What tips would you give to somebody who is looking to get started in media?
Get as much experience as you can, and don’t give up. It’s a hugely competitive world but if you work hard, show willing, you will get that all important ‘in’ it just takes patience and persistence. Ask questions and listen carefully!
What challenges does agency work bring? Do you think you’ve found a working environment that suits you?
The pace of work is epic, plus the constant change in the digital industry keeps you on your toes! A positive of this is it is never dull! In terms of the working environment…as long as I have a kettle for tea, jokes are forthcoming and a window for fresh air. I am happy! Oh and a stocked stationery cupboard. I love stationery!
How did you get into video and film? Was there a defining moment, and if so, how did it shape your role?
I did a lot of running on films and TV around my coffee shop job and was eventually scooped up by a wonderful Production Company in London. It was run by the creator of ‘Walking with Dinosaurs’, so I was immediately faced with high end, high concept series, learning a lot and quickly from incredible people. My defining moment I think was my first PM role; the switch had flicked in my brain and working out the challenges of TV production and post/VFX had become second nature. My love of VFX also kicked in about the same time with the unbelievable access to ‘Framestore CFC’ in London and on location. With their guidance I often became a ‘Dinosaur’ on set – physical effects speaking of course!
Who had the greatest influence on you during your career?
The hardworking teams around me. I have been so lucky to work with very talented and hard-working folk, who can still laugh at the end of a tricky day! One of my early Series Producers always used to start the day with a group project catch up; opening line “Right…..first off….any jokes?” That has influenced me! If I was to pick one celeb though it would be Nick Broomfield – I love his Obs Docs.
Describe a typical day in your childhood.
Both my parents are creative, and were huge advocates of playing and adventures. We had wonderful trips to Scotland. I remember Dad letting us go into the Sea, fill up our Wellies. When we walked home, they made a farting noise because of the trapped water. We were in hysterics all the way home, particularly when passing other people, and despite even the steepest of hills!
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I actually wanted to be a Detective or Spy. And still a big fan of the crime novels and films! I think the reality and the romantic notion of the job were very far apart! Needless to say my application to MI5 (yes I did try!) did not come to much ☺.
If you could live in any other time, when might that be?
I would love to be back in the 80’s. I love the 80s – the music, the tech, the clothing and the films! Epic!
What one word would you use to describe yourself?
What are you most proud of?
Work wise, our awesome ‘Walking with Monsters’ production team being awarded an Emmy for outstanding Animated Programme / Production and receiving a Bafta nomination for the same series! In my digital role – I am proud of any new terminology and tech I am taking on board and the fact I am learning again, so to speak. The digital industry is different to TV in terms of technology, workflows among many other things! It’s a challenge that I am embracing! ‘Walking with Dinosaurs’ App anyone?
What’s one thing you have to keep stocked in your fridge?
Milk for tea!
What’s your weirdest habit, superstition etc.?
Labelling stationary! I have been known to label up staplers with my name! Well it’s hard to find a good stapler!
Why would a client love you or maybe just want to work with you?
Communication with a client and understanding their project and aims is key for me. I like to take a bit more time in pre-production to really grasp this. I have a general enthusiasm for projects, and a keenness to get it right. I work hard to make this happen.
Do you have a pet?
The most brilliant Miniature Schnauzer called ‘Ruby’. Constant companion at home, but who makes regular appearances at Drum HQ! She has been referred to as Colin from ‘Spaced’ on many occasions! Yes, she is a chick dog with a beard!
Where do you go for inspiration?
I love online Blogs, ‘Creative Review’, ‘Art of the Title Sequence’, ‘Cinefex; etc. I still LOVE to turn pages – there is nothing better than looking through a book, flicking through magazines to get ideas. I am a big fan of the mood board! Digital and the good old scrapbook.
How do you remain ‘creative’?
Happily it’s a solid part of my personality at home and at work. I thrive working with other Creatives and love the whole brain storm part of my job. Creative and logistics are my thing and I love it!
What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in your career to date?
Never leave home without a notebook, pencil and a business card!
What keeps you up at night?
A full inbox (but not as much as Kaye!)
Not having fathomed an excel formula by COP!