Portadown man Christopher Hanvey is currently taking London by storm - and has just been given Sir Richard Branson’s seal of approval!
Christopher, a past pupil of Craigavon Senior High School, moved to London back in 2001 to study drama at the Guildford School of Acting. Since then, he has taken on various roles - both on screen and on stage - and turned his hand to writing and directing.
“I trained as an actor and was doing really well,” Christopher shares. “But, the year I graduated, I started to write plays and produce them in London.”
Christopher founded his own company, SHOTS.BY.HANVEY, four years ago and began producing short films as well as producing unique styles of photography.
“For me, it’s been about educating myself about the industry and how it works,” explains the 33 year old. “I have a core group who work with me, and I’m usually behind the camera.”
It was through his recent collaboration with a California-born musician, Mathewson - a project named ‘A Call to Love’ - that Christopher came to the attention of Sir Richard Branson’s ‘Virgin Start Up’ company. The company provides funding and support for hopeful entrepreneurs, and recently chose SHOTS.BY.HANVEY as their StartUp of the Week - giving Christopher a £12,000 boost:
“Virgin support emerging companies and we’ve been working together for a few months now, coming up with business plans. They like my work, and are really keen to back the company - which is great! It’ll help me in the long term - I plan to build the company, and already have a couple of feature films ready to direct!
“‘A Call to Love’ came about with Mathewson, who wanted to release 3 songs as an E.P, but I had the idea of using all 3 songs for one video - creating one narrative story. It’s unique.”
Christopher recognises that the music industry is evolving drastically and is keen to move with the changes: “People need visuals more than ever. Artists like Rihanna and Sia are gaining attention with their music videos - musicians are fighting to engage with today’s audience.”
Although he has lived in London for 14 years now, Christopher is quick to acknowledge his roots.
“I attended Donna Whitten’s School of Dance and Jacquie Keegan for speech and drama - that certainly set me on the path to what I’m doing. London has been amazing, but home’s home - and it made me.”
Find Christopher’s project at www.acalltolovemovie.com and the campaign at www.kickstarter.com/projects/shotsbyhanvey/a-call-to-love