The Rusty Monkey Evolution

Recently, with the big office move and some new exciting projects on the horizon, we have been getting nostalgic and reflecting on how Rusty Monkey has grown as a company over the years. With this in mind, we think it's a great time to introduce you to Chris.

Headshot of Chris Goor

Chris is one of the founding fathers of Rusty Monkey, and has been with the company for over 16 years. As well as being the Managing Director, he's also an expert camera supervisor. You've probably seen Chris' work if you've watched the New Year fireworks in London or BBC's Glastonbury coverage, or if you've seen live plays, operas and ballets in the cinema.

Watch his showreel here.

With that background, Chris is meticulous about composition and making things look right. This includes all aspects of visual marketing, from video content to logo design and rebranding. Chris is an optimist and loves to see the difference our work can make for our clients.

This year his passion for sharing his knowledge and helping others has landed him in front of the camera as co-host of our Monkey Monday Vlogs where he discusses topics from branding advice to vlog creation. He's also been instrumental in our ongoing rebranding project, which you'll be able to learn about soon. Chris is one of the first Monkeys to go to for advice on any design-related topic.

Chris and Matt filming

Meet Chris

Q: Tell us a bit about how Rusty Monkey was formed.

A: Rusty Monkey was formed in 2002. Two school mates of mine were doing some web design under a different name and somehow I got pulled into that. I had many years experience in typography using QuarkXpress. It was a natural fit and we started Rusty Monkey.

Q: How has your role at Rusty Monkey evolved since then?

A: Working remotely allows me to have space to work on projects away from the hustle and bustle of the office. As well as working on branding and video projects, my role is to challenge the status quo. I help RM to push forwards with new ideas. We believe that’s vital in any business to prevent stagnation.

Chris and Matt presenting at Moda

Q: How did Rusty Monkey get its name?

A: We knew we needed a unique name, which was hard back then and is even more difficult now! So we just started compiling lists of randomly generated words. Between us we came up with Rusty Monkey. Matt was keen on 3D rendering back then, so he created a mascot to go with the name.

Q: What Rusty Monkey project are you most proud of?

A: There are so many projects I’m proud of. For me, it’s not about working for the largest companies; it’s about making the biggest difference. I really love some of our branding work. Whitebarrel Winery in Virginia, US, springs to mind as a company who took our advice, changed their name and really ran with the branding we came up with. Their business then turned a corner and continues to go from strength to strength.

Mel and Chris talking in the office

Q: What advice can you give to people who are looking to start their own business?

A: Don’t start something unless you have some passion for it. Next, in your branding and marketing tell people why your company exists. Fight for that cause and people will want to follow you.

Q: What does the life of a freelance BBC camera supervisor look like?

A: It’s a special job. I get to work on many varied shows, from Live Cinema Relays to big music festivals. In terms of stress it can be tricky too; one minute millions of people could be watching what you do, but as soon as it’s finished it’s gone.

Q: How do you manage to balance multiple roles?

A: It’s a perfect fit really. When TV work is less busy Rusty Monkey work gets busier. The skills are also transferable and both types of work benefit from the other.

Q: What, in your opinion, are the three most important things to consider in visual communication?

A:

1. Keep things simple. Less is most definitely more.

2. Make everything you do look consistent.

3 .Take time to work on your tone of voice. It’s often underestimated.

Q: You’ve covered a wide range of events, including the latest royal wedding. Which was your favourite?

A: During my early career we did a Pavarotti and Friends concert in Modena with Spike Lee directing, which was amazing. I was also near the 100m finish line when Usain Bolt broke the world record in Beijing. I’ve been very lucky.

Q: Did you get to watch many acts while you were working at Glasto this year? Which was your favourite?

A: Working on Glastonbury can be quite odd. The sound quality near the artists can be very weird as they mostly work with in-ear monitors. I really like it when the crowd gets involved. Kylie was a fun highlight this year. From other years I really enjoyed being on stage with Radiohead. I also had a chat behind the drums with Liam Gallagher when Oasis played.

Behind the scenes with Chris filming

Q: Can you tell us a story about an unusual or interesting experience you had filming for the BBC?

A: I’m the camera supervisor on Trooping the Colour in the UK. One year the King of Jordan watched it and ordered one for himself. He built a parade ground, trained his troops and then got us to go over to Jordan to film it. That was an amazing event.

Q: What’s your favourite thing to watch on TV at the moment?

A: I’m not a big fan of box sets as I don’t have time. I really enjoy Mortimer and Whitehouse: Gone Fishing. It’s just a sweet show with real heart behind it. It also looks amazing.

Q: Is there a director or camera op who inspires you? Any other people who inspire your work?

A: I love the work of Wes Anderson. The composition in his films have inspired me in my TV work but also within branding and design work. A well composed frame is the same no matter what medium it sits in.

Q: What advice would you give your 20 year old self?

A: Get on with it. I can sometimes be a procrastinator. I don’t have many regrets though.

Chris and Matt hosting a Monkey Monday vlog

Q: After your work with the Monkey Monday Vlogs, do you prefer being behind or in front of the camera?

A: I prefer making art rather than appearing in front of the camera but I’m also passionate about sharing the knowledge that we’ve discovered over the past 17 years. It’s great to engage with others. Working with our clients, we can improve the lives of many, many people.

If you want to see Chris starring in one of our Monday Monkey Vlogs, browse the topics here. And don’t forget, if you have a video query or are in desperate need of some design advice then contact us.

Find out more about Rusty Monkey’s history on our timeline. Or travel back in time to 2011 in this video of the team's 48 hour website project.

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