Wider Horizons

One of the main things I didn’t realize back when I was a student was that I was always waiting,”Lights, camera, action says Colter Ripley, the founder of a small, full-service video production studio based out of Vancouver. “I was waiting to finish the program, waiting to do a better project, waiting to move to Vancouver, waiting to get a job.”

Since those early days in his profession, he has come to realize that “how you do one thing is how you do everything. I should have done a better job on the projects and should have harbored, created and developed the skill of perseverance. Time teaches a lot of those lessons.”

One of the other lessons the 2003 grad of Lethbridge College’s Multimedia program learned along the way is that it takes more than passion to achieve your goals.

“The idea that a lot of people have when they go into art or design is that it’s all to do with passion,” Ripley says. “But the reality of what we do is that it starts out as a passion but becomes more like work. It’s still fun work, but it is work all the same.”

For Ripley, work these days means focusing on systemization, accounting, team building and goal setting. With these tools, he and a couple of full-time staff members and more than 20 contractors create short-form, mixedmedia, commercial and viral content for clients including the Justice Institute of British Columbia, Crossfit Vancouver, Telus Active Living and the CBC.

Ripley, his colleagues and his business are constantly in motion. Clients come to them looking for a video to help them achieve a marketing outcome. The company proposes a strategy and design to help achieve that goal, and then they dig in with research of brands, trends and viewers before developing the concept, script and storyboards. Next they perform the video shoots, illustrations or visual effects before setting up editing, coloring and sound. Finally, they integrate the video with the client’s website and work to promote it to the right people.

“We have this whole thing systemized,” he explains. “It’s a repeatable process that gets high-end results.”

While Ripley, who studied at the Art Institute of Vancouver after earning his diploma at the college, would like to see his business expand in the coming years, he would love to challenge himself in new ways as well, possibly by creating feature-length documentaries. He plans to pursue that goal as well – because he has learned there’s no need to wait.

Lethbridge College’s Multimedia Production program will celebrate its 20th anniversary next year. For more information about the program, call 403-320-3267 or go to lethbridgecollege.ca/program/multimedia-production.

Wider Horizons
Lethbridge College
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