For this month’s member story, we interviewed Christine Preisig, a freelance journalist and videographer. We asked her about being an Echo member, her favourite Echo experience to date and her key learning moments during the pandemic.
Tell us a bit more about yourself and what do you do?
Hello! My name is Christine Preisig, I am a freelance journalist and videographer. Originally from Switzerland, I moved to London 12 years ago.
I used to work as an economist but gave this occupation up when my youngest child was born. I wanted to spend more time with my children and was looking for a job that gave me more flexibility. It was also a good opportunity for me to steer my professional path in a more creative direction. I’ve always been a visual thinker and like to work with my hands.
A few years into working as a freelance journalist I took a filmmaking class. I knew immediately that I had found something amazing there, something that encompasses many of my passions. That’s where my career as a videographer started.
I continued taking courses, worked on film projects for charities and on personal projects and started combining journalistic assignments with video elements until I felt experienced enough to make videos professionally.
The films I do now range from promotional videos to clips for social media, music videos, and also journalistic documentary pieces.
How long have you been part of the Echo community, and what first attracted you to join?
I joined Echo about three years ago when I started off making videos professionally. A friend of mine told me about it. I thought it would be a great way to gain experience working for clients with lots of different video needs. And it was!
We’re slowly heading towards the end of lock-down. Have you had to make any drastic changes due to the crisis, and what have been key learning moments for you?
Yes, the last year had brought a lot of changes – professionally, but also what my family life concerned. The fact that everything suddenly moved to virtual platforms created a higher demand for videos and I had the opportunity to work on some exciting larger projects. These jobs were often short notice and urgent. This was particularly challenging because schools were closed and the children at home all the time. My otherwise peaceful home office suddenly wasn’t so quiet anymore.
What’s been your favourite Echo experience to date?
I recently attended one of the monthly Echo Breakfast meetings. That was the first time I interacted with a wider group of Echo members and the team. Even though the meeting was over Zoom I felt a strong community spirit coupled with a refreshing sense of helpfulness and purpose. It was inspiring to hear other members talk about their businesses and to make new connections. I hope there will be an opportunity to meet up in person soon.
What are you offering on the Echo marketplace at the moment?
I’m offering help with creating short videos to promote a company or service, launch a product, an event, etc. You can also contact me if you need help with editing or advice for self-taping.
I’m also offering help with family and personal documentary video projects like family history videos, personal biographies, life stories, etc (see the answer to the next question).
Are you working on something new or exciting behind the scenes?
Yes, I am about to offer a new video service: Personal biography videos – a sort of moving and speaking photo album. I interview a person on video and record their personal story and family history. Together with old photos, films and mementos I create a beautiful life story film that can be treasured by future generations.
What do you love to do in your spare time when you’re not working on your business?
I’ve started a little making club with a friend. We try to meet up once a week to work on a craft project. At the moment, I’m into mould making and casting. It’s great fun experimenting with different materials and being really hands-on.
I also like going on long walks through the nearby marshlands, practising yoga and I love to cook and eat.
Another pastime of mine is pottering around. I’ve come to realise how inspiring and relaxing “doing nothing in particular” is for me. It’s the time I need to recharge and open up my mind to new ideas.
What was the last thing that inspired you? E.g. could be a podcast episode, talk, book, website, quote, anything you like…
I recently discovered a podcast: Everything is Alive. A host interviews objects – for example, Jennifer the newspaper, or Sean the subway seat. The host gets his suspects to open up and show us their point of view. The interviews are unscripted and full of funny moments, especially also because the creator and his collaborators never laugh, nor acknowledge the absurdity of what they’re doing.
After listening to lots of political podcasts about our worlds’ pressing problems, I really appreciated spending some time picturing the life of a paper towel dispenser.