Fitness Experts Tap-In Director and Producer Tom Edwards to Punch Up Content

Director and Producer Tom Edwards – Image by Varuj Chapanian

Creating compelling video content and staying relevant in the field of online education is no small task—actually, in such a competitive arena, such as online fitness, it’s a herculean feat. With so many content creators vying for viewers’ attention, it takes a special touch to stand out. That’s why the best of the best call upon the world-class production and directorial skills of Tom Edwards to help them rise above the crowd. 

So what makes Tom Edwards so unique? Perhaps it’s his diverse and complete understanding of the filmmaking process. Through his personal experiences as an actor, photographer, producer and director, Tom has learned first-hand how these disciplines function individually, and as a cohesive unit.

Tom’s natural talent also plays a huge role in his success. In fact, at the start of his career he solely wrote, shot, directed and edited his first narrative film, “Ninety One: A Tainted Page,” which won multiple awards at the Shanghai Student Film Festival in 2013, including the Best Overall Film Award.

But, according to Tom, the most important element of cinema, and his approach to creating it, is great storytelling. “Story comes before anything else,” he remarked. “If you have a good story and a message, the film can go far, regardless of its production value.” 

Since his early productions as a student, Tom has leveraged his talent, experience and story-driven approach to work his way up within the Los Angeles industry, directing and crafting branded content and music videos for the likes of Lamborghini, MenWithClass, Enrique Iglesias and Becky G. 

Tom’s plethora of experience culminated in 2019, when he branched out on his own to found Secret Film Service, a full-service production company focused on capturing compelling behind the scenes video content for film and television, as well as music and commercial productions.

“I’ve always encouraged productions to hire a team to shoot behind the scenes and help document the creative process,” Tom says. “After working on hundreds of sets, I’ve noticed a lot of teams haven’t yet tapped into this market, and I feel like they’re missing out big time.” 

As it turns out, Tom’s hunch was right. Secret Film Service has been a runaway success, filling the behind-the-scenes niche and working with high-profile clients such as Cardi B, Lamborghini, Shell, SLS Beverly Hills and Space X. 

With such an impressive resume, it’s no surprise that Olympic medalist and professional boxer Tony Jeffries hired Tom to bulk up the video content offerings for his fitness company, Box ‘N Burn. 

Recognized by Men’s Fitness as “The #1 Gym in California,” Box ‘N Burn is a global boxing academy that offers hardcore training in the gym, as well as online. Tony Jeffries, along with Box ‘N Burn co-founder Kevan Watson, brought Tom on board to produce multiple types of video content, from digital commercials and YouTube content to Online Video Programs. Tom has since produced over 100 videos for Tony Jeffries’ YouTube channel, which grew from 10K to 550K followers in under a year—making it one of the fastest growing accounts on YouTube. Tom also worked with other elite Box ‘N Burn trainers, such as Glenn Holmes and Stephen Cain, to create top-notch training videos and marketing materials.

“Tom has become an integral person on our team for his unprecedented talent for producing and creative skills,” Tony Jeffries remarked. “He has been a major factor to the online success of the Box ‘N Burn gym.”

Tom’s success with Box ‘N Burn led to more opportunities in the fitness world for Secret Film Service,  such as a partnership with Simon Ata, a fitness and calisthenics mogul with more than 600K followers who brought Tom in to create content for his online program focused on teaching students how to master handstand pushups. 

“Tom was a pleasure to work with, easy-going and very efficient,” Simon Ata remarked. “The final product far exceeded my expectations.” 

Tom didn’t just stop at fitness; he has also worked with prominent figures in the dance world, such as Richy Jackson, a creative director and choreographer to stars such as Lady Gaga, JoJo Siwa, Todrick, Zack Zilla and Trevi Moran. Richy hired Tom to shoot a two day Dance Master Class with over 40 students in attendance. Of course, Tom also captured tons of exclusive behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with Richy and his students. 

Other dancers Tom has worked with include Jordyn Leann, and Samantha Caudle, who have danced with artists such as Chance the Rapper, En Vogue, Jason Derulo and Sage the Gemini. 

Tom Edwards has made a career of capturing the best of his clients and telling their stories in an authentic, compelling way. His mastery of the craft of cinema is without question; otherwise, the biggest influencers, brands, and celebrities in Hollywood would look elsewhere for a director and producer. So what’s next for Tom and Secret Film Service? That part of the story remains to be written, but if Tom is behind a project, it’s sure to be worth watching.

Backstage with Monica Schipper: Capturing New York Fashion Week and So Much More

You’d be hard-pressed to find a more glamorous occasion than a fashion show in full swing. For a few hours, mere mortals become gods, gliding down the catwalk with style never-before-seen, as cameras dazzle and the spotlight burns a path before them like the sun through a magnifying glass. But for all the glory of the main event, there’s arguably even more action happening backstage, where Monica Schipper has made her name as one of the most in-demand photographers in New York City.

