To recap from last year, Skymind Studios, based in Plymouth, was founded in 2009 where Jacqueline and her partner at the time, worked on creating a platform specifically for photographers and videographers. It was never an aim of theirs to get into the events industry, Jacqueline had always been passionate about anything video or photographic related, and she was always happy to undertake any opportunity that was presented to her. In 2010, Jacqueline worked as a lifestyle worker for the charity Livability where she met with disabled people to find activities and sports that they could do.
Whilst still working for the life-changing charity, Jacqueline decided to create an event to raise money for Livability. With her skills in videography and her multiple connections, she created her own music event where she organised everything, right the way down to the photography, sound and graphic design. The event was a huge success which opened a door for Jacqueline that she had not previously thought about. Event after event later, she has captured the people of Plymouth into a world of sound and media.
In 2018, Jacqueline and her partner unfortunately split, whereby Jacqueline took the sole ownership of the company. Her mission was to grow the company even more by branching out into new platforms as well as learning to work alongside other people in her industry.
Adapting to a huge change such as this can be very challenging, however, Skymind Studios have proven to themselves and others in the industry that this is possible. The events industry was the first to be put on hold and the last to reopen therefore it is to no one’s surprise that Skymind has been affected negatively. Part of being adaptable is learning to try new things and that is what Jacqueline and her team have done, by starting up podcasts and live streaming.
Ryan Bailey has been a key member of Skymind Studios since 2018. Ryan was 15 when his company ‘Unity Production’ first joined Skymind. Yes, you heard that right. Ryan founded ‘Unity Production’ in April, 2017 when he was only 14 years old. Having always had an enthusiastic outlook on music and sound, he joined his father’s band at the age of 10, as well as a theatre group in school where he connected with lots of like-minded students. Having a talent like Ryan’s and discovering it at such a young age has meant he has had a huge amount of amazing opportunities come his way, for example, the chance to start up his own company. Unity Production formed through Ryan’s love of sound, music and theatre, and to enable multi-media companies such as Skymind to hire the whole of Unity and receive all of the services they provide.
With the help of sound engineer Ryan, two podcasts will be launching from the beginning of January 2021, Music & Mayhem which will consist of bands and musicians who play and talk about their lives and how they started in the music industry. The other is called ‘Tech Pod’ which will include ultimately anything tech-related like pyrotechnics and computer game developers to name a few; they also have four other podcasts set to launch in mid-2021.
Changing with the times and the current pandemic, Jacqueline and Ryan have decided to start live streaming their events as a way to make it covid-secure with absolutely no risk to paying customers. Skymind’s live streams will all be edited live by her and the sound is all managed by Ryan. The customer can either pay for the live event and stream it on any device or they can watch is a few days later after it has been uploaded to the internet.
Skymind Studios are starting the new year off strong, because as of January 2021, Jacqueline will have fully moved into her own office located at ‘The Huxley Hub’ Huxley Close, Plympton. This exciting new change for Skymind Studios means that generating ideas and discussing new events will be a lot easier to accomplish in the meeting rooms – not to mention a positive step for the company.
Planning for a hopeful 2021 requires lots of space for ideas to bounce around the room. Their first big event of the year was unfortunately cancelled in 2020 called Flick Fest. OM had the pleasure of interviewing Jacqueline about Flick Fest last year where we learnt all about the exciting film showcase. Flick Fest is an informal film event where independent filmmakers from all over the world, come together to showcase their masterpieces in a relaxed setting. This year they are back and will be joined by a very special guest, Pod Pad Studios who create replicas of props from blockbuster films, such as Jurassic Park type dinos as well as the Batmobile from the ‘Dark Knight’ trilogy. This event is not to be missed and should be in the diary of every movie buff. Flick Fest is provisionally planned for 8th-9th April 2021 but it may change due to venue choices or pandemic restrictions.
Park Fest will be in its 3rd year in 2021 and the event becomes stronger and stronger each year. Park Fest is an unusual mix of live music and sporting events; with a main stage and chill out stage, food traders and sports, fitness experts. Jacqueline’s kind-hearted and generous personality has meant that she donates the sponsorship money from Park Fest to raise money for The Brain Cancer charity, following the loss of her father who was a keen sportsman and marathon runner in his spare time. Within the festival, there is also a big effort made to raise awareness about skin cancer, which her father suffered from. Sun cream stations are dotted all over Devonport Park where the event is held to remind people to stay safe when out in the sun.
These are just a few of the exciting events that Skymind Studio’s has in store for the people of Plymouth in 2021. Skymind and Unity hope that with the advance in vaccines, there is hope for the events industry this year, however, they have also tailored their services to provide us with virtual events and podcasts.
The most important piece to take from 2020 has been how Skymind Studios are able to adapt very well to changing circumstances. The annual Union Street Party was one of few events able to go ahead in 2020. For ten solid years, Skymind Studios have managed the sound on all three stages at the Union Street Party organised by ‘Nudge Community Builders’. With help from Ryan in recent years, they earned their spot managing the main stage at the 2020 street party. Sceptical as to how this would work given the restrictions, Skymind had to completely change the way they were used to running these stages and essentially start from scratch. Things that were never a problem, became huge obstacles, obstacles that Jacqueline and her team kept overcoming and resolving. There were many rules to abide by for example, the volume of the sound, no dancing, social distancing and not being able to share microphones. Despite all of this, they managed to pull it off with great success, even more so when they found out there had been a total of zero Covid-19 cases from the event.
During the period of the two lockdowns and the time usually spent planning and organising their events, Jacqueline and Ryan have both kept themselves busy, pursuing what they love and improving their skill set. For Jacqueline, she worked on developing her skill of graphic design – by using the time to teach herself new techniques on many different types of Adobe software. Ryan is fortunate to have his very own home studio where he records and edits his work. During the lockdown, Ryan noticed his love for sound engineering was becoming stronger than his love for musical instruments, therefore, he decided to re-do his studio to allow for more space to produce and edit sound on his mixing desk.
Both Jacqueline and Ryan work simultaneously with each other as well as helping each other, as and when is needed. Ryan spoke in the interview about how Jacqueline is the only person he can trust with his mixing desk, and Jacqui agreed the same about her desk. Having a caring and trusting friendship like theirs in the workplace not only helps their events to go smoothly and successfully, it also helps them to have a positive way of life which is reflected by their work ethic.
Skymind Studios has undoubtedly been affected by the pandemic but in a way, it has made them stronger, able to prove themselves as a team as well as a company, and it has made the future of Skymind bright and optimistic as they are able to overcome huge obstacles and still perform admirably. The team at OM wish Skymind Studios a positive year and hope their events and other ventures can proceed with
Email: skymind email@example.com