Steven Scott launched Bigmouth Audio back in 2013. The firm offers sound post for the animation and children’s media industries, providing quality dubbing and sound effects. Three years later, the company now exports its services to Canada, Finland, Singapore and the US, and is continuing to grow. BQ caught up with creative director Steven to hear how the company made it happen…
Steven Scott launched Bigmouth Audio in Spring 2013 to specialise in sound post for the animation and children’s media industries after realising that many producers working within animation, children’s and dayime television were not completely happy with their audio post suppliers.
A common feeling within the industry was that children’s "productions were not given the same level of attention and enthusiasm s other projects such as high end TV dramas of feature films."
Coupled with Steve’s interest in story telling via animation, and his expertise in audio production, Bigmouth Audio was born.
"At Bigmouth Audio we work closely with our animation and film production clients to help bring their characters to life, we help create believable worlds and environments and ultimately bring the extra 50% of emotion and story to the table that can only be achieved when great sound design meets outstanding visuals," explained Steve.
"Our services cover Voice Casting & Production, Sound Design, Foley & Original Music Composition."
The firm began exporting immediately to provide an English dubbing service for clients, and now three years on, is exporting to countries including Canada, Finland, Singapore and the USA.
"Gigglebug Entertainment in Finland approached us during our first year to provide these services and we have continued to work with them since," said Steve.
Bigmouth Audio now exports English language voice over production and English re-dubbing, as well as original music composition and sound design services across the globe.
"We are also working with a business partner in San Francisco to help us export our own I.P – an audio cartoon created with visually impaired children at its heart," adds Steve.
As well as this, the firm has also recently partnered with a company in Toronto, Junior Joe, which specialises in music for animation and children’s media- exclusively supplying their sound design services.
"Our main motivation for selling overseas was to tap into the market in Canada. Canada is currently a hub for animation production due to the very favourable tax breaks and government incentives available to producers.
"Given that this our target market we felt we needed to create a ‘route to market’ for Canada eventually partnering with Junior Joe," said Steve.
"We spent about 15 months looking for the best possible partner in the Toronto area and eventually met with Junior Joe in February 2016 while attending the Kidscreen Summit in Miami.
"Since then we have been slowly putting together the partnership and already have a few potential projects in the pipeline."
Along the way Steve and the team received support from UKTI and Creative Scotland several times helping them to attend a variety of international conferences, including the Kidscreen Summit.
The firm also received support from Scottish Enterprise on a trade mission to Toronto in 2014.
"I would say that help and advicr from Scottish Enterprise has made life easier for us overall and I guess having to spend time in places like Toronto, Miami and New York over the last few years wasn’t bad at all!"
However, Steve also points out that there isn’t really "anything easy about exporting."
"It’s a tough nut to crack and we’re still working on it! One of the biggest challenges is getting your company known in overseas markets and then physically having to be there. For us the best solution to that has been to partner up with a suitable company in your target export market rather than trying to go in alone into an already crowded market place."
Looking to the future Bigmouth Audio already have plans to emerge further into the US market.
"We are working with a company in San Francisco to help export our own I.P project and will also use this opportunity to try and export our production services. In 5 years time we see ourselves having a base in the USA, Canada and the UK," Steve explains.
With so much success already achieved, and big plans ahead, Steve offers a word of advice for any other businesses’ considering exporting.
"If you are a Scottish based company speak to Scottish Enterprise first. Be very ambitious with your expected results.
"Speak to UKTI as they often support international events and can provide advice, contacts and funding.
"Obviously be clear about why you are exporting and what makes your company unique, do plenty of market research and jump on a plane ever now and then – get out there and see your market, meet people and connect."
Exporting and international trade remain high on the Scottish Government’s economic growth agenda and the
Scottish Export Awards, in association with Scottish Enterprise, are about recognising the excellence in those emerging, wealth creating companies that are selling their products, services and expertise in scores of overseas markets.
To nominate or book your ticket for the awards, click here.