Flying Saucer CEO credits the capital for success

Creative storyteller and rebel CEO, Hamish Johnson, shares how he got his Wellington business off the ground

Breaker Bay Flying Saucer rocky shore

Flying Saucer's CEO Hamish Johnson has been described as having an inbuilt curiosity meter stuck on high.

With a background in tourism and marketing and a keen interest in photography, he started working on commercials at the age of 30, but it quickly became apparent that the traditional work-your-way-up-the-ranks approach was not for him.

In 2007 he took the bull by the horns, bought a laptop, tripod and camera and set up his own production company with partner Anna. The first few years involved a lot of crazy adventures as they travelled the country making video content.

Hamish Johnson Flying Saucer working at Pikarere Station Porirua
Matariki Sky Show Flying Saucer nighttime fireworks

"I had so much to learn from a technical perspective," Hamish says.

"It was like being in a river swimming for your life... trying new things, making it work."

Now Flying Saucer is one of Wellington's established production companies, making award-winning work for the likes of Tourism New Zealand and Department of Conservation, through to non-profits like Capital Kiwi.

I'm of the mind that success is in doing great work, working with inspiring people, but also taking the opportunity to go for a surf.

Hamish Johnson, Flying Saucer

The business grew organically.

"It's old school, based on referrals and long term relationships. I'm of the mind that success is in doing great work, working with inspiring people, but also taking the opportunity to go for a surf, or hang with my partner and kids."

At present, Flying Saucer is working on a (top secret) world-first project of their own.

"It's technically and creatively challenging, but will be incredibly exciting if we can pull it off. It helps to surround myself with people who offer up ideas and different ways of thinking."

This is where his city comes in.

"Wellington's compact geography and friendly atmosphere provides an incredible environment for creatively-minded people."

Otari Wiltons Bush Flying Saucer stream

You might like