Creative

Bella and george – Motion Graphic design

Bella And George is a Video Production & Motion Graphic Design Agency semi-based in Folkestone’s Creative Quarter, as part of Creative Folkestone.  Andy Wright and Mike Parry make up the team.  Originally based in London’s Soho, Mike and Andy moved their studio to Folkestone in 2017.  The creative reputation of the town endorsed their existing kudos within the industry.  Folkelife wanted to find out more.

Mike: “Andy and I set up Bella And George in 2012 in Soho, London.  The company is named after Andy’s kids.  Soho was the place to be really for our sort of work as there were lots of media companies there.  It was easy to meet people and so on.  Anyway, about 4 or so years ago, I moved down here to Folkestone and shared the studio space above Bounce on The Old High Street.  I didn’t really fancy going back into London and so we moved our studio down here.  Andy moved to an office in Hampshire and runs the production side of things from there.  I really thought we’d be commuting up to London but we’ve found that it’s going the other way; clients come down here to meet us.”

Andy: “We made the change before Covid happened, and found that you can do a lot meeting people remotely.  I do pop down to Folkestone regularly and we have a client called Line Up who manages the Mobile World Congress which is the biggest conference on the planet, we make the opening sequences for them.  He likes face-to-face meetings and they always seem to happen on a Friday afternoon when the weather is good, and invariably involve fish and chips!”

Mike and his shirt
View from the studio
Andy and a beach
Chameleon Killer Discovery Channel

Grand Designs Bella And George

Creative living

Mike: “The creative aspect of Folkestone was really important in our move down here.  My partner, Sue Bridge, is a multi-disciplinary artist and she led the way.  She has family here and is from this part of Kent.  Andy and I weren’t expecting Folkestone to play such a leading part in our business.  When you’re here you learn more about the creative culture that’s just all over the town.  We’d go for a drink in Kipps, at the top of The Old High Street and meet all sorts of people.  As you walk down The Old High Street you get the feeling that Folkestone has what Soho used to have – all those connections!”

Andy: “Folkestone is a really interesting place.  It’s attracting a lot of creative people to enhance the vibe it already had.  I was down for a meeting with Mike and met an old client of mine for a coffee.  He said ‘oh, you should meet my wife’ who works for the charity Action Against Hunger.   From that meeting we got to work directly with the charity.”

Action Against Hunger
Bella And George HP Conference

Hewlett Packard

Mike: “We were approached by Ivory, a London based agency, to animate conference sequences for their client Hewlett Packard.  We were due to fly out to Los Angeles before the pandemic struck but ended up doing a remote meeting instead.  The agency senior producer of the conference knew Folkestone, and chatted about Rennies on The Old High Street as one of his favourite shops.  So Folkestone has credibility, creative credibility, which is all good in our industry.”

Andy: “Lots of the conferences we create opening sequences for went online during the pandemic.  That was quite good in some ways for us.  We have good broadcasting pedigree with Mike having worked at Thames TV and Sky.  If people couldn’t travel to L.A. for the Hewlett Packard conference, then we could bring it to the world, online.  We’ve got new work coming out on the Discovery Channel, particularly the title sequence to The Chameleon Killer (Top Hat Productions) and also Channel 4’s Grand Designs House Of The Year (Boundless Productions).  We’ve got a good, varied client-base and Folkestone works for us.”

community collaboration

Mike: “What I love about the town is that you meet someone and they’re interesting, it’s serendipity, a chance meeting.  You get chatting and that’s just the start.  Each meeting is the beginning of a collaboration.  We’ve worked with voice-over artist Peter Cocks; recorded at Seaview Studios with Sophia and Tim.  You meet people and exchange cards; it’s what Soho used to be, and it’s happening on The Old High Street in Folkestone.  We try to avoid going to London now if we can, and if we can work this way here in Folkestone then we don’t need to.”

Create, work and live – The Creative Quarter
Connecting the Creative Community – East Cliff Creatives
Regenerating A Town Through Art – Creative Folkestone
Digital Office Space – The Glassworks

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