Sometimes businesses set out with goals that are much closer to the heart, and this week’s Business Spotlight showcases one such business. We’d like to introduce to the stage, Microdot Films.
Dundee company, Microdot Films, founded by Daniel Ogierman (23), aims to educate and raise awareness of substance misuse, while challenging stereotypes and perceptions, with film being the company’s implement of choice. Microdot prides itself on the human element to their films, listening to the people at the heart of the issues, and this approach is the result of Daniel having a prominent story to tell.
Daniel sadly lost his eldest brother to a drugs overdose, and decided to use his film making talents, which he was studying at university, to try and come to terms with his grief and understand the tragedy. Through filming and interviewing drug addicts, Daniel realised that not only was it helping him through the grieving process, but that film making was a powerful tool to explore the issues surrounding drug abuse. Daniel, who is also also on the board of Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs, came across David Graham Scott’s work online and the pair realised they had the same goals in mind, with this meeting forming the birth of Microdot Films.
First Port provided funding for the business start up, and Dundee Alcohol and Drug Partnership (ADP) provided funding to run workshops with adults who were recovering from substance abuse, to create a series of short films about the subject, contributing largely to their own recovery, and following this success, Perth ADP have followed suit. Microdot also delivers training and works in partnership with other organisations aiming to provide voluntary and employment opportunities for individuals.
However, Daniel and David have never taken their foot off the gas as they drive Microdot forward. Daniel adds:
“David and I are always thinking about new film ideas but we also understand that making a film isn’t enough. We are both committed to using our work for education and training purposes and as a way to engage with people, taking them through a creative process in our workshops so that they can learn new skills and build confidence to aid employment opportunities.”
With Microdot’s reputation for ‘action’ (excuse the pun! (don’t get this)), these ideas quickly take shape. Microdot Films are also producing a project with the NHS about young parents, have recently travelled to Thailand to film for the charity East-West Detox about the Thamkrabok Monastery Treatment and Recovery Centre, and have just received funding for a feature length documentary looking at alternative drug treatments. Figure8 Consultancy, and Enterprise North East Trust, are two companies that have benefitted from Microdot training, providing engaging and educational advice around drugs and alcohol. Without also mentioning the upcoming projects in the pipeline, it’s clear that Daniel and David have been very busy indeed!
As well as the desire to educate and raise awareness that has ignited this company, Daniel also acknowledges the support that Business Gateway also offered in helping Daniel and David take their passions, skills and ideas and sculpt these into Microdot Films:
“We couldn’t have got to this stage without the advice and support from Business Gateway. Knowing that you can tap into business knowledge for free is invaluable and has allowed me to not only gain more confidence, but ensure we’re on the right path. My adviser has also helped us to make important contacts that are having a positive impact on the business.”
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