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From losing my job to starting a business and a fallen in roof

Thought Leader

From losing my job to starting a business and a fallen in roof

Georgina Hurcombe Virgin .jpegBeing an entrepreneur is unpredictable. Even losing your job and having your office’s roof fall in could be the best thing that ever happen to you.

Name           Georgina Hurcombe
Business      LoveLove Films


I spent all my time when I was younger taking photos or in dark rooms. My parents would tilt their heads, look a bit confused and say “that’s nice dear” as I showed them photos of tree bark that I had taken and thought was beautiful.


As my sister started her modelling career, I grabbed the chance to go along with her to shoots as a self-appointed chaperone so I could learn from the photographers. On one of these shoots, a photographer had a disagreement with the fashion coordinator and feeling young and cocky, I made a remark about how I could dress the models better.


A few weeks later, the photographer called me saying they liked my styling and asked me to meet the editor. I literally had no idea how to style for a magazine. But I rushed out and bought all the fashion magazines I could and studied them relentlessly. Somehow, I managed to land the job, and was styling brands such as Tiffany and United Colours of Benetton. At first I felt like a phony, but I did enjoy it, and I was actually pretty good at it. It was this that spurred me to work with film.


Letting go and starting up


I left my job and studied Television Production at University. With my degree behind me, I spent a few years working at production companies that I loved.


Then out of the blue, my boss let me go.


It was a massive shock and I was really lost for a while. One day, a friend commented that I’d been so involved in these production companies I might as well start my own. It had never really dawned on me that I could actually go and do it myself, but the idea kept buzzing around my head.


So at 25, full of naivety, I started LoveLove Films which was the most exciting and terrifying thing I have ever done.


Facing challenges


It’s always the unexpected things that go wrong in business. And our roof falling in was one I definitely didn’t see coming.


As the business started to take off and became more than just me and a desk, I rented a tiny shoebox office at first and one morning we came in to see an unexpected water feature. Part of the ceiling had collapsed and water was running all over our lights and computers. It was a pretty spectacular – but expensive - waterfall!


This actually seemed to be a recurring theme with our offices. We moved to a lovely ex-gospel hall I found and honestly, it needed a lot of maintenance but had the space and high ceiling I had been dreaming of! The landlord at the time told me he would maintain it and fix it up. He didn’t. The boiler broke down, the roof collapsed in the rain and the landlord spent his days on a broken ladder with a can of tar in one hand and sellotape in the other trying to patch things up.


My team wore awful onesies as an attempt to beat the cold and we almost set the building on fire by having too many electrical heaters plugged in. This was an extremely challenging time. I spent a lot of my time struggling to sleep and popping into the office at 2am when it was raining to check that the roof wasn’t leaking on our equipment.


Indoor rain inspiration


We turned it around. Warner Music commissioned us to produce a music video for a platinum selling artist, and inspired by the threat of indoor rain we produced a video where it rains inside and ironically, built our own rain machine!


LoveLove Films has come a long way in a few years. Eventually I was able to buy the building from the old landlord and fully renovated it. Many weekends covered in dirt and whatever was in the drains later, I had my own customisable studio space, perfect for filming and working in.


Our projects now range from a variety of live action and animated TV adverts to documentaries like Martin Clunes: Riding Therapy. Currently we have an animation in production for the Big Issue as well as a variety of internal projects, such as an animated pre school show Bottle Island, which we are particularly excited about.


Success for me is producing content we are really proud of, and if we can make a difference with some of the content we make, that’s even better.

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What a great story Georgina!