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Member Spotlight: Eight Engines - Video Production Agency

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30 October 2023

For our next member spotlight we sat down with Eight Engines, a video production agency based at Colony Jactin House. We wanted to shine a light on these creative colony members and their recent work with Transport for Greater Manchester.

In the bustling creative hub of Jactin House's co-working space, we had the privilege of sitting down with Eight Engines, a dynamic video production agency that's been making waves in the industry. Their approach to video production is refreshingly unique, as they strive to become an integral part of their clients' teams rather than just another external crew. It's an approach that has garnered them significant recognition, with a growing list of successful collaborations, including partnerships with PR agencies and organizations like Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM).

Recently, they made headlines as the new media partner for the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce. In this Member Spotlight, we dive into their work, particularly their contributions to the Bee Network initiative, and explore their creative journey in promoting sustainable transportation. Our team spoke with Eight Engines Producer, Rupert Grimshaw, to get the low down!

Who are Eight Engines and what do you do?

We’re a video production agency who work on quite a variety of projects to be honest. We’re all super approachable people and love getting to know our clients, so we try to be more like an in-house branch of a company’s marketing or comms team, rather than just another external video production crew.

It’s been a really rewarding approach which has led us to produce some fantastic work with PR agencies as well as organizations such as Transport for Greater Manchester and a large range of local SMEs. We’ve also just been announced as Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce’s new media partner!

Can you give us an overview of your relationship with TfGM and your recently completed work for the Bee Network initiative? What were the goals and objectives of the project?

As an entirely Manchester-based company (except for our Head of Production, Dayle, who lives in Salford - a very important distinction), we’re delighted to have been named a framework supplier for TfGM earlier this year. We’ve worked with them loads and just think the work that’s being done to improve the transportation network here is brilliant.

However you can’t just throw a load of new hire-bikes and yellow buses out there and expect people to get what’s going on. So to help TfGM communicate the changes we’ve produced a couple of campaigns so far this year. The latest is a series of comic explainer videos for social media which address some of the common questions that TfGM have been asked since the Bee Network’s announcement (with a cameo from Andy Burnham).

A still of Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, from the TFGM Bee Network Campaign.

What are some of the challenges you faced when producing this project? Are there specific hurdles you had to overcome?

Other than the wonderful Mancunian weather?

TfGM’s content has to serve a large number of stakeholders, including the various boroughs of GM, so our biggest challenge has simply been covering all the great areas in the region! Thankfully we work with some brilliant crew members who managed to work well in a really tight schedule, ensuring we got all the coverage we needed.

But also it did rain on the last day of the shoot which Josh our Director of Photography never appreciates…

Could you share some insights into the creative process behind developing content for a project that promotes sustainable transportation? How did you convey the message effectively through your videos?

For us, it's important that TfGM’s output doesn’t come across as being preachy. In fact, a 2021 Deloitte study showed that four in five UK consumers had adopted at least one sustainable lifestyle choice, showing the understanding is already there. So it then comes down to selling the benefits of active travel for the individual on a personal level.

As an example, our ’Get on Board’ campaign earlier this year featured a woman called Kath who volunteered her time to talk to us about why she took up cycling and the personal benefits to her. It's this organic approach that we believe really speaks to people as nobody likes feeling that they’re being sold to.

Maretha working on an exciting video project in their Jactin House Edit Suite.

Manchester seems to have a rapidly growing TV, Film & Video production industry, have you seen the landscape change in recent years and where do you see it heading?

Absolutely! I think the North West as a whole has really flourished over the last decade as a home for video production. There’s an ever-growing abundance in talented crew members as well as much improved logistical support through local councils which makes production work much smoother.

Something we’ve noticed ourselves is a proliferation in young people coming from all parts of the world to study media degrees here in Manchester (and Salford). We give a lot of opportunities to people looking to make a start in the industry so it’s been great to bring in people from different backgrounds.

You’ve been Colony Members at Jactin House for a number of years now! What led you to taking a private office here?

I’ve been told I’m not allowed to say it was the beer fridge in Colony…

In all seriousness though, as an emerging business at the time, it was such a benefit for us to have an office space where we didn’t have to worry about arranging utilities, etc. Also, the continued support we get from the Northern Group team really makes us feel at home here.

But just to go back to beer for a second, Jactin House’s proximity to the Edinburgh Castle (best pub in Manchester) isn’t something to be sniffed at!

Finally, what do you see in the future for Eight Engines?

Right now we’re a team of six incredibly talented people and we want to continue adding to our numbers. For us, growing the team means that as we continue to expand into working on larger projects, we can still continue our work with local SMEs as that’s been such an important part of our background.

The Eight Engines team in Jactin House's Coworking Space

Eight Engines' journey is a testament to the thriving video production industry in Manchester and the broader North West region. With a keen focus on maintaining a personal touch in their collaborations and conveying messages in a non-preachy manner, they are at the forefront of innovative storytelling. Manchester's burgeoning TV, film, and video production landscape, complemented by the influx of talent and supportive local infrastructure, promises a bright future for companies like Eight Engines.

As Colony members at Jactin House, they've found a supportive and convenient home, where they can concentrate on their creative pursuits while enjoying the nearby charms of Manchester's best pub, the Edinburgh Castle. Looking ahead, Eight Engines envisions a future of growth, aiming to expand their team while continuing their invaluable work with local SMEs. Their dedication to making an impact in both the local and global creative spheres is a testament to the vibrant entrepreneurial spirit thriving in the heart of Manchester.

Would you like to work in the same vibrant, creative workspace as Eight Engines? Get in touch with us today!

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