Welcome to the Squid!

The blog here is to document the process of starting a new business, working freelance, and the projects I’m involved in. It’s been an interesting journey so far.


Here’s a little background on myself. I worked in the advertising industry as an editor for the past ten years in Toronto, working on commercials, corporate videos, research material, and plenty of other stuff for some of the top brands in Canada. I recently edited a feature documentary, “The Ballad of Hugh,” a project I’m very proud of and loved working on.

At the end of 2012, I decided to move to London,ON with my wife and son to start my own production company.

My plan is to work with clients back in Toronto, as well as here in Southwestern Ontario. While the official launch for “The Squid” has yet to come, working freelance has been a pretty awesome experience. I’ve been able to work on some great projects, and continue to work with talented people.

Now I know this blog is pretty ‘vanilla’ so far. I won’t lie, I hate reading blogs where the writer ‘sugarcoats’ everything. I’ll try to keep this pretty honest (to a certain degree of course) to give other filmmakers looking to start their own business an idea of the things not to do.

Hopefully, as time goes on, there will be a bit more consistency in the format of these blog postings. Right now, it’s 7am and I’m on a train to Toronto to finish some Yoplait spots, and I felt like now was a good time to write my first ‘ever’ blog posting.

Let’s address a few of the usual questions:

1. How many people work at the Squid?

Well, in case you hadn’t guessed already, it’s just me. Gerrit Van Dyke, Editor/DOP/Designer/Motion Graphics/President extraordinaire. Yes, it’s lonely at the top. That being said, the reason it’s a production company (as opposed to just my name) is that it really resembles a collective of talented people that are available for each project. For instance, as you’ll see in my photography section, while I dabble a bit in photography myself, I’m happy to work with the very talented Robert Russell. I’m fortunate to have access to a group of talented individuals, able to contribute to a production when the project needs a specialist. So I’ll often refer to “The Squid” as “we” as opposed to “I.”

2. Why did you call it “The Squid?”

This question is a bit more difficult. You could say it’s because we (see what I did there?) see ourselves as a “jack of all trades” sort of company, providing editing, shooting, graphic design, wedding videos, band videos, documentaries, etc. One head with 8 arms, kind of like a man with many hats – right?

I guess another explanation would be the idea of many different specialists (the arms) coming together to become a cohesive unit (the head). As I said earlier, the Squid isn’t just me (Gerrit Van Dyke, Esq), it’s a collection of talented people that can be brought in for specific jobs. While I’m the only official “employee” of the Squid, there are many partnerships (for lack of a better word) that allow us to shine in any project.

The truth? I just thought it was kind of catchy and fun.

3. Where are you located?

We’re located in London, ON, but it’s very much a mobile office. I spend a lot of time right now working in Toronto (I’m on a train heading there right now), and thanks to modern technology, I can take everything with me in a tiny little bag. There’s also a great opportunity for working remotely these days, so location is mattering less than it used to.

4. When is the big launch?


Okay, nobody asks me that. I’m waiting to finish up the website, get things organized, and then I’ll launch. To be honest, I doubt it will be a wine and cheese affair. It will probably be similar to what you’re seeing right now, only the ‘about’ button on the website will finally be working. Oh, and there may be some sound effects on the website. I’m sure you’re very excited for this.

5. What’s the point of this blog?

Well, if I’m really being honest, having a blog helps get traffic to your site. But I think the point of it will be to document the trials and tribulations of starting your own production company, my opinions and notes on the ever-changing world of video and film, and updates on the projects I’m working on.

Let’s keep it interesting.

Like I said, I’ll try to keep it interesting and current. Right now, I’m finishing up a couple commercials for the Yogurt brand “Yoplait.” Considering how much my kid loves to eat Minigo, I think I’m a pretty natural fit for this project. I’ll post the spots here once they go to air (I’m not allowed to post any material that hasn’t gone to air yet, in case you were wondering).

Well, it’s been a slice.