SBNN - Founders Series
Published on sbnn.co.uk
Founders Series – Alastair Scott, managing director of 20/20 Productions
Starting out in theatres, opera houses and fashion shows, Alastair Scott co-founded the creative production company, 20/20 Productions, in 1990.Since then, Alastair has worked with a long list of prominent organisations to help them deliver their messages creatively, through film, events and digital innovations. 20/20 Productions now boasts offices in Edinburgh, Dubai and San Francisco and has a turnover of £6m.
What does your company do?
20/20 Productions is a specialist event and video production agency based in Edinburgh, San Francisco and Dubai. We deliver targeted messages to our clients’ audiences through the use of film, events, design projects and digital innovations. The common thread that runs through all of our productions is our passion for creativity – we’re always on the lookout for engaging ways to help companies overcome their communication challenges.
What do you do there / what is your role?
I am the Managing Director of 20/20 Productions. I co-founded the company with Andy Mackay in 1990. Alongside running the company, I work as a producer on many of our film and event projects.
No two days at 20/20 are ever the same – I enjoy the varied nature of the role, and get to work with a diverse range of interesting clients and people.
What is your background?
I actually started off working in theatres, opera houses, on fashion shows and corporate events. Prior to founding the company, Andy and I were both working as freelancers in live event and TV production. I’ve now worked in the industry for over 30 years, but my passion for it is as strong as when I first started out, if not more so.
What was the aha moment that led to the company founding?
My business partner and I identified a lack of production and communications offerings in Scotland – there was a real gap in the market for an integrated production, design and event service, and our combined experience made us the right guys to take on the job.
Our aha moment actually happened in the Golf Tavern in Edinburgh when we decided to start the business – a few pints may have also helped us along. 30 years later, I think it’s safe to say we made the right decision.
Give us a brief history of the growth of the company
We opened up shop in Edinburgh in 1990. Our other offices came along later, with San Francisco opening in 2002 and Dubai in 2015. In 2005 we won the United Nations’ contract to produce its 60th year events across San Francisco. This was a huge day for us and a real turning point for the business.
Have you taken any external funding? If so from who and when?
So what does it look like now with regard to staff and turnover?
What’s the difference between when you started and now in your marketplace?
What is your target market – Who is buying your product / service?
We work with large corporates, developing businesses, member associations and third sector organisations across the globe. We usually work with our clients to identify the best medium to communicate their message, be that a film, event or digital project. Importantly, all of our customers require creative solutions with functional execution.
What are your goals for your business?
We aim to maintain our very high standards in all aspects of the business and have the respect of our competitors and customers.We’re really proud of the strong links we’ve built with our clients – some of whom we have worked with for over 20 years. We want to continue our growth, all the while maintaining those solid relationships, whether we’ve worked with them for 20 years or less. The success of our clients, the well-being of my team, a positive attitude, honesty and clarity are also extremely important to me.
What are your biggest current challenges?
What has been the biggest challenge so far?
Like many businesses around the world, the financial crash in 2008 was a really terrible time for us. Although I hope that we never have to go through anything like that again, I think it’s fair to say that we are stronger for it.
What do you do outside work?
What do you know now that you wished you had known earlier?
I wish I’d known to look at the bigger picture more. I spent a lot of time worrying needlessly about things I couldn’t change. Now I worry about the things I can change – and I do something about it.