Sitting Ducks – The day we had everything stolen

We genuinely feared it might happen one day.  I would arrive at our studio most Monday mornings, set in an idyllic country barn, expecting our front door to be swinging on its hinges. Social media helped fuel the worry – local houses being broken into, ATM’s being ripped out of the wall in Farnham, Nottingham Knockers in every road.

Then at the end of January, the worry became justified. I’ll never forget the feeling of seeing the scattered broken glass – the feeling of panic was surprisingly sickening.

As I entered the barn, surveying the carnage, it all became quite overwhelming. I found it very difficult to think straight. Internal doors off hinges, glass scattered, cables everywhere. 999.

Our clients turned up as planned, as we had a day’s filming in the diary. Phil is an ex-officer of the law, so he knew exactly what to do. Tea. The most valuable items, computers, cameras, lenses were all gone. We went through the CCTV footage, and the glorious action was captured from all four cameras…

 

 

I don’t want to dwell on the gritty details – we have moved on emotionally, although we still peep around the door on a Monday morning. Actually, every morning.

So instead, I’ll focus on the positive side of things.

We have learned a lot since our small business was burgled.

  • It makes you internally review your business, because you have to. Firstly, our security was not up to scratch. These guys do not care about CCTV – it is not a deterrent, it makes them pull their collars up, but it will not stop them breaking in – they are relying on the fact that the police are undermanned and that you are insured. We were, and will continue to be. Hiscox Insurance were nothing short of incredible.

 

  • Our data is so valuable. Luckily, these particular a-holes were not in a destructive mood – they were not there to destroy our business entirely, just nick the valuable stuff. They could’ve easily thrown hard drives around and smashed up the server – that would have made for some very difficult phone calls to clients. We are evaluating our backup processes to create a more robust, cloud based project filing system.

 

  • We are expecting them back. EVERYONE has told me that the perps will be back for the new, shiny, replaced kit. We have ordered new kit, but we are not taking delivery until the new high security roller shutters are in place, security cage, floodlights and door buzzer intercom all functioning. Have ordered a medieval mace too, just in case

 

  • It’s not all bad. Over 10 years ago, we were swept up in the “filming on DSLR” revolution that changed the industry as we know it. The cameras we bought impacted our lens decisions. Then when we upgraded the cameras, the decision was based on the lenses we already owned. Then when we upgraded lenses, we got them to fit the cameras we owned, etc etc. There was a legacy – that was completed wiped out by the burglars. We were able to start again with our kit, based upon today’s needs, not what old lenses we had in the cupboard.

 

  • We knew it already, but we have the BEST CLIENTS. Anna and Phil were so incredibly supportive and understanding, even though they too had a computer stolen that evening. Big love. Others too have been patient and supportive while we have had to rebuild.

 

  • Finally, they also undid bad kit choices. We were one of the 10 or so people in the UK who bought the ill-fated GoPro “Karma” drone – GoPro discontinued it the week we bought it because it was “unpredictable” – no more tech support, firmware upgrades etc, so we were left with a dead duck. They stole the drone. Good luck getting support on that guys (or even keeping it in the air!) Karma indeed.
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