Alex Wren

Alex Wren

Sharing people's knowledge and passion through video

Alex Wren is managing director of Bitpod, an Exeter based video solutions firm.  Bitpod was launched in 2002 as a web design business, taking the decision to concentrate solely on video solutions in 2010.   Bitpod brings together a small team of designers, animators and video specialists, offering video production, animation, live-streaming and studio recording services as well as bespoke video solutions.  With clients including The University of Exeter, the NHS and a mix of corporate clients both large and small, Bitpod also support local charities, where possible, and provide live-streaming services for the ExIST events.  Insight caught up with Alex to find out more.



How do you keep up to date and innovate?

The internet is full of the latest news and updates as well as plenty of inspiration on what others have achieved. For the real nerdy stuff Facebook, YouTube and forums are best as you learn so much watching others discuss their challenges. 

Our studio is a great example of how we have developed tech to make things easier for our clients. We created an automated service called EasyStudio which allows our clients to record presentation videos (usually a presenter and their PowerPoint presentation) and then watch back an automated edit back immediately after recording. Not only is this more cost effective but it allows the presenter to make a decision instantly, either to re-record or move onto the next video. Traditionally you would only find out how good your video was some time after you had finished your filming session, which is usually too late. 


What do you love about your job?

My job can vary massively and that is something I love. One day I might be out filming in London, the next day I could be meeting a local client to help decide on their perfect video solution. I am usually happiest when solving challenges, this usually means hacking around bits of tech until we have a workable solution. I guess I can be a bit of Jack of all trades when needed.



How can you help SMEs in Exeter and the region?

A lot of our clients are in the technology, science and medical sectors and often their new and disruptive solutions require an element of education to ensure potential clients understand what is on offer and how it might help them. For this to be communicated effectively (regardless of the actual medium used) it is essential that we are fully immersed in the clients’ world. This is an essential part of our service and something that we know has made a real difference. We are always happy to discuss projects and potential solutions to see what the options are.


What does your average day look like?  Take us through it…

My day starts with a quick update online to see what is new followed by a reminder of what is scheduled for the next few days. If we have a client coming to record videos in the studio then I would switch everything on and make sure it is all ready to go. Most studio clients are fairly self-sufficient so once they are in and recording then that gives me time to respond to my emails. Once the studio session is complete then I simply need to upload their recordings so they can put them to immediate use. Next up a client meeting to discuss a new animation project that is needed to go on their new website. I find client meetings are usually great fun and highly productive, especially if we can evolve the proposed solution further - that can be hard work but it is always worth it. In the afternoon I have an interview to film at the University, I really enjoy filming experts sharing their knowledge and passion for their subject. First though, I need to select the required equipment, load up the van and get set-up ready to go. After a couple of hours of filming, all the footage needs to be copied off the cameras, backed and the equipment charged up ready for the next project. Tomorrow will be a totally different day...


Tell us about a challenge…

Our world is full of creative, technical and marketing challenges but one that is particularly tricky at the moment is marketing our EasyStudio service. Everyone who sees a demo loves the concept and if it fits they become a client. Our current challenge is how to spread the word and let people know what we have and how it might benefit them. The perception of video production is often something quite different but once we mentioned how cost effective it is and that you can make as many videos as you like in a session - then we have their attention. Seeing as you probably have no idea what I am talking about please visit www.easystudio.video, and see what we have done so far with this challenge.


What do you wish other people knew about your work?

Most people have a fairly good understanding about video production, animation and the basics of live streaming, but the pre-production and planning stages are often a bit of a mystery. So much of our work happens before a camera is switched on or the animation software loaded up, without this stage the final output would most likely be a waste of time. Good communications, careful planning and a clear understanding is the precursor to a successful video project.


Why and how would you encourage young people into your sector?

Our sector is already very popular with young people keen to show their potential. I have acted as a mentor helping with early strategy and career planning for promising individuals. The need for video services are constantly growing as organisations realise the potential impact on their marketing, training and educational projects. 


Where can people see more of your work…

A selection of our work can be seen on our portfolio at www.bitpod.co.uk and anyone who would like to see our studio in action can contact us on 01392 555123

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