Entrepreneur Spotlight series: Jonathan Horne, co-founder and creative director, MediaNerd

By Sarah Shields, Executive director, direct and channel sales, Dell

Passion is the basis of every successful business venture, and particularly so in the creative industries. It was this passion that led to the founding of production startup MediaNerd. Specializing in film, photography, illustration and sound design, MediaNerd focuses on creating unique videos that communicate effectively to the viewer.

I spoke with Jonathan Horne co-founder and creative director, to discuss how MediaNerd began, the challenges faced along the way, and how they aim to install flair, creativity and individuality into every project they create.

Sarah Shields: What inspired the creation of MediaNerd? 

Jonathan Horne: MediaNerd evolved several years ago after we met filming a voluntary charity film. It soon became apparent we enjoyed working together, shared a passion for all things media and the positive feedback we received from other films encouraged us to establish a business that became MediaNerd.

Our team embodies the company’s unique name. Members are ‘nerdy’ in their areas of specialty of film production – Villu loves his cameras, James is nerdy about capturing the perfect sound and I am partial to high quality film. Customers love our expertise, professionalism and the energy we bring to their projects. Ultimately, MediaNerd strives to produce high-end films affordably.

Shields: What does MediaNerd offer that fills a gap in the market?

Horne: Films are one of the most powerful mediums of communication. We notice too many companies producing mediocre films; films lacking flair, creativity and not finished to high standards. It’s so noticeable when something has been made with passion and excellence, because it stands out and that’s what we’re about. We want to support customers to harness the full potential that well-produced films offer when promoting their business, product or service. We support any business, from startup to global companies with excellent stories, visuals and audio.

Shields: You provide a range of services; can you explain how you tailor individual concepts to each client and how the process works?

Horne: At our core MediaNerd is a film production company. However, we are also nerdy about photography, illustration, graphic and sound design.

For the most part, each company that approaches us aims to communicate a message, story or idea. We take time to understand what is key to that business, then we use our nerdy experience to bring that story to life.

Shields: What have you found to be the best method to growing your customer-base?

Horne: One of the best pieces of advice we received as a new company was to develop the networks we already had. We were shocked to see we were able to list over a hundred contacts and businesses when we wrote them down. It was then about developing those relationships, and showing how we could help. We have maintained customers and have developed further relationships through the work we have produced and the high standards that we’ve set.

Shields: If you could go back, what advice would you give yourself at the beginning?

Horne: Everything takes longer and costs more than you think it will, so budget carefully and set realistic timelines

Shields: What’s been your biggest challenge to date?

Horne: Like many small and new businesses, cash flow is our biggest challenge. We have worked hard to build the company without loans or debts, but we’ve found that working with large corporations with standard payment terms of 60-90 days can be challenging when balancing existing and future production costs, salaries and general business costs.

Shields: What are your future plans for MediaNerd?

Horne: We want to establish ourselves as the best media production company to work with. We pride ourselves on quality and excellence so we will continue to build on that and develop our business through our reputation. We hope to branch out into other types of films too. Last year we were fortunate to spend time in South America filming for a drug and alcohol rehabilitation charity. We came across so many fascinating people and stories, we decided that one day we would like to make a documentary. We want to use films to tell other people’s stories.


You can check out MediaNerd on Twitter: @MediaNerdLtd.

About the Author: Power More