MANY PEOPLE DREAM OF MOVING TO A BIG CITY LIKE NEW YORK, BUT FEW ACT ON IT. HOWEVER WE MET TWO PEOPLE THAT STARTED FROM HUMBLE BEGINNINGS IN JERSEY AND MADE THE MOVE TO THE BIG APPLE.

LIAM LE GUILLOU

Position Producer / Cinematographer
Company Loveless Creative  (www.lovelesscreative.com) 

Why made you choose to escape Jersey?

As a filmmaker, there wasn’t really a great deal of opportunity for me in the Island. I came to New York to really try and push myself and my skills, and in just a few years I’ve co-produced a Beyonce music video and shot two feature films. The first of which won “Best Thriller Feature” at the Manhattan Film Festival earlier this year, so it feels like it’s been a good move!

You’re based in New York, do you spend all your time there?

Pretty much, I do travel for work, but when I’m not working there’s nothing I love more than wondering the streets of the Lower East Side of Manhattan, taking in all the bohemian stores and coffees shops and art galleries. The diversity of art and culture down here is still mesmerising to me.

Where do you live in the city?

Lower East Side of Manhattan… Or the LES to the locals!

What is your favourite thing about working stateside?

Positive energy, it sounds cliche but I really feel it in New York, people listen to your ideas and ambitions and always have an encouraging attitude. I love that about the place and to be honest I felt that was stronger here than in say London, which would have been my second option as a filmmaker.  

Where would you recommend for Jerseyites that head there on holiday?

AVOID TIMES SQUARE!  All New Yorkers I know roll their eyes at the thought of having to navigate the tourist trap that is Times Square. Find a hotel downtown, there’s much more to do and you’ll see the real New York City. (And if you really must visit Times Square do it whilst sipping a cocktail from the Renaissance Hotel lounge, which has spectacular views over the lights, with none of the hassle!)

What do you miss about living in Jersey?

I think this would be a common answer but family, friends and then the beach! (Oh and mountain biking with my buddies!)

What would make you want to move back?

That’s a tough question, I don’t ever see a substantial film industry being viable in Jersey so it wouldn’t be for work. Having a family may make me consider it as again Jersey is a wonderful place to grow up.

Secondly having such a great healthcare system is really compelling, I never appreciated it until I’ve lived somewhere that frankly feels like a third world country when it comes to not providing adequate healthcare for its citizens unless you can afford it. Obama has started to make changes but it has a long way to go.

ROLAND TOPF

Roland Topf is the USA country director for Rekorderlig Cider. After the success of Rekorderlig in the Channel Islands, the company wanted to expand. So Roland was appointed as the marketing manager under the parent company Chilli marketing.

What made you choose to escape Jersey?

I have always loved travelling and lived in the States for a few years back in the 90’s. Then in early 2012 the most amazing job offer came along to carry on doing what I love and take an unknown brand to the shores of the United States. Rekorderlig cider has become a great success story in the islands and now we are trying to do the same over here, it’s just thousands of times bigger and a whole lot harder but it’s an incredible journey.

You’re based in New York, do you spend all your time there?  

No, far from it. NY is amazing and it really is growing on me but my job requires me to travel substantially especially in the first few years whilst we are sowing the seeds around the country for future success. I am probably here half of the time and in our other territories or setting up new ones for the rest of it.

Where do you live in the city?

I live in the hipster capital of New York which is a place called Williamsburg in Brooklyn, which is now apparently super cool but I don’t totally fit in as I don’t have at least 20 tattoos or a beard!

What is your favourite thing about working stateside?

The adventure! Seeing new places, meeting new people and watching the Americans expressions when they try Rekorderlig for the first time as cider (or ‘hard’ cider as they call it here) is a new category in the US but it’s the fastest growing one in the drinks business.

Where would you recommend for Jerseyites that head there on holiday?

There is so much to do but aside from the usuals of Statue of Liberty and Empire State why not take a helicopter tour at night around the city? I’ve not done it but I’ve heard it’s fantastic, also come over at Christmas and go skating at Bryant Park. During the summer taking a walk along the high line walkway on the West Side is great. For nightlife I don’t even know where to start but Jonathans Saturday brunch at Bagatelle is crazy so I always take my guests there.

What do you miss about living in jersey?

Family, friends, kite surfing and mountain biking and those amazing beaches and just being able to go out and bump into loads of people you know.