We spoke to Beno Obano, following him winning the second Vodafone Business Gain Line Award of the Season earlier today...
Congratulations Beno! How does it feel to have won the Gain Line Award?
It feels great to be recognised for this award. You don’t really do these types of things to be rewarded for it, so it’s always nice when you do get that recognition, it’s brilliant, so thank you!”
Tell us about Sinnybaby Media, how did it come about and what got you interested into doing TV/film production?
I just thought there was an important message that was needed to be shared and I was trying to work out how I could do it. I thought the best medium to do it was to remove the middleman and try and do it myself and that was the idea behind it and premise of it all.
You have had two hugely successful documentaries on Amazon Prime; when they first went on Prime how did it feel?
The first one was a pretty cool moment for me. I stayed up and waited until midnight for it to come out, and then watched it straight away! But for that first one when you see that Prime Video logo come up at the beginning, it's quite exciting that your work is associated with Prime Video, so it was really nice to see. For the second one, you know, you're a bit more used to it!
Have you got any more potential documentaries like your previous two in the pipeline?
That's the hope! But it's weird with film because it's a project. You do all the development and work beforehand, and then you think you're going to produce something and then a spanner comes in from no-where and the project is dead, so you just have to wait and see, even after you’ve shot it, it could still get cancelled! You just have to wait until close to the end and then hopefully it comes out and people enjoy it.
And where do you see Sinnybaby Media going in the next few years, have you got any aims for it?
I do non-fiction at moment so I might move into fiction a little bit, which would be quite fun. But really, I just want to play around with it and just to see what we can achieve at Sinnybaby Media, and I think it's just quite exciting to have fun with it and see where it goes.
How important has your support network been to your journey including support from the RPA?
When I started the business, I kept it so quiet because you don't want to be preaching about something and it comes out and it's terrible! So, I chose to keep quiet then. But I then got lots of help from everybody on the second documentary that I made with Harlequins, so my network has been really helpful, plus the RPA, RFU and Premiership Rugby. To have those organisations helping me out with this has been great.
In your opinion, how important is it that players take an interest of things outside of rugby, and start to think about life after rugby, through the Vodafone Gain Line Award?
Yeah, it's kind of a weird one. You always have it (interests) in the back of your mind. I think rugby should always be the priority. You should have those other interests in the back of your mind and when an opportunity comes up, you should take it, and that's essentially what I did. I’ve had this in the back of my mind for years before I actually did it, and then the opportunity came up and we took the time to take that opportunity and I was basically it. And that's how I think people should approach these things because rugby must remain a priority, because obviously it's what pays the bills and it's what you enjoy the most. But then there will come an opportunity, whether it's through injury or something else (for example COVID), which what happened to mine and then they'll come an opportunity in time for you to go and do it. And you've just got to take the opportunity when it comes.
If there was one tip that you would give to anyone that's interested do in doing something they are interested, what would it be?
I would just say stay interested in other things. Once you stay interested in other things and then you realise ‘Oh I might be able to make money out of that thing I'm interested in’ then there we go, you’ve hit the jackpot! It’s like if you like playing games on PlayStation and then ‘Oh, then there's an e-sports company that can work with’ so it’s just staying aware of the opportunities of things that you're interested in and see what happens after that.
Photo Credit: Bath Rugby