Alex was recently the subject of his own documentary, "Running to the Limits". He has a pretty incredible story, and has leveraged his experience to turn his hobby into a reality.
I’m a freelance film-maker – I do directing, editing, filming and producing of documentaries, corporate videos and smaller bespoke projects. My most recent documentary "Running to the limits" about marathon running was shown on Channel 4 last January.
From the project I’ve also ventured into motivational speaking and personal training. I've also started a triathlon club called Tri-linked.
I love the variety of the work I do, and no two days are the same. I’ve never been busier but as long as I enjoy what I’m doing in my working life I can’t complain. I get to meet some really interesting people, help change lives for the better and have also had the opportunity to travel around the world to some fascinating countries like Ethiopia and Kenya.
I made cups of tea at a post-production company and watched other people editing documentaries. I was bored out of my mind, and was constantly working on ideas to progress in the industry. I worked there for five long months. The one thing that it did teach me is that I never wanted to go back to doing that again.
I’d always wanted to work in film/TV since buying a video camera at university. It started as a hobby and has gone from there. I found that I was lucky enough to have some talent for it.
The moment I realized that I could turn my hobby into a reality was when I produced my first short film while doing an intensive film school course. It came out really well and was well received in film festivals. Being a director, cameraman and editor has really helped in the recession as companies are always looking to cut budgets.
I’ve been lucky but I believe that you make your own luck in life – get up, get out and do it.
The documentary that I made, “Running to the Limits”, was an inspirational one about marathon running. I used my own story as a 16 stone slob to see if I could progress to an international marathon standard. I wanted to put myself through the rigors of training to really understand first-hand what it took.
I begged, stole, and borrowed from anyone that would listen at the start of the project. Loads of people channelled their energy towards the project which really helped to get it off the ground. After a while I was able to attract a certain amount of sponsorship but the key was to do everything on a budget. I saved a huge amount by doing all the editing, producing, and PR myself. It’s hard work but you learn fast by throwing yourself in the deep end.
Producing a documentary without any initial funding was hard work but the key was to find a story that would be of real interest, especially to people outside of sport. I did some research and found out that there were very few good British runners competing today. 20 years ago there were hundreds. Was this linked to a change in UK society and the rise in obesity or simply the rise of East African running? As in life, things never quite turn out the way you plan, but fortunately for me this made for a far more interesting journey. To find out more please visit http://www.runningtothelimits.co.uk" rel="nofollow">www.runningtothelimits.co.uk
Worst: The thought that it might not work out. The rejections were tough too, and often criticism was hard to stomach – all this however made me far more determined to set about achieving my goals.
Best: Having the satisfaction that after so much hard work, it all paid off. There were so many points during "Running to the Limits" when it seemed destined to fail. It’s looking back at these most difficult periods that makes it feel that it was so worthwhile.
Marathon running books by http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Bruce+TUlloh&x=0&y=0" rel="nofollow">Bruce Tulloh and a documentary book called http://www.amazon.co.uk/Documentaries-Make-Them-Andy-Glynn/dp/1904048803/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1305542388&sr=8-1" rel="nofollow">Documentaries: And How to Make Them.
There is so much information out there - I love just coming across great ideas.