Brothers in Business

Many of us dream of ditching the Monday to Friday 9-5 routine in favour of something more creative and artistic. For some of us the addition of a family keeps us tied to the safety of paid employment. However, for two local brothers it has been their respective families – as well as their creative talent – which has given them the inspiration to set up in their own businesses.

Paul, an artist, and Steve, a cinematographer, are now sharing their creative skills to offer artistic products to the families of Merton. Paul and Steve Tanner have lived in Merton most of their lives. Between them they attended Holy Trinity, Dundonald, Wimbledon Chase, Rutlish and Wimbledon School of Art.

Steve is a father of three based in Wimbledon Chase. Having spent a few years as a teacher, he set up as a freelance cinematographer and has used the career flexibility to be a hands-on dad.

Holiday Film School

He is now bringing his experience together to launch a brand new holiday film school for 6-11 year olds. Make a Movie Club is an activity camp which gives kids the opportunity to write, devise, make and star in their own green-screen movie in just five days.

Children taking part will get the benefit of confidence building activities; team work and creative skills, according to Steve. That is on top of the technical aspects of acting and devising, camera, light and sound.

Each Movie Club is unique as each week starts from scratch. So the group can either come up with their own or draw on a stock story, which they can expand and adapt.

From knights and princesses to Westerns and superheroes, the green-screen studio gives the opportunity to set films in any environment. The only limits are the writer’s imagination.

Everyone gets a chance to work on both sides of the camera as they become a working film crew, rotating each role throughout the week. Each afternoon they will review what they have shot and on the final afternoon parents are invited to a work-in-progress screening of the movie. Then once the finished piece has been edited, everyone will get a digital copy of the movie to download and keep.

Week Long Courses

The magic takes place in four, week long courses this summer starting from 23 July and takes place at either Joseph Hood Primary or the Mansel Road Centre in Wimbledon.

Steve can draw on some inspiration from elder brother Paul, father of two, also based in Wimbledon Chase. Paul has been making art all his life and started his own creative business three years ago.

From evening art classes at the age of 10 to a BA Hons in fine art. He has a passion for the creative process and alongside his art making has enjoyed a 20-year career as a professional photographer. Through the Occasional Press he offers a personal design service creating bespoke art and unique personal keepsakes for family and loved ones.

Creating Memories

It all sprang from a realisation that life whizzes past and it is important to create memories along the way. As a father of two young children, Paul experienced first hand how quickly they grow up and change. He devised his unique illustrated children’s portraits to capture their growing personalities and immortalize their current crazes in stunning contemporary portraits.

One of the most familiar dilemmas facing parents these days is we have phones and computers full of photographs of our kids, and yet we never get to see them. They sit there hidden away, and the job of doing something with them gets put on that ever-growing ‘to-do’ list. Inspired by his own enormous collection of family pics, and the need for a special gift for his wife, Paul made his first ‘Illustrated Family Album.’

Fusing your favourite family snaps with your stories and mementos of your busy family life and Paul’s especially made illustrations, these books are ideal gifts for a partner’s birthday or your wedding anniversary. “The family element Is Important, explained Paul. *It Is reason that I wanted to be self-employed and I love the fact that I am helping other families to capture precious moments.”

Work/Life Balance

Between them the brothers juggle being hands-on dads alongside the demands of running their own businesses. It is a tricky balance that often requires working evenings and weekends.

“Spending this time with my kids has been amazing and building the business around that, so that I can be the one who picks them up from school and gets to go on the school trips,” explains Steve.

With both brothers and their families still based in Wimbledon, it does give them the option to support each other with childcare. It also has the added advantage of the cousins growing up as part of a close-kit family in Wimbledon. With such creative dads, we wonder what the next generation of the Tanner family will do?

For more information on the Make a Movie camp, please visit