Viewpoint: Agency Producer
How would you describe what you do?
Very simply, I make films - from content to commercials to shorts, to feature.
How did you get into this job?
I started out as an office manager in an animation company, having been told by my husband that I should be a producer as I liked talking on the phone and making lists! I was then lucky enough to be trained by two of the best producers in the business, Maddy Berry at Berry and Coutts and then Barbara Levett at Levett O'Connell where I learned both the production company and advertising agency sides of production. I've been lucky enough to do both now for over 20 years.
What is most challenging about what you do?
These days, definitely budget. Also a reluctance to pay for talent and experience. The job of the producer is increasingly being disregarded.
What is most rewarding?
Making films that you can be proud of - whatever they are. I also still get a huge buzz from walking onto a film set on the first day and seeing everything that I've assembled come to life.
What’s a typical work week like?
No such thing in this industry as typical. It totally varies from day to day which is what I really enjoy. You never know what the day will bring.
What do you look for when booking directors and composers?
Obviously talent but also a willingness to work with the original concept and bring to it.
Whats your best job/worst job?
In advertising best job always involves a trip to Cape Town in January. Worst job was shooting on a pig farm when I was 8 months pregnant. But best job so far was making my feature film, Perfect Skin with my husband, Kevin Chicken. It's due out later this year so keep an eye out for it.
What advice would you offer someone considering this career?
Be nice to everyone, be willing to try anything within limits and be prepared to muck in.
Tell us something that most people don’t know about being a producer?
We secretly like filing.
Finally how do you use AdForum and how useful is it to see the latest work of Directors and staying up to date with industry news?
It's a great reference tool to keep up to date with new work and directors.