Colin Lomax Remembered Part 2
Reported earlier on the website and our newsletter, industry stalwart Colin Lomax died suddenly on December 28 2017, his death left the business in shock.
A familiar face in the business for more than 30 years, spanning the VHS, DVD and, latterly, Blu-ray and productions for Netflix, and straddling the industry’s move from the pure entrepreneurial spirit and innovation, through its transition to a more professional, mature business. He worked at independent and major alike, in sales, marketing, programming and production too.
Here, more former colleagues, pals and industry people pay tribute to a man who helped shape and define the business as it is today…
“Colin and I worked together at Universal (just the two of us on an entire floor in The Ark) and later when he set up Maximum Entertainment. There was never a dull moment, his knowledge was vast and he was always generous enough to share his experience – which taught me a lot (particularly about Chelsea!). I have many stories I recount about our working together he made the office life such fun but most of all he was really fair. I also recall how happy Lisa made him – I’m so glad they found each other. Much missed Colin – come on the blues!”
Alex Hopkirk, ex-Playback, now Odyssey
“Like many, I am sure, I was completely shocked to hear of Colin’s demise. In my time at Wynd Up/TBD/THE/VCI/2E I dealt with him extensively. He was hard but fair in business and he was a great representative for whatever organisation he was working for.
“Socially he was a blast and great Company to be with on a night out.
“The only thing I never understood about is I remember him being an Everton fan when we first met who after years in the Smoke underwent a dramatic change to become an avid Chelsea Fan. I used to rib him about it and he often accused me of having memory loss!
“So sorry someone so young has left us too soon.”
Alasdair Ogilvie, formerly Wynd Up/TBD and THE/VCI and 2entertain
“Colin’s passing is a true loss not just to everyone who knew him, but to the industry itself. He was a key player for well over 30 years and during that time he was instrumental in helping to grow the sell-thru market to the giant that it became. He kept a cool head in pressured situations and he was incredibly loyal towards the teams of people that he managed. When EUK folded and I found myself out of work, I could rely on him to be on the end of the phone, always with sound advice to offer. Like most others, I’d hoped that I’d run into him again sometime and have the chance to catch-up. My thoughts are with Lisa and his family.
Gary Roberts, formerly at Virgin and EUK, now recruitment consultant
“I worked with Colin at VCI and PolyGram and quite often spent a night out with him and a couple of others on a Friday, they were great times. He had a great sense of humour, a few bad jokes and he often ribbed me… he was just so likeable.
“Colin always came up with great ideas and delivered. He was a true gentleman, an industry veteran, one of the good guys. A tragic and sad loss. My condolences to his wife and close friends.”
Steve Beecham, ex VCI and PolyGram, now 4Digital Media
“I first came to know him in the mid-nineties when I was a video buyer and he was at Polygram in sales. I later worked alongside him at Universal from 1998 to 2001. He was a truly great bloke and was liked and respected by everyone. His easy, disarming manner, sharp sense of humour and professionalism came with a sensitive, caring side and I know he’ll be greatly missed in the industry.”
Jon Sadler, former buyer and retailer, ex-Universal, now Arrow
“I first met Colin when he was at VCI in the early 1990s, becoming closer during the now legendary trips to Portugal and then the south of France. At the time the nascent retail, or sell through, business was in its infancy, but he was there, at its forefront. He helped both celebrate its growth and the opportunities it afforded, as well as, when needed, to add professionalism and help it grow, eschewing the Wild West nature of the rental business.
“One of the few good things to come out of the tragic and untimely passing of Colin is the fact that it’s brought lots of old memories back to the fore. I’ve had conversations with people I rarely speak to these days – work and life always seems to get in the way.
“Colin Lomax’s career was inextricably linked with the growth of the retail business as we know it, his recent forays into production, a collaboration with Netflix, were all signifiers of where it is heading. Ever the forward thinker and entrepreneurial spirit, in recent years he managed to be both warn of the dangers facing the business (“it’s all over…”) and yet at the same time talk enthusiastically about the opportunities still to be had, forever looking in new directions and at new deals.
“In recent years, as the days of regular pub visits had diminished, he’d often get in touch out of the blue for a catch up over lunch, or a coffee or a quick pint. It was always both hugely enjoyable and illuminating – gossip about the business, where Manga and its forerunners were at, his thinking, some chat about football and real insight into what was really happening. All of this was, of course, matched with his sharp, caustic wit, and, usually, a dig at Millwall or two.
“The memories this has brought up are truly wonderful – those legendary trips with first VCI and then PolyGram to far-flung places. The PolyGram 1998 trip to the World Cup was still one of the finest – and funniest – events I’ve ever been too. Colin’s call after a Channel 4 documentary about ticket touts for the tournament and the fact he’d inadvertently got caught up in it was a classic in itself, as he related how retailers had called him after seeing it, fearful their ticket might have disappeared, but he brushed them aside, setting about sorting out tickets for retailers present. The fact he succeeded is a sign of his tenacity and his ability to strike a deal.
“We often argued about the role of the trade press in the business – and about things I’d written – and again it’s testament to his character that he could put that to one side and then we’d still go to a boozer somewhere for a pint or two. Like many of the contributors and industry people who’ve paid tribute to him, his support for publications I was involved was instrumental in helping my career, even if the first ad he booked with a fledgling timecode magazine while at VCI was a result of a rather drunken bet we’d had.
“It’s impossible to overstate the role he played not just in the lives of individual people, his encouragement, honesty and support were invaluable, but in the development of the industry as a whole.
“From independent to major and back again, from sales to marketing to production, he was involved in every facet over the years and played a key tole at numerous companies.
“He will be sorely missed.”
Tim Murray, The Raygun
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