26th September 2017
In pursuit of the Beautiful Truth
People talk a lot about purpose these days. Every company claims to have one. Sometimes what they say seems sincere; sometimes it doesn’t. In many cases it can come across as something pasted on from outside, a corporate aspiration dictated from above. But that’s not how purpose works. It doesn’t come from without; it’s a not a company slogan, a mission statement enforced from the top, or a brand identity drafted by an agency. A purpose is something that can only come from within – it defines what you do in the world, and explains why you do it.
We spent many years helping companies give voice to their sense of purpose, but it wasn’t until around two years ago that we began to properly consider our own. After 12 years of making films, we began to feel that we were beginning to lose sight of what had inspired us to make them in the first place – to the point where the future of our company was uncertain.
So we went back to the beginning. We looked at what had first brought us together, what we believed, and what we had always endeavoured to make. We began to work out what it was that we stood for, to find the words that expressed the integrity and honesty we’d tried to bring to the work we did, to our relationships with our clients, and to the audiences of our films. The process of introspection we embarked on uncovered a number of concepts and values that eventually coalesced into a simple but compelling idea: the Beautiful Truth.
The Beautiful Truth encapsulates our entire ethos. It expresses what we stand for inside and what we look for outside in everything we create. It resonates with our values, what we look for in the stories we tell, the people we work with, and the work we pursue. For us, it means stripping away the trappings of corporate identity, going beyond the brand name and the balance sheet, to find the human stories – the truth – at the heart of things.
A company is made up of lots of people. We aren’t just our jobs; we are all the hopes, fears, dreams, aspirations, challenges and experiences that we all have as humans. Whatever the brief we receive, whenever we set about creating a new piece of work, we look for what unites and inspires – the human connection. It isn’t always that easy to find. But the more you make the effort to see a human being first, before the company, the simpler it is to understand what they are really trying to achieve and the easier it is to create stories that are truly fascinating.
That means that, as a team, we are making films that tell real, relatable stories that stick with the viewer, engaging their minds and emotions. As individuals, it helps us have more passion for what we do and more compassion for each other. Rediscovering our purpose and defining the Beautiful Truth has brought meaning back to our business, and to our own stories as people.
Human stories have the power to change the world. If you focus on the differences that divide people you can never win. It’s too easy to have a stance on why this person is right and that person is wrong – that is what builds barriers. But if you focus on the universal, on what unites us, on the very best bits of what makes us human, the barriers start to fall. If we can do that – even in the smallest film we make – it can only be a good thing.