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Narrative Drive

Narrative Drive

Or what we call the Three C's.

Did your Audience Care?

Were they Convinced?

Have they Changed?

Change is the reason behind every work. To take your audience from one state into an other.

At Upstair Studios, we remain focused on creating vibrant works which drive your brands narrative forward.

Short Film


Quality Productions

Clients include



Principals of Good Story Telling

Today there is an enormous choice of media to consume and it is so easy to click away, therefore audiences no longer want to be sold, they want to be entertained.

Everything we do at Upstair Studios is structured around the principals of good narrative as these values are universal, not only across cultures, but between mediums.

We begin our works by defining a PREMISE or purpose. Quite a simple yet often overlooked question of "What is the point?" We then move on to identifying the PROTAGONIST in your piece. The person or thing which your audience will identify with and follow along the journey. Drama and interest is created through the CONFLICT that exists in the world or your market. By dealing with these issues and overcoming them we move towards a RESOLUTION which satisfies our initial question.

Use the menus to learn more about our process and view our extensive portfolio to see how it works in practice.






Examples of Premise

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What's The Point?

When you are starting a production with us, our first question will be this. What is the point of your work?

In film and theater, this is often referred to as the Premise. A lesson or objective that will form the spine of the production and feature throughout each part of the work. To create a premise we need to identify two things.

1) the argument you are making for and against a particular belief.
2) the story value or human virtue that you are wanting to reveal to an audience.

Example: The many working hands of an enlightened community (story value) will destroy the ignorance of solitude. (argument)
Result: A short film for Ryde Council as pictured on the right.

If you have a solid premise, then the rest of the will come naturally. Without a solid premise, your work can fall into the category of visual babble.


A Film about Hands

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Write Your Premise

The Premise According to Lagos Egri

A man sits in his workshop, busy with an invention of wheels and springs. You ask him what the gadget is, what it is meant to do. He looks at you confidingly and whispers: "I really don't know."
Another man rushes down the street, panting for breath. You intercept him and ask where he is going. He gasps: "How should I know where I'm going? I am on my way."
Your reaction -- and ours, and the world's -- is that these two men are a little mad. Every sensible invention must have a purpose, every planned sprint a destination.

Yet, fantastic as it seems, this simple necessity has not made itself felt to any extent in the theater. Reams of paper bear miles of writing -- all of it without any point at all. There is much feverish activity, a great deal of get-up-and-go, but no one seems to know where he is going.

Everything has a purpose, or premise. Every second of our life has its own premise, whether or not we are conscious of it at the time. That premise may be as simple as breathing or as complex as a vital emotional decision, but it is always there.
We may not succeed in proving each tiny premise, but that in no way alters the fact that there was one we meant to prove. Our attempt to cross the room may be impeded by an unobserved footstool, but our premise existed nevertheless.
The premise of each second contributes to the premise of the minute of which it is part, just as each minute gives its bit of life to the hour, and the hour to the day. And so, at the end, there is a premise for every life.

Extract from the Art of Dramatic Writing by Lagos Egri

An Argument

Step one

  • The Hero-image
  • The Hero-image
  • The Hero-image

The Hero

A protagonist is the character whom your audience follows on their journey. The role of the protagonist is to bring authenticity to a work and make your audience harmonise with your cause and grow with you.

Joesph Campbell calls this a Hero, Apple calls this Brand Personality.

The obvious choice for a protagonist is a human, the director of the company, a client, an employee or even a customer. However, it could be the product in which the audience will associate with. Breathing life into objects is as old as Walt Disney so there really is no limit to who could be your stories hero.

The secret goal here is, Empathy.

After writing the premise, identify the protagonist of your work.

Step Two

Identify your protagonist

Face of the Brand



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What is at Stake?

What is at Stake?

There must always be a problem in your story. If there was no problem then there would be no need for solutions and thus we would have no need to start this conversation.

It is important when you are setting out a brief to find the problem that exists in the world in which your video will remedy. What is the central conflict?

Then ask, what could happen if this problem is not solved?



The best way to convince your audience is to be authentic. To reveal contradictions, shine a light up to the errors that they may cause and establish your own way of solving them.

Artist Series

Product Demonstrations

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Did your Audience Care?

Were they Convinced?

Have they Changed?

Change is the reason behind every work. To take your audience from one state into an other.

At every stage of our production we question what has changed and why to ensure our work has cause and motive.

How do you want your Audience to feel as a result of this Journey?

If you create an effective change in your audience then they will follow up the call to action and do something as a result of your work.

