By Matt Badcock
From editing football videos in his hotel room when he was at Grimsby Town to putting together highlight packages for a World Cup winner – Paul Bignot has turned a hobby into a business.
The 32-year-old former England C right-back, currently at Non-League Truro City, has enjoyed a solid playing career. Part of the Newport County side that won the Conference South title at a canter in 2010, he has also had spells at Blackpool, Plymouth Argyle, Grimsby, Keflavik in Iceland, Solihull Moors and AFC Telford.
But it was his education at Crewe Alexandra that has also led to what he hopes will be the next vocation when he hangs up his boots in the future.
Bignot has launched his own company – Bigmind Sports Edit – and provides players with highlight reels, motivational compilations and video analysis that can focus on a specific area of their
What started with producing compilations for Bristol Rovers attacker, and ex-Grimsby team-mate, Alex Rodman, has grown into putting together packages for Roma’s French World Cup-winning midfielder Steven Nzonzi.
“When we were 16 at Crewe, we were encouraged to go into the media room,” Bignot told The FLP. “Although back then we were doing it on videos! The media guys showed me how to cut my parts of the game.
“I took that footage with me for the rest of my career. Every club I went to, at the end of the season, I made sure I got hold of everything.
“When I was at Grimsby I was spending a lot of time in hotel rooms before games. Instead of playing FIFA against my mates, I was in my room editing away!
“Rodders saw mine and he showed an interest straightaway and I also did one for Paddy McLaughlin.
“Like many good things, word spread and I started to do some highlights for Claude Dielna, who was then at Dynamo Bucharest and has just finished the MLS season as captain of New England Revolution. He messaged me saying a friend wanted some done – that friend turned out to be Steven Nzonzi, who was at Sevilla at the time.”
Bignot says modern day players, at all levels, are used to leaning on video to improve their game or mindset and it can be a powerful tool.
“People say, ‘Oh, it’s just to get a move’, but it’s not,” he said. “Obviously it can play that part but one I did for a Premier League player was to show his kids when they grow up.
“A lot of people use them for motivation – the list is endless. It’s always good to see what you’re doing well.
“Video analysis now is massive, even in the lower leagues. Back in the day you didn’t have the capability to watch it on your phone. But now players will be watching it on their phone before games, in their hotel the night before or even at home with their families.
“Then say you are out of contract and a club is interested in you, one of the things they will say is, ‘Do you have any footage?’ You don’t want to be caught cold.
“Anyone who knows anything about editing will tell you it’s not a quick process. I love doing it and when you get feedback from the player it makes it worthwhile.”
Bignot has worked with Cardiff’s Lee Tomlin, Burnley midfielder Ashley Westwood and, as well as Nzonzi, another World Cup player in Wigan Athletic and Egypt’s Sam Morsy.
“Steven Nzonzi – and the other Premier League players I’ve worked with – has got access to the top analysts in the world but he’s choosing and trusting me to put stuff together,” Bignot said. “I take that as a massive positive. When you see him doing well, I’ll be honest, I get a real buzz from it.”