Shelley grew up in Australia on the Gold Coast- which meant that she grew up surrounded by incredibly beautiful nature. From a very young age, she loved being socially active and she believes being brought up in a place where she was constantly out and about had a lot of influence on that. While everything was beautiful on the outside, her family was going through some real hardships in terms of health and finances. However, with a strong family, mutual love, and understanding, they made it through every struggle which helped shape Shelley’s kind yet strong personality.
Before working as a film producer and running her own company, she first started her career as a Dancer and a Singer, mostly backing for artists at tours and events. She also worked in Social Media Management and Marketing followed by Account Management and Creative Writing before she fully dedicated herself to the film industry. Shelley worked in various different film production roles before starting her own venture with her partner Tom.
In the beginning, Shelley did not see herself as someone owning her own business- while she had always been creative, she never thought that she had much strength to analyze the financial side of things (which she thought was essential in running a business). With time, she realized that a lot of what she was already doing was transferable skills into being a Producer; she was managing portfolios/ different budgets, pitching to clients along building and maintaining relationships. “One day, Tom came to me and said that he wanted us to start a business together. At first, I was like I can’t run my own business!- then he just listed off to me all the skill sets I needed which I was already doing most of- and I was like oh! I can do that!” she says.
With this, they set up their own production company called VIEW 35 FILMS, four years ago.
VIEW 35 FILMS is a film production company that specializes in Films and Branded content. To date, they have produced a host of films, commercials, still shoots, music videos and brand integrated content.
“We know we have a great responsibility with our venture- the entertainment industry has such constant global outreach and people are shaped and molded by so much of what they watch and we spend so much time now watching tv and film (whether it’s a healthy amount or not). But the point is, we can learn through film, we can be moved, shaped, inspired, and challenged. We want people to feel uplifted and though sometimes we feel it’s important to tell stories that have heartbreak, we also want to offer a way through it- a way forward or a way to turn things around. So that is how we want to help people on screen,” she says.
Before venturing into the industry, Shelley really used to worry about how people perceived her with a bubbly personality in a rushed environment. As well as being a newbie who was just carving out her career; she felt she would have to work harder to fully make someone trust her and show that her bubbliness didn’t take away from her dedication or knowledge in her areas of strength. However, she was never surprised or disheartened by this challenge because it appeared like a great opportunity to just learn how to do one’s job well whilst staying true to who you are and your values- for her it was a tough challenge but a rewarding one as well.
Talking about her achievements, she says: “We had a project premier through British Vogue in 2019 as well as having our films get into some terrific Oscar-qualifying film festivals. We have also had multiple Vimeo staff picks for our films and I think just having publications like VOGUE and Vimeo believe in your work, gives you a huge boost for your confidence when you have put blood sweat, and tears into something that you love. Vimeo has been such a wonderful supporter for our films & things like that really matter and make you so grateful. Also, we have built a really terrific community on our YouTube channel which has over 12,000 subscribers now, and honestly just reading some of the comments on there can get us through some of the tough days. One of our films, in particular, is about grief, and having people come to the comments and share their stories with one another has meant that it’s become almost like a support network in some ways. Things like that are really what it’s all about and why we make films!”
Shelley believes that one must never limit themselves and never think that one is not capable of anything. Sometimes, we all need to just keep trying a few things until we find where the shoes fit best without cutting into our heels- because once we find one thing that we are good at or what makes us smile, we just need to keep working to find a way that we can practice and grow into that thing until we get to a place where you see our own capabilities and begin to thrive in them. As a woman, she knows it can be challenging how we can sometimes feel like there are limits that get put on us. However, instead of seeing it as a challenge, Shelley believes that we should continue to let it propel us forward. She quotes a line said by a good friend:
“It’s not about proving people wrong but it’s about proving the people that believe in you- right.”