Expert to know: Joseph Tame (Q&A Interview)

August 14, 2023

Joseph Tame is the Founder and Creative Director of Wild Tame Co (based in Tokyo), listed on 50Pros as a top 50 firm in Video Production, Illustration & Animation, and Social Media Marketing.

In this Q&A, Joseph shares his in-depth perspective, unique background, robust experiences, and insightful tips.

How did you get into your industry?

As a kid I inherited my parents' love of cameras and photography. Later, that grew into a passion for storytelling through a photo-centric travel blog, and then videos from the road. That was 2008, and I still had no career as such - just a degree in Japanese studies.

I had just married and moved to Japan when the first iPhone was released here. That coincided with web 2.0 and the Twitter boom ...and then my first ever live stream of the Tokyo Marathon.

I was very unfit and definitely not a runner, so I figured that the best way to make it to the goal was to have a virtual support team whom I didn't want to disappoint. That stunt took on a life of its own, and I've now run it every year for over a decade. My live audience grew: one year I had 40,000 live viewers, and was featured on the top page of (the now defunct) Ustream, alongside the Oscars.

The press picked up on it, and thanks to the media buzz, I started getting asked if I provided live stream/video production services on a professional level.

I saw an opportunity and so, together with my wife, founded Wild Tame in the summer of 2011. We didn't really know what we were getting ourselves into, but decided to just give it our best shot.

How do you manage work-life balance as an agency owner or executive?

It was very tough for the first ten years. We had a very small team, two children, and a never-ending stream of work thanks to our reputation and word-of-mouth. As a husband and wife team, our lives revolved around the company and the kids (in that order); we dreamed of balance!

In the past few years this has gradually changed. Now that we have an amazing team of over twenty it's no longer all on us, and we can even take some time off now and then! To reach this point, I was very deliberate in my hiring choices, by looking at how I was spending my time, and then hiring to replace myself wherever I could.

I have learnt to be very protective of my time, and aware of how I am using it. I have also shifted my thinking so as to prioritize my health - in January 2023 I set myself the goal to exercise for at least 30 mins a day, and as of the time of writing I have averaged 70 minutes per day for seven months, with only two days missed. I am no less busy than I was last year - I have just decided to make it important. The same goes for time spent with my kids - I would rather be with them than at work, something which was sadly not the case for many years.

I try hard to cut down on distractions. For example, I have my phone set to automatically switch to Do Not Disturb mode as soon as I arrive at the office. I keep all notifications switched off, and empower my team to be self-directed.

Finally, I try to go to bed early and wake up early, giving me the mornings to get stuff done before the daily rollercoaster starts. In the summer I get up at about 4.30am; in the winter at about 6am.

What activities or hobbies outside of work do you enjoy that help you recharge and stay creative?

Running is my meditation; pursuing fitness and good health is my selfish indulgence that will hopefully benefit all those around me.

What do you like most about your industry?

Every day is full of opportunities to apply creative problem-solving.

When you first started, how did you get clients?

Once we had our first three clients (thanks to interest generated through the Tokyo Marathon, my use of Twitter, and our volunteering to help with one of the world's first TEDx events), we worked hard and set high standards for ourselves. We never did any marketing, but our client roster gradually grew through word of mouth.

...and how do you get clients today?

Introductions by existing clients, individuals at client companies transferring to new companies, organic search.

What is your approach to continuous improvement and learning within your agency?

Continuous improvement and learning are deeply integrated into our company philosophy. I love projects that provide opportunities for learning (which the majority do of course!) We invest in training courses and coaching for our team - including 1-on-1 leadership coaching.

What is the biggest issue that your firm, or firms like yours, face?

Finding the right people to create the C-suite.

How do you stay updated on the latest technologies and tools relevant to your industry?

We have amazing individuals on our team who follow the latest technologies and tools and introduce them to us from a very early stage.

When a company is interested in hiring your firm, how should they approach you and how should they do business with you?

Potential clients should email us with a brief overview of the project or challenge they are facing. We'll then set up a call to find out more, share more about how we work, and if all parties feel positive about partnering, we'll get started!

How do you maintain strong relationships with clients to ensure long-term partnerships?

We love our clients, and have very open and honest relationships with them. This is how, for example, we have maintained a great working relationship with our first major client (a pharmaceutical), for over a decade, and this is why many individuals at client companies insist on introducing our agency to their new colleagues after changing jobs.

If someone were thinking about starting their own agency in your industry, what advice would you give them?

Be prepared to work very hard, and have patience.

What else would you like to publicly share about your firm or agency?

No longer limited to live-streaming the Tokyo Marathon with an iPhone strapped on my head, Wild Tame has now spent over a decade providing:

  • Cinematic video production, from storyboarding through to videography, edit, sound design, coloring and delivery in multiple formats.
  • High-end animation that delights, surprises, and succinctly communicates the story to the target audience.
  • Digital presentation and print materials, including slide design, annual reports, banners and books.
  • Professional photography, including portraits and publicity.
  • Contextual localization of materials that goes far beyond straight translation. We specialize in English and Japanese, but can accommodate any other language.
  • Copywriting that captivates the audience - often illustrated by our photography or videography
  • Social media strategy, creative, implementation and reporting.

Our diverse team of creatives is ready to take on your challenge - we look forward to hearing from you! Visit us at:

Why the best companies in the world choose 50Pros to find firms

Only the best agencies

Each agency on 50Pros is vetted so you can trust who you hire with confidence

150+ in-demand categories

From PR to SEO to AI, we have the best teams for any project you have

Easy & fast start

Links go to homepages, so you can directly contact a firm (no signup)

Full support

Our friendly team is at your service Monday - Friday, 9AM-9PM EST

Unbiased lists

Each directory is randomized on each refresh (no pay-to-rank-higher)

And much more

More than a directory, we are committed to the future of work