Features

Sweet FA 2020 Winner: Nick Kyriakides

Nick worked on a project for Cisco, which was a celebration of talented artists in Switzerland performing live for the front line health workers during Covid-19. With each iteration, Nick helped tell and present this important story of celebrating the ones that put their lives on the line every day, paired with technology to make this happen all virtually with Cisco's platform. Nick was incredibly professional, patient, caring and creative with the project, making their vision possible to spread this positive message.

Not only has Nick pivoted his business to embrace the new reality we are currently experience, he has also helped many other freelancers to make progress in their businesses.

We met with Nick to see how he feels about being a Sweet FA 2020 winner and to learn a little more about him.

How does it feel to be a Sweet FA 2020 winner?

It feels pretty incredible! I really cannot believe it, especially after reading all of the incredible kindness and efforts from freelancers in this year's category. I would like to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart who voted and to Shib and the Yuno Juno team for putting the Sweet FA together, even during difficult times.

It feels pretty incredible! I really cannot believe it
Why did you offer your services for free?

Well, I was really surprised that during the COVID crisis that there were many freelancers and friends of mine that didn’t qualify for furlough pay. They were forgotten and I wanted to help. I reached out to friends and the freelance community asking them ‘what is the greatest problem they face as a freelancer’ and it was unanimous that they all wanted to find clients.

In between client work, I sat down and wrote down all of the things I’ve been doing to successfully get clients and put this into my top #10 freelancer tips, including my tips on how to work remotely. I then created various tools to help freelancers to price themselves and their projects better, to brief clients quicker to jumpstart their editing and after effects projects and so much more.

This all then led onto creating an online course for freelancers to help them find and win clients over.

Let's learn some more about you:

What do you do?

I’m a senior post-production artist, I work as a video editor, visual fx artist, compositor, motion graphics artist, colourist and retoucher. Bit of a mouthful, so here’s a video that sums this up in 60 seconds

How did you become a Motion Graphics / Video Editor?

I studied a film, animation, photography, web design course and found I was always drawn to film, visual FX and story-telling. My first ever official project after uni was a ‘48 hour short film competition’ to write, shoot, compose, edit and deliver’ which we ended up winning. That gave me the confidence to pursue filmmaking and so I developed my post-production skills and got my lucky break on a couple of big-label music videos, then short films, commercials, broadcast and social content.

We've worked with Nick for a while and have always found him to be an esteemed professional with an incredible work ethic. We really enjoy working with Nick and his detailed approach to every project.
Tom Woodall, Head of Post Production at Coda
How long have you been freelancing?

I’ve been a freelancer for over 12 and a half years now. I came straight from University into being freelance and haven’t looked back ever since.

Why did you decide to go freelance?

My two core values at work are freedom and creativity. I felt freelancing was the best path to allow me to choose which projects I’m passionate about and which clients I want to collaborate with. This, with the flexibility of managing my time and working with a massive variety of genres, talented teams and companies is really gratifying.  

What's the best thing about freelancing?

The best thing about being freelance is being your own boss, choosing when you want to go on holiday and when you want to work  (talking to the mirror asking for days off is always fun). Also, the freedom to work with a plethora of clients and artists that you may not typically get to work within one set company, this is a real gem in the freelance world.

I also love the artist community, with so much inspiration out there now, there’s always something new to learn and push your limits. The rate of growth in technology and tools we have to create high-end stories and visuals is all available to us now, more than ever, so it’s our job as artists to use them and create something impactful.  

What's the hardest thing about freelancing?

The hardest thing about being freelance is having to make tough decisions; when you have two project offers on for the same dates, and having to say that difficult word…'no’. However, I believe closing some doors, opens new ones elsewhere, and being a freelancer is also about building that intuition and trusting you’ll make the right decisions that aren’t always influenced on what has more financial gain. Learning to say no and trusting your intuition to make the right choice is really a craft that’s grown over the years.  

What's one thing no one ever told you about freelancing you wished you'd known at the beginning?

That half of freelancing is skill the other half is about the relationships you form with co-workers and clients.
How much having 'business sense’ would have helped to go into freelancing. Having known some fundamentals in branding, finance and working on yours and your businesses values, would give anyone a head start into the game and pathe the way forward.

How has YJ helped you as a freelancer?

YunoJuno has really enabled me to make new connections with clients, agencies and post houses that I never would have had the opportunity to work with previously. The platform has introduced me to some of my favourite clients, working on projects that are seen worldwide. Having been shortlisted for projects is a great feature, as you can easily see when and how long the project is, where the clients based and a description of the skillset and brief, everything you need to know to take the job!

When you’re so caught up in your current work, it’s challenging to find the time to network, create new leads, quote clients and dig through multiple platforms. YunoJuno is my go-to source for work, it’s changed the game for our industry in a big way and I can’t wait to see what they have next in store!

Can you tell me about a project you're proud to have worked on?

A project I’ve been particularly proud to have worked on is the official Men’s Tennis Masters commercial for ATP which was shown at the O2 arena and broadcasted nationwide, working with International athletes, that was pretty cool! Although I like to see each project as my kids, it’s difficult to choose a ‘favourite’, so I’ve aimed to showcase some of the main campaigns in this short video here:

What advice would you give to someone who wanted to become a Motion Graphics / Video Editor?

I would say this applies to any role in freelancing, that it’s 50% skill, 50% personality. You can be incredibly talented at your craft although you will be far more successful if you have integrity, know how to problem solve and work well with people. Whether they’re a client or a team member, think about why you work with certain people, what is it about them that makes you chose them over the rest?

Check out the 100k Freelancer Club where I talk about my journey as a freelancer. You can find the Podcast on Apple or SPOTIFY.

If a client was reading this, why should they hire you?

In a nutshell, I care. I pride myself in delivering incredible service, in the quality of work I do, encompassing creativity, enjoyment, clear-communication and over a decade of experience in multi-disciplinary roles. Being a generalist-specialist in post, with the breadth and depth of knowledge of each and every aspect of a post production workflow. Having worked in almost every genre of film, I have a wealth of experience and inspirations to draw from.

YunoJuno also crowned me 'Freelancer of the year' for Film and Motion in 2018 and now this in 2020, so that’s got to count for something, right? 😉

I have now worked with Nick over the course of two projects now and would say that his contribution to each project really drove their levels of success. He was (and is) always on hand to help, regardless of whether it's a big ask, or a passing favour. What I've found particularly helpful is Nick's ability to propose different routes around solving creative problems. Always reliable and enthusiastic, Nick also has great determination to get the job done whilst also delivering high quality work.
Alex Mills, Senior Account Manager and Content Manager

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Meet Nick

Nick is a senior post-production artist that specialises in editing, visual fx, motion GFX, compositing, retouch and grading. An Apple-certified trainer in Final Cut Pro 7, Final Cut Pro X, with 12+ years experience in the Adobe range, predominantly After Effects, Premiere and all aspects of a post workflow.

With an extensive portfolio and experience in Video, TV and Film, having had the privilege to collaborate with some of the worlds biggest brands in all genres.

In a nutshell, I care. I pride myself in the delivering incredible service, in the quality of work I do, in encompassing creativity, enjoyment, clear-communication and over a decade of experience in multi-disciplinary roles. Being a generalist-specialist in post, with the breadth and depth of knowledge of each and every aspect of a post production workflow. Having worked in almost every genre of film, I have a wealth of experiences and inspirations to draw from.

Nick Kyriakides, Freelance Senior Post-Production Artist
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