive to make it as smooth as possible for our clients.

Matt> It’s worth noting that some of our clients also employ us for pure post production, production or facilitation requirements. We equally enjoy this and are resourced to plug-in and plug out as needed, still always striving to create the best experience for everyone as possible to best live up to our “Enjoy the journey” tagline.

Rohan Cooper, Head of Post-Production> We give all our jobs the same amount of love. Whether it’s from one of our in-house Directors, an external production or footage shot by multiple people in different parts of the world that needs to be cut together seamlessly. There's never a dull day in the post department that's for sure.

LBB> What does the next 10 years look like?

Anna> Like lot’s of fun! For a start, we’ll be continuing to grow our collective of creatives to always be ready and armed for the next exciting brief. Our collective also breaks the traditional agent/ artist exclusivity model too. We believe creativity is fluid and we do the best work when we’re free to collaborate with whoever we like; only working with those not exclusively repped of course. This allows us to provide our collective with the opportunity to collaborate on new projects with us and they in turn enable us to deliver on and attract a wider pool of briefs.

Matt> Yes it has been fun meeting with and collaborating with a wider variety of visual artists, photographers, directors and creatives from all disciplines in the last year. Another key focus worth mentioning for the business is our plans towards Green Production. We are increasingly conscious of this within our industry and are doing our best to reduce our footprint.

Josh> The first big step on our roadmap is powering our HQ with solar. The panels have just been installed and we’ll be the first production and post studio in QLD to be powered by solar as far as we can see. We appreciate there are many areas to becoming net zero and we’re working through our roadmap to make this happen.

Matt> We know there's no quick fixes and it’ll take some time to be fully net zero. However it’s something we’re committed to making happen as quickly as we can, and we challenge our competitors to do the same, not because they have to but because they can. It’s a subject we’re really passionate about and the power to operate more sustainably is everyone's responsibility. 

Emma> Last but not least, events. We’ll be running industry events from September to spend more time with our fellow partners and community. So watch this space and we look forward to sharing more details soon.

It looks like we’ll be seeing a lot more from Light + Shade and we look forward to following them in this next chapter.

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