Model shot by Monica Schipper on a TRESemme assignment backstage at the Studio 189 fashion show during NYFW

Alongside London, Paris and Milan, New York Fashion Week takes priority as a must-see event in the beauty industry, a worldwide fashion summit where trendsetters gather to feast their eyes on the year’s freshest styles. A contributor to Getty Images, the world’s largest photo agency, Schipper has been on hand for dozens of New York Fashion Week’s hottest shows. 

With insider access to all the behind-the-scenes action, Schipper seized her first opportunities backstage with aplomb. Weaving her way through a whirlwind of wardrobe racks, makeup chairs and a herd of humans in constant motion, Schipper found her flow, capturing finished beauty portraits as the models came out of their hair and makeup treatments. She also demonstrated a knack for catching stunning first-look shots of the models just before they hit the runway. 

Her outstanding work and unforgettable energy onset made her a go-to photographer for an array of NYFW clients, documenting all the must-see moments for shows featuring tennis legend Serena Williams, designer swimwear label Chromat, global fashion brand Rebecca Minkoff, contemporary clothing company Alice & Olivia, luxury fashion design house Kate Spade and many more. 

Having spent years backstage, consistently delivering photos of the highest caliber, it was only a matter of time before NYFW official beauty sponsor and industry giant TRESemme brought Schipper on as their designated photographer.

Models backstage at the Kate Spade fashion show during NYFW shot by Monica Schipper for TRESemme

When asked about her mindset to prepare for a big-name client like TRESemme, Schipper had this to say: 

“No matter the client, you need to remember you’re part of a creative team and it is a collaborative effort. The best photographers contribute to the energy in the room and work with it in a meaningful way, and those are the photographers that continue to be hired.” 

While the runway may get the lion’s share of hype, the elaborate design of the show itself offers little in the way of creativity for the artists behind the lens. Once a model steps onto the runway, they are walking to the creative vision of the show’s production team. Specific shots are required from the photography team to capture the totality of the look on display. Backstage, however, there’s a lot more room for experimentation and play. Here, artists like Schipper can find the freedom to satisfy their creative itch, bringing their own vision to the lighting, design and energy of the shots.

“Working backstage I can capture candid moments as they happen, and I thrive off of that spontaneity,” Schipper says, “especially when I can light and shoot it with my own creative spin.”  

Although working with the biggest names in beauty is a thrill, it’s not just the name that inspires Schipper; it’s the message behind the brand that really allows her to connect with the energy of the show, and through that energy, something truly special can be captured and preserved. 

Chromat, a future-forward swim and bodywear brand, focuses on empowering garments for all bodies. Demonstrating their uncompromising aesthetic, Chromat famously featured a plus-sized Latina model as their show opener, an emphatic statement that caught the attention of the entire fashion industry. Their brand is committed to bringing inclusivity to the forefront, and Schipper worked closely with the Chromat creative team to achieve this message through the vibe and energy of her shots. 

“It was an honor to be a part of something meaningful and impactful, especially in the fashion industry where representation is so important,” the photographer states. “Chromat stands by what they believe in and they ensure that anyone watching their show will see someone walking who represents them.” 

Of course, there’s a lot of fun to be had at these spectacular soirees as well. Schipper particularly relishes her collaborations with NYC-based fashion duo The Blonds. Their recent Disney Villains x The Blonds show had the industry and social media buzzing, with brand founder Phillipe Blond and celebrities such as style-icon Paris Hilton and YouTuber Patrick Starrr lighting up the runway. 

The Blonds x Disney Fashion Show shot by Monica Schipper

Featuring iconic Disney antiheroes like the Queen of Hearts, Cruella de Vil, Ursula the Sea Witch and Maleficent, the Blonds put an awe-inspiring and eye-catching twist on the classic characters, an effort heralded by global fashion authority L’OFFICIEL as “​​the most drag-friendly ‘fits imaginable.” 

“The Blonds is definitely one of my favorite brands to work with. Their shows are always such a spectacle, and Disney Villains x The Blonds was next level!” says Schipper. “The entire event is a work of art, from the fashion down to every single detail.” 

Model shot behind the scenes by Monica Schipper at The Blonds x Disney Fashion Show

On nights like these, these extravagant statements of style, where every detail is teeming with meaning, it’s paramount to have professionals on the scene to commemorate and communicate their message. So much happens before the models even hit the runway, it would be criminal for these special moments to go amiss. Luckily for us, photographers like Monica Schipper are there to capture it all, making sure we don’t miss a thing.