Hey fellow dreamers and creators! Today, I'm inviting you behind the scenes of a passion project that turned an old storage room into the vibrant hub we now know and love as The Raid Creative Studio. Buckle up for a tale of vision, heatwaves, and the sweet satisfaction of building something with your own hands.
So, rewind to 2021, and there I was, exploring potential spaces at 94 Armley Road in Leeds. Don't get me wrong; the rental spaces were nice, well taken care of, but they lacked that special something. I needed a place where I could unleash my creativity and make it uniquely mine.
After a whirlwind tour of the building, I found myself in what we affectionately call the "creative hub" – also known as the basement. Picture this: a motley crew of like-minded creatives in audio and visuals, buzzing with excitement and ready to support each other. Chris, our trusty caretaker, led the way, and little did I know, this was where the magic would happen.
Now, this basement had character, but it also had a bit of a temperature issue. The ancient radiators and the boiler room being in the basement meant that when the rest of the building cranked up the heat, we, the basement dwellers, felt like we were cooking alive. Winter was a true test of survival. But hey, in the excitement of finding the perfect space, who's counting degrees?
As we strolled through the basement, my eyes caught a room that seemed untouched by the tour. Turns out, it was Chris's storage room – a treasure trove of steel racking, old doors, tools, and the remnants of years of repairs and restoration. In a twist of fate, Chris, possibly fuelled by a good mood, offered me the space, with the condition that he'd move out.
My eyes lit up with the potential, and with a quick camera check, I declared, "I'll have it!".
A month of waiting for Chris to clear out his collection of stuff, and the keys were finally mine. That's when the real adventure began, and let me tell you, it was a job!
To set the tone, I scoured the web for a visual reference, stumbling upon a 3D render of a tattoo studio that perfectly captured the modern, industrial vibe I craved. Where I found it remains a mystery, but it became the blueprint for The Raid Creative Studio.
My initial plan of £1000 and 2 weeks for restoration quickly turned into a £5000, 3-month-long endeavour. But here's the silver lining – my dad and I built this with our own two hands. Blood, sweat, and tears went into every nail, every coat of paint. If we had hired someone, it would've cost a fortune, easily more than £20,000. This space isn't just a workplace; it's a symbol of dedication and familial bonds.
We knew we had to tackle the acoustics and the relentless heat. Recording video and audio in a room sandwiched between two audio engineers posed a unique challenge. So, we doubled-skinned the entire room, isolating the pipes behind the newly built cyclorama wall. This not only addressed the acoustics but also helped keep the room cool and the heat out. And let me tell you, watching the plastering team finish off the walls was a glorious milestone, a tangible testament to our progress.
Raid Media Studio is now a haven for photography and videography, offering ample space for 3-point lighting systems and more. But that's not all! We've integrated a full broadcast system into the studio, supporting up to four cameras. From online keynotes to musical performances and DJ sets, this space has witnessed it all.
So, there you have it – the tale of The Raid Creative Studio. It's not just a space; it's a story of dreams realised, challenges conquered, and the warmth of a place built with love and dedication. If you're ever in Leeds and in need of a space that echoes with passion, Raid Media Studio awaits you. Come on over, and let's continue building dreams together! What it currently looks like 😎 ...