Chris — 1Fall Entertainment

Australian and New Zealand wrestling Facebook and youtube show made possible by the students and volunteers of RMITV. We got the chance to speak to 1Fall Entertainment founder Christopher Bell about his charter to train and entertain.

Could you tell me about your business?
Our mission statement at 1Fall Entertainment is basically to train and entertain – training people to get jobs in media, and the entertainment factor is the live performances and events. The medium we’ve chosen to do that is wrestling. People find that a bit strange – but as it is, wrestling has sports filming, interview style filming, and short film style. These are three mediums that most people in Victoria and Australia are looking for when they want someone to go into television for AFL, news, current affairs, and short films. There’s a short film being made every day in Melbourne.
Where did you get the idea for 1Fall Entertainment?
When I was young, I never wanted to be a wrestler but I wanted to be the guy that plays the entrance music. That was why I got into audio engineering and all the backstage stuff.
I guess it was also born out of being in the national wrestling scene for 18 years, so I already had the contacts. It was also going to numerous classes, I’ve been to the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA), Curtin University and now I’m at RMIT. I was prompted to go to RMIT by Gearhouse Australia when I was working on AFL. I found that there were about forty people in a class, and maybe about seven of those people actually got work in film, tv, audio, and theatre. No matter what your medium might be, it’s very hard to crack into the industry, but once you’re in, you’re in.
I’ve worked in theatre, broadcast tv and festivals, so it’s just bringing all that knowledge together. I actually came here to work AFL, I found out about RMITV because people were coming into our classes and giving talks about it. It just seemed like RMITV was a fast track to becoming a director and producer by getting those credits.
Once you walk onto a job site and you’re a rigger or a cable guy, that’s how you’re known forever – it’s very hard to shake that tag. I wanted to give people the opportunity to do audio,   and stage management, to give people a breadth of experience. People who work in the industry are old, they’ve hung onto their job, they didn’t go through uni and they don’t have that piece of paper. I guess the medium of film doesn’t change too much, it just takes new people to bring new ideas to the scene.
What did you study?
I started off studying Sound Engineering at WAAPA, I’m from Perth, but don’t hold that against me. Then I did Digital Design and Internet Communications at Curtin University, whilst working at the UWA theatre. Then they decided to bring in a new boss who brought in all his friends so I moved on to broadcast. I was doing AFL games. In Perth, there is only one game a week and maybe one basketball game a month. On AFL games I was doing camera and rigging.
What made you want to study sound engineering?
I never wanted a 9-5 desk job. I used to run nightclubs, I know people in this medium, so it’s easy for me to pull sixty people from around Australia to do an hour live show and put out content weekly.
Who trains at 1Fall Entertainment?
RMITV volunteers and students. We have students from La Trobe, Swinburne, Melbourne University joining us, I guess because they enjoy it. We’re basically an offshoot of RMITV. RMITV is a training facility that gives people skills and puts shows on Channel 31 and Facebook.
How did you get your business started?
I wanted to work on a tv show, so I got into working on AFL and NBL and just taking bits and pieces from my five years on that, I was going to do AFL/NBL in Victoria. Then I found out about RMITV, found out you could pitch your own show so I did that instead. We got into the second season of Presents, which is really hard to get into. We’re the only RMITV show that films every week. Now we’re moving into our own brand and shows later this year.
What lessons have you learned on your business journey?
Protect your IP – that’s the main one, I’ve had countless people try to steal my IP and lay claim to it. I’ve had to go through a really messy situation, not that long ago, where people I met tried to claim this was their idea. This has been 18 years of my life to get to this point. Make sure you’ve got your business name, trademark and everything like that all in your name.
Have you had any mentors in your business journey?
Many – from my Dad to lecturers to my good friend Luke Raisbeck. Luke works here as an RMIT Technician and is one of the main reasons why I’m still here after the situation I had to go through protecting my IP. Even just conversations with parents, my Dad used to run a business, so I’ve always seen it as achievable. I’ve always wanted to run my own business but it’s not the dream everyone thinks it is. I work seven days a week. Relationships are hard to form and my friends are my work colleagues.
What are your top 3 tips for starting a business?
  1. Protect your IP
  2. Come up with a niche in the market, something that isn’t being covered.
  3. Have a great team – have a good culture within that team, always protect everyone and take everyone’s opinion on board. That’s our strong core value, we are a family and we look after each other.
How would you describe your life as an entrepreneur in 3 words?
Hectic but rewarding.
What book are you reading right now?
I read a lot of books on story writing, producing, writing diverse characters, short stories, building online businesses etc. I’m always trying to read current books, about what’s going on right now.
What has been the best part of your Activator/Sandbox journey so far?
The workshops have taught me a lot, there are some masterclasses I’ve really enjoyed. I enjoy the law and the IP stuff the most, as well as the tips from people who have been there and done it.
If you could give some advice to your younger self, what would it be?
Do it when you’re younger. Don’t be afraid just because you’re young, don’t think anything is strictly reserved for older people. Get out and have a crack!
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