1Tell us a bit about your business and what you do.
I head up the creative work across all the visual content. Culture Trip is a global startup operating in travel, media and entertainment. With offices in London, New York and Tel Aviv, it features stories that reveal what is special and unique about a place, its people and its culture. In-house creative teams together with a global network of more than 300 freelance creators produce location based inspiration from around the world, including articles, videos, photography, illustration and animation.
Founded by former academic psychiatrist Dr. Kris Naudts, Culture Trip's website attracts approximately 18M monthly unique visitors with 2B+ video views in the last two years alone. The app has been downloaded 2M+ times. With a social media reach of 8M+, Culture Trip brings the world to everyone, and in doing so, brings us all closer together.
2Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2019 Muse Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?
We’re very proud of the creativity displayed by all our teams, particularly in visual media.
The awards have recognised a range of our work, from longer form video series, like Beyond Hollywood, which was released at Oscars time to highlight other, less-travelled but unique film scenes around the world, to single photo essays with immersive and atmospheric imagery, like Valencia’s Las Fallas celebrations, which captured a huge public festival with a sense of intimacy and from a unique, dream-like perspective.
In animation, we aim to tell great stories in a visually rich way, like Born and Raised in NYC, where we follow the ashes of Maureen as she rides the Coney Island Cyclone, a rollercoaster she always wanted to, but didn’t get to ride while she was alive. It creates a sense of a place through a sensitive, people focused story, with an inspirational tone.
3What was the biggest challenge with this project?
The challenge with most of our projects is to represent a locals’ perspective and retain that authenticity of voice in a work appealing to a global audience. We do that through our network of creators around the world and a lot of research.
4How has winning an Award developed your practice/career?
We’re really pleased to have picked up nine Muse Awards as the standard is always consistently high. The recognition is great for our young and talented content teams. It has already spurred us on to bigger and more creatively diverse projects.
5If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring Muse Award submitter, what advice would you give them?
I would say keep a distinctive voice, concentrate on telling really strong stories and add multiple layers where you can. The projects you’re most passionate about are the ones that will usually resonate the best.
6What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?
I think the best way to succeed creatively is to find the right collaborators and surround yourself with diverse perspectives. A bit of creative conflict, based on a foundation of trust and empathy, goes a long way. If everyone around you is nicely agreeable you’ll get nice work but not great creative work.
7Do you have anything else you would like to add to the interview?
The best piece of advice I ever got was to do more and more work, and to make every project the best it can be. Even projects that call for limited creativity can be a chance to push expectations.