AUSSIES IN NY // Barron Hanson
What happens when you throw a bunch of Aussie creatives in NYC? You start to see something different; there is a thirst for achieving something greater, to put your own spin on things.
Convicts is a digital media brand that produce and publish premium video and multimedia content across multiple platforms, in conjunction with events and retail pop up spaces in New York City. Convicts started as retail store exclusive to Australian brands in Soho. The team eventually started creating content for these brands with photoshoots, events and branding.
Due to a higher demand with online retail stores, Convicts shut up shop and invested their energy into creating their own media brand, with in house editors, writers, designers and marketers. Originally only profiling Australians, the company rapidly expanding and is now making their mark in all things cool around New York City. I sat down with legend Barron Hanson at the Convicts hub in Williamsburg and asked how he was shaking things up.
Why did you decide to move to NYC from a quiet costal town like Nowra?
Growing up in a small town certainly humbles you but it also plants a seed that there is more out there. Australians are natural explorers who are always searching for more, when I was 12 our family travelled to New York and since then I always kind of knew I wanted to live here. As cliche as it is when they say "If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere" but it really challenges you like no other city.
Biggest piece of advice to those looking to start something in New York.
One of my favorite quotes by Steve Jobs is "Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you" and it's true, many successful people may look like they have it all figured it out but in the end everyones just working through it day by day, step by step. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other, ask questions, keep a positive attitude, smile, work hard and everything will fall into place.
Most interesting person/event you have worked with?
We shoot a lot of live music including the Surf Lodge Summer Series in Montauk. In 2015 we were lucky enough to interview Wayne Coyne and shoot his full band The Flaming Lips playing to 400 people. Apart from being an amazingly eccentric person the band put on a full performance with giant rainbows and mushrooms, a live turtle and giant silver balloons that said "FUCK YEAH MONTAUK". It was a perfect evening. Watch the video and read the interview here
What's your neighbourhood like?
Convicts is located in Williamsburg. There's a lot of hipsters, a lot of Australians and a lot of cafe's. It kinda feels like home. The creative community here, in particular the Australians are willing to help you out. Everyone is keen to give you an introduction to someone who might be able to help you, or invite you to an event, or let you borrow their bike, whatever you need. I think this support network spawns from the collective sense of struggle that everyone goes through when they first move here. I don't think we have that in Australia.
What does the future hold for Convicts and what can we expect to see?
Convicts is evolving and changing everyday. The core of our purpose is to tell stories about people because that is what we love doing. As we evolve I hope to find interesting ways to share these stories and constantly improve our delivery and content.