Enlightened? - They may then go and share the knowledge they have learnt from you.
Entertained? - They may subscribe to your style and purchase more of your work to extend their excitement.
Intrigued? - They may then move on to learn more about what you have suggested.
Conflicted? - They may then seek to help you in your plight to fix the situation.

The audience can be many or one of these values.

If they are none of these, if your audience has not experienced any change whatsoever from the start of your work to the end, you must seriously ask yourself, what was the point of it?

The resolution is the result of your hard work and creative thinking.

Video Production

Video Production

Our standard kit includes 4k ready ultra high definition video and sound equipment plus professional grade lighting and support systems.

This will help create the best quality cinema and television advertising, event documentation, video profiles, testimonials and web promotions.

Some recent works can be viewed under our portfolio tab.



Our top end stills photography kit and portable studio allows us to capture catalogs, events, headshots, portfolios, products and artworks.

Interactive Applications-image

Interactive Applications

Not only can we create fun and useful apps for mobile devices but our portfolio and experiences also extend into fully interactive installation works.



Our 3d animation and compositing artists have a trendy eye to ensure your productions have a contemporary and unique look.

We can also build templates and guidelines which are easily adapted for all future productions.

Live Streaming-image

Live Streaming

Our Next generation wireless connection and mobile broadcast suite allows us to stream your events live from anywhere in the world.

This includes conferencing and live brand activations.



Because we are equipped with all the knowledge and equipment to cover any digital content creation, it is worthwhile to discuss options for packaging all aspects of your brand.

This way you can ensure your identity is consistent and top quality for more than one season.

Get in touch now on rhys@upstairstudios.com to start the conversation.

Click Everything

To view any of the works in our extensive portfolio, click the post then click the image within the post.

You will quickly learn just how much great content we create.

portable devices

large screens


I have a personal connection with the Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics as my brother was born with the rare condition. For a long time we have been discussing the possibility of generating high quality content for the organisation which would raise awareness, educate parents on the condition and encourage philanthropists to donate. In 2015, F.A.S.T was generously donated the finances to make this happen by I.C.A.P.

The Premise: Knowledge is as valuable as the cure.
The Protagonist: People born with Angelman Syndrome.
Conflict: So much of the information out there is false and creates fear in those who read the clinical characteristics.
Resolution: To relieve the parents of newly diagnosed children and encourage them to join the F.A.S.T community. Also to incentivise donors to join the cause.

For this online content, I begun by visiting all the major states and interviewing 25 families of different who have raised children with Angelman Syndrome. The goal was to paint a wide picture of the variability of the condition so the participants ranged from 1 to 35 years old and expressed different characteristics due to different mutations of the gene.
The 40 plus hours of footage was then edited down into short stories about each families struggles and fond memories.
From these stories we were then able to construct a series of different clips each themed around the three objectives of Understand, Manage and Cure.
With Understand our goal is to teach the general public about the condition and encourage parents to get early tests on their children.
The videos were grouped into the Manage section are educational resources for parents. Providing some direction to the therapies that are available to them.
For the Cure section we highlighted the amazing work done by researchers and explained just how close a cure is. If you can land a man on the moon, you can cure a tiny error in the 15th Chromosome.
When the first video was released, a long list of emails came flooding in from parents thanking us for showing the honest lives of people with Angelman Syndrome.


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Australia’s Next Top Model

In January 2013, Nissan proudly presented Australia’s Next Top Model for FOX8. A company I founded with Andre Pech called Superflicks was brought on board by MCNE to find a fun and interactive way to generate social media interest and build a connection between the Nissan Facebook page and the ANTM demographic.

The Premise: Anyone can be a high profile model.
The Protagonist: A Nissan 370x Roadster
Conflict: There is more aspiring models than T.V can handle.
Resolution: To be entertained and subscribe to the Facebook account and in turn, the television show.

We designed and built a mobile chroma-key studio which allowed anyone who stepped into it to be captured and superimposed onto a glossy photo print and instantly uploaded to the ANTM Facebook page. We travelled along the east coast of Australia from Brisbane, through Sydney and onto Melbourne, visiting major shopping hubs over the ANTM audition period.
Nissan supplied the brand new 370x Roadster which we drove onto our choma-key studio and captured photos of the aspiring models and their fans in the car as if they had just been chaperoned. The tagline on facebook read “Come down and get your photo with Nissan’s Sexiest New Model –the 370z!”
Our system was able to key out the Green screen and replace it with a New York skyline to create hype around the ANTM top prize being a trip to the Big Apple.
Using a networked tablet, users were able to send their images straight to Facebook and Like the page while they were at it. In the meantime, a photo was printed off and slipped into a branded sleeve which meant everyone went home with a souvenir.
The activation was a great success with over 675 photos taken, uploaded to Facebook and printed off. Over the duration of the promotion, the overall Likes grew by 2785 and the total reach clocked up to 23528 of which 3139 were engaged. The best part of the campaign was the significant growth in amount of males liking the page, increasing a demographic that had previously been dominated by the female audience.


