Olivia Olley became a Producer and Partner at Good Eye Deer in 2012, and has seen the company grow to be a nationally recognised video production house. In her time, the company has won 12 national and international awards for brand films, corporate videos, educational series and TV commercials.
Olivia is a Creative Producer and is typically across all projects at Good Eye Deer. She has a nice mix of approachability and tenacity, loves to laugh, and is a great collaborator. Olivia is also passionate about community. Hence, she is the Co-Founder of the Production Hub, a luxurious co-working office for sole traders and small business owners of all professions.
- Tell us a little bit about your career.
My career was started when I was 19. I somehow swindled a job as a Stagehand at the Sydney Opera House and that’s where I worked on really big productions; operas and Sydney Theater Company bits. Then, it just kind of rolled on.
I found myself in London working as a Runner at a post-production house. That’s when I really knew that film was my bag, so to speak. After London, I moved to Melbourne and I went to university and studied different types of media specialising in screenwriting. I then graduated with an honors in documentary.
When I left that world, I was doing documentary. I hired Gavin Banks to be my Cinematographer and then everything changed from there, and that’s how I moved to Newcastle and worked on Good Eye Deer as a video production company with him.
- Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
I don’t know if I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I don’t think I even really understood what an entrepreneur was. I guess I found myself running the business and opening up the Production Hub, and now looking even further as to how we can expand Good Eye Deer. I think I came to this place through a constant drive towards fulfilling my own creative needs and my own ambitions, but I think it’s more about just seeing something you can do and you can hold onto and running with it.
I also had a bit of luck thrown my way. My partner had Good Eye Deer, and the business was at that point where he was getting larger contracts. So, when I joined in, we were able to turn it from a sole trader business into a company. It was really because of the work that he’d done and then the power of us together that enabled us to take it that step forward. Then, once we took a couple of big risks with the business, we saw that with a large amount of determination, you can achieve anything.
- What is one action or task you ensure you incorporate into your diary each week?
Every single Wednesday I catch up with my friend for breakfast before work. It’s something that we’ve only just started this year. If the weather actually allows it, which it hasn’t of late, we will go down to the beach, have a coffee, have a chat, and ground ourselves halfway through the week. It’s an important date.
- What do you attribute your success to?
Definitely collaboration. Film is something that requires a lot of people, a lot of hands on deck to make it work. Without being a team player, without collaborating with others, without taking risks with others to achieve an idea, it’s really hard to achieve things. There’s this famous saying that if you want to go far, you go with many. If you want to go a short distance, you go alone. I think I’ve stuffed up that quote, but the essence of what that means really speaks to me; the power of many. I love collaborating with others.
- Which local entrepreneur do you find inspiring?
I find so many people inspiring. Gordon Whitehead, who a start-up digital Consultant. I think he’s a great inspiration, because he genuinely is passionate and interested in helping start-ups to come along.
Shane Burrell, who has Final Post and the INNX hub. He has a really beautiful and passionate way that he operates his business and view the world.
There’s a Screenwriter in town who has started up a few different inspiring businesses. The thing that she’s doing at the moment is called Bleed for You, which is a subscription-based tampon business where 50% of the profits go to women in impoverished situations to provide them with medical, education or any form of support. That’s what I’m inspired by; specifically by Bleed for You because it’s a local person looking at a worldwide issue and putting their hand up and saying ‘I can contribute’ or ‘I can help women in the world’. I think that’s phenomenal.
There’s also Lara Lupish who is running Façon, which is an international standard style magazine. I guess I’m inspired by people doing things on a super ambitious, global scale, but who do it with passion and heart.