Newcastle University entrepreneurs launch film production company

Masters graduates Vikas Kapil and Craig Hawkes have launched DocYOUmentary from Gateshead International Business Centre

Craig Hawkes and Vikas Kapil
Craig Hawkes and Vikas Kapil

A pair of young entrepreneurs who met during a university lecture have launched their own unique take on filmmaking services.

Vikas Kapil and Craig Hawkes, both 28-year-old graduates of Newcastle University, started DocYOUmentary Films in March this year, with seed funding from a family member.

Initially targeting the wedding invitations market, the Gateshead-based duo are offering keepsake films based on ordinary people’s lives.

With a £15,000 investment in film equipment the business has successfully been marketed through Facebook and Google.

Indian-born Vikas, who graduated with a masters in Creative Writing, said the pair had married their two respect passions - filmmaking and storytelling - to create a business.

Vikas said: “We were helped in setting up by Rise Up, which is a campaign designed to develop entrepreneurialism in students. With advice and guidance from the programme, we have chosen to concentrate on the wedding invitation market.

“The response so far has been really encouraging. Next month we’re taking part in a major wedding fair at The Sage Gateshead where we plan to promote ourselves in the sector.

“We’re a relatively young business so our efforts so far have been in slowly building custom - it takes a while to establish yourself in this sort of space.”

DocYOUmentary Films has taken advantage of incentives from Gateshead Council to take up start-up space in the International Business Centre.

“Our aim is to tell the story of normal people who wouldn’t otherwise be in the spotlight. A biographical film or documentary should not be a reserve of the famous few, and our idea is to bring that possibility to people - at an affordable price,” explained Vikas, who quit his job at a multinational engineering firm to pursue his creative urges.

Whether it is for a memoir, invitation, or promotion, DocYOUmentary spend up to a day with their subjects, crafting a story which is produced to cinema standard.

Vikas added: “The technology is fantastic now. We can get a very high quality film quite economically.

“Craig is the technical know-how behind the business - he likes crafting films and creating the product. I like storytelling process and bringing that to life through film.”

The pair are now focussing on growing sales in the wedding market before branching out to offer other services.

Next month Vikas is joining the North East Chamber of Commerce on their market visit to India, with the view to growing DocYOUmentary in the rapidly developing economy.


David Whetstone
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