We had the good fortune of connecting with Scott Friedman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Scott, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I think there’s a difference between doing something risky and betting on yourself when you think the risk is warranted. Uncertainty is kind of a part of any creative career, something my brother and I saw first hand from our dad growing up as he worked first as a writer and then an editor. It gave us the confidence to pursue work outside of a traditional nine-to-five and the belief that we could make a living following our passions. I was lucky after college to find a great job creating graphics for movie trailers for a few years. Eventually I felt the urge to do more design and animation work in commercials and television so I made a plan to create a new calling card for myself. I sent an unsolicited animation test to a band I loved, asking if I could make a music video on their behalf.. To my surprise they said yes – so I spent my nights and weekends working on an animated music video for months and months. I had no guarantees it would lead to anything but the video would end up getting into animation & film festivals around the world, giving me the confidence to leave my job and take the leap as a freelancer. Not having steady employment never became 100% comfortable but over time I built a steady network and my portfolio grew. From being able to gain steady work as a freelancer, to starting a business with my brother, leasing our first office, hiring our first employee or taking on a massive project beyond anything we’d ever done before, I’ve learned the importance of being OK with feeling uncomfortable and it’s something I keep in mind every day as we pursue exciting and challenging work, full of unknowns.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Wildlife is a digital creative agency in Los Angeles operates by a motto – Technology changes, story doesn’t. Our roots are in the broadcast and interactive spaces, with a focus on using innovative platforms and technologies to tell compelling stories. We’re a team of 30 writers, directors, designers, animators, 3d artists, developers and producers that excel at crafting effective, engaging campaigns and unique experiences through world-class content. It’s been a wild journey and none of it happened overnight. The projects started small, the budgets were a challenge and at first it was just myself and my brother. Over time we managed to build a great team around ourselves and slowly land bigger and more exciting projects. While we were conservative with our costs, we were bold with the kind of work we tried to create – no reason to do this if you can’t do what you believe in right? There’s been ups and downs but we’ve made sure to never get too high or too low. Most of all we’ve learned there’s no success in playing it safe and the best work is doing by taking chances, saying yes to things that others would say are impossible and never losing sight that our clients are trusting us not just with their projects, and their budgets but also with their own jobs should things not go right. I think we’ve managed to make some pretty cool stuff along the way.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
LA has so much to offer, it’s hard to know where to start. From the hiking to the beaches, the balance of nature and culture is just unmatched. Downtown LA is a must – the number of funky museums, incredible restaurants and craft cocktail bars would probably be a surprise to out of towners. Mexican food is such a part of the LA identity and Paco’s Tacos on Centinela has some of the best homestyle Mexican in town and El Compadre is next level with their house margarita – complete with flaming shot of tequila floating in a lime wedge. Mix in a visit to Manhattan Beach in the morning and an LA Kings game at night and you’ve got my perfect weekend. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There have been so many incredible collaborators and mentors along the way but I wouldn’t have been able to have this incredible journey without the motivation and support of my brother Jake. We’ve always had a close relationship, and from what started as fun websites and videos when we were kids has evolved into a full fledge digital creative agency thanks in huge part to his drive and savvy. He’s always pushed us to say yes to things, take on new challenges and think bigger. Having a business partner I can completely trust and who shares the same creative outlook and approach has been invaluable.
Office Photos by Martin Moody