Happy Friday T&T’s Entrepreneurs!
We’re super happy to have a repository of unique and talented entrepreneurs to showcase on our blog. Their awesome work deserves to be highlighted. Today we get up close and personal with Kyle Stephen Owner and CEO of Second Floor Studios.
Let’s meet Kyle!
1. Tell us in 5 words who is Kyle Stephen.
Passionate,Leader,Creative, Visionary, Enigmatic
2. What is the genesis of your business? Why the name Second Floor Productions? How long have you been in business, how did you get started and why?
Second Floor Studios started off with me in ‘a room’ with my laptop in 2011. I didn’t have my own bedroom at the time but rather a place on the top bunk of my cousin’s bed. After losing my mother in 2009 I had been placed under the care of my uncle who saw me through secondary school up to entering the University of Trinidad and Tobago.
There I studied Animation and Digital Media Studies for two years having started the programme in 2010. Through my time in the course I picked up fairly quickly and started learning a lot of the tools, tricks and techniques in developing myself as an artist and animator and was on the hunt for becoming the best at what I did, trying my hand at a lot of things in the digital media world.
It was on one faithful day in 2011, coming to the end of my first year of studies, that I was on the Second Floor of the UTT John Donaldson campus sitting looking at the sunset. As the sun went down I realized that I didn’t want the sun to set on me and my life without making a change, bringing something new and revolutionary to the creative landscape of Trinidad and Tobago and by extension making my mark on the world. I forged the idea of a studio that would become the creative HUB of Trinidad and the Caribbean, and would go on to be a portal for creatives to the world.
It was then and there that I named it Second Floor Studios as it was the floor I was on and thought that since it started here I must always remember the moment. It started off as just an Animation company that dealt in doing simple graphic design and minimal motion graphic type work. As time went by and experience rolled in, I was involved in all forms of static and moving digital media content.
I realized that I had an eye for detail and loved not only animated films, but blockbuster movies! I loved the effects that one would see in hit films like Transformers or Avengers, and wanted to do that myself. In 2013 I embarked on the journey to transform the company from just a 2D animation and Graphics company, to a complete Animation and Visual Effects Production House that would come to offer a much wider variety of services, with special focus on creating CGI (computer generated Imagery) for cinema,film and television.
Second Floor’s services would come to be used in the engineering world, fashion world, education circuit and of course film. To date, we have been acknowledged as one of the top names in the Animation and VFX circuit, producing content of a truly remarkable quality and taking on projects with international exposure.
A lot of these projects are yet to be released however. The name however has a spiritual meaning to it talking about the parallel of man’s start in the physical and the final destination in the Spiritual, so to does the client idea start in the conceptual and finish in the Polished visual. As in avid believer in Christ, the business was based in and on him, and so a lot of what is constructed in the studio ties back to him in some way.
3. What are some of the services you provide?
Some of the services we provide are, 2D Animation, 3D animation, 3D Visual Effects, Editing, 3D previsualization, Compositing, Stop Motion, illustrative design, Motion Content Building for any type of Digital Media and a whole lot more
4. What are some of your milestones to date?
- Acceptance into the UTT Ustart Incubator
- Having the largest in house team of VFX artists, Animators, Concept Artists and Modelers grow from 1 to a total of a 10 person team.
- Completed the Jamieson Carnival 30 Second TV spot in 9 days and having it aired nation wide
- Struck partnerships with an Engineering company with Second Floor being the sole provider of Design, product build and promotional content, both static and in motion.
- Struck Partnership with a web development company providing visual content for built sites,apps, etc.
- Provided Web Design consultancy for the University of Trinidad and Tobago (TLC – The Learning Centre)
5. What are some challenges thus far?
Some challenges would be very simple.
– Client budgets versus desired work output
– Client lack of education of the field and the process behind the productions
– Dry spells (shortage of work)
– Tapping into certain areas of the market with specific focus on film productions etc.
6. What do you want more than anything in the world when it comes to business?
I want Second Floor Studios to become the “go to name” in the Caribbean, and to become the premier brand associated with film productions and Visual effects, opening up opportunities for persons to come to us to learn and work with us. This would then become the beacon of hope for the creative industry in Trinidad and the Caribbean, as the SFS name would attract foreign business.
7. What is your advice to other entrepreneurs?
Do what you Love and Love what you do. You really won’t ‘work’ a day in your life if you approach your career and your business like this. Hurdles will always be there, but developing yourself and having a strong support behind you makes all the difference, be it a team who becomes your family or maybe even a family who becomes your team. Chase the dream with relentless passion and keep fueling the drive to success and happiness by only surrounding yourself with persons who will build you up and keep the dream alive!
As usual, feel free to share and shoot us a comment below and let us know if you found this blog post useful!
Until next time. Have a great weekend.
T&T’s Entrepreneurs Team