Will Adams, Once Were Farmers CEO | Cultural Enterprise Office

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Will Adams, Once Were Farmers

Once Were Farmers is an Animation and VFX studio.

We work across film and animation and also produce shorts and mini-series.

What is your name?

Will Adams

Describe briefly what you do or your business does?

Once Were Farmers is an Animation and VFX studio. We work across film and animation and also produce shorts and mini-series.

What has been your business journey?

We starting working on newspaper picture desks by day and doing club visuals at night, and combined what we'd learned from both into Once Were Farmers in 2002. OWF began work on TV graphics and then moved into commercials, usually combining animation with live action.  More recently we moved into production but continue to do service work as well. 

Have you received support from any business support agencies, if so which ones and how have they helped (or not helped)?

We were funded by Creative Scotland to take part in Screen Leaders run by Screen Training Ireland, which really helped us understand our business - and they seemed to understand creative businesses, where other people we've dealt with haven't known what to do with us.

What has been the biggest lesson you have learnt in growing your business or freelance career?

That if you took everyone's advice you'd never get out of the starting blocks.  I think you need a certain pigheadedness, to know you'd rather try and fail, than not try at all.  But then also be flexible and be willing to go where the opportunities take you. 

How can the indigenous screen businesses  in Scotland become bigger, better, bolder and more successful?

I think we need to be more commercially minded.  Early on it felt like too many of our ideas were dismissed for being 'too commercial'. People are too quick to dismiss blockbusters as being crass without reflecting on the incredible artistry that makes them possible.  We need government officials who are willing to fly out to meet the big players and show them that Scotland is serious about taking part, and we need higher education to treat the arts as serious, valuable skills that tap into massive global industry.  


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