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AAFPS Masters Symposium

This set of six videos was created after we spent the weekend hanging out with the talented surgeons at the Masters Symposium on Blepharoplasty and Upper Facial Rejuvenation. It was a delight to meet the world class pioneers in their field and gain insight into the life changing work they do. We even shook hands with the man responsible for the worlds first human face transplant. Don’t worry, we left our cameras out of the cadaver room.


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Hair Pinns

For 2015, we created another series of videos for Hair Pinns Salon, this time with the emphasis on the party scene and getting audiences excited about the long nights ahead.

Click the video to see the final creation.


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Scanlines Touring Video Exhibition

In 2014, DLux Media Arts was awarded a grant from the Australian government to create an exhibition on the history of Australian Media Arts. They proposed an interactive gallery exhibition where audiences could use new media technologies to navigate through the works of selected artists.

The Premise: Australia has an extraordinary history of media art which needs to be shared
The Protagonist: Australian Media Art’s
Conflict: The ordinary Australian is naturally intimidated or confused by media arts and as such there has rarely been a connection between the scene and the general public.
Resolution: To open the nervous audience and at the same time educate them so they educate others.

I was already working as an artist with DLux Media Arts when they enlisted my documentary skills. They commissioned me to travel across Australia and interview the 14 Artists who were represented in the show.
The two hour interviews were accompanied by a tour of the artists studios and practice techniques. The resulting content was condensed into several bite sized chapters for each artist.
Fellow artists Annie McKinnon and George Khut designed 14 digital plinth’s (one for each artist) whereby a tetrahedron shaped unit could be lifted, rotated and set on various sides which would trigger the start of a video clip.
The installation then went out to galleries across the country and the general public would be able to enter the space, interact with the space and be educated via the large bank of video content.
The exhibition was a great success and is still on tour around the country, connecting remote communities and smaller cities with the history of video art in Australia.


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Kikoff Soccer Centers

Kikoff came to us looking for the complete package. They were in the mid of a complete website revamp and were in need of some high quality video and photography.

The Premise: Be Active and Healthy in Urban Environments.
The Protagonist: Energetic outgoing people.
Conflict: There is a limited amount of quality sporting venues within the city of Sydney. People are becoming stiff and cooped up inside.
Resolution: To excite people with the thrill of team sports and fun games they cannot get in their homes.

This large scale project comprised of over 50 videos.
Our first step was to create a video for each of the different products offered by Kikoff be it court hire, bubble soccer parties or holiday camps.
Along side this, we flew our drone over each of the four Sydney locations to capture and edit a set of videos that highlighted the venues unique features.
In addition, we created a bank of training manuals for the brand so that young players could upskill and feel a part of the community.
Finally, with the 20 hours of left over footage, we pumped out short fifteen second teasers for social media to attract new faces and raise brand awareness.


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Ryde City Council – A Short Film Called Belong

As part of a collaboration between dLux Media Arts and Ryde City Council, we created a series of short films which played at cinemas and public events throughout the City of Ryde.

The production used the real citizens and Councillors of the city to tell the story of its past and what it means to belong to the community.


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Puncture is a performance as part of the Sydney Festival 2015.

We worked closely with the talented dancers, choreographers and musicians behind the production to create a series of promotional videos which capture the energy of the piece.

Click the picture to take a look.


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Men Of League Charity Lunch

For all the Men of League events this year, we have used our live production kit to handle all the presentation visuals aswell as live feeds of the video on the day.

We also capture the events to hard drive to be edited later into promotional videos.

Not to mention, our talented photographer is on hand capturing happy snaps of the famous faces.

So all in all, we have it covered.


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Be Your Best Fashion and Lifestyle Talks

Fashion guru, Dijanna Mulhearne needed a stylish video created to help promote her Wardrobe 101 talk series.

We captured the keynote presentations and whipped together a showreel to help bring in new audiences.


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Get in touch

Get in touch

Upstair Studios is currently based in London however our projects span from Australia to Iceland to the United States.

If you would like to work with us, then please contact rhys@upstairstudios.com or phone (+44) 07492547546

Our Address

Currently anywhere we like