Being a producer is pure joy for Brice Birdsall who has a talent for turning small budgets with big asks into reality. That’s why she says it is important to look at problems in many different ways and be creative when looking for the best solutions. In her free time, Brice helps physically create spaces for individuals to be able to connect with artworks and artists.
We chatted with Brice about what it means to be an experiential producer and making asks tangible through creative problem solving.
Q> Tell me about your career. What was your path to where you are today?
Brice> Originally from Portland, Oregon I grew up with parents who always encouraged me to pursue art over anything else. I always knew I wanted to go into a creative field; my original plan was to become a creative director, but my experience changed that. When I moved to New York after college, I found myself at a small creative agency and was taken under the wing of a brilliant production director, Yadira Quinones. While working on set, I found that producers are the people who bring the creative vision to life, and that really resonated with me. I jumped in headfirst and never looked back. I went from producing the Kith Brooklyn storefronts to large-scale events for Google. I didn’t know it at the time, but I’d found a lifelong passion for production. Now, as an associate producer at R/GA, I’ve had the opportunity to work on huge campaigns for DuPont, Nike, and Planned Parenthood. My role, the creative environment, and clients have given me the incredible opportunity to pair my experiential and digital skills.
Q> What do you find exciting about production?
Brice> For me production is pure joy - it’s taking a creative concept and amplifying it. I began my career in experiential production where we transformed physical spaces. For Kith’s retail space project, I saw designs from the computer screen evolve into physical elements that we then built in the store. Another amazing experiential production I worked on was the activation for DuPont at TED 2019. We created a 360º CGI video that was projected onto the interior of a dome that we also built. This blend of technology and digital design work in a physically designed space is the production intersection that I love. My focus is on creative problem-solving. Often I get handed creative work with a minimal budget and large expectations, so it is my job to turn this into reality. In these instances, creatives come to me with ideas larger than the budget ask or timeline too short to physically produce an item. It’s up to me then to take that ask and make it a tangible through creative problem solving - whether that comes to life in a change of materials, a change of schedule, or sometimes a change in the team structure. There are so many ways of looking at a problem, and there are, often, many solutions possible. My role is to find the best solution for the client and the team so that our creative output always exceeds expectations.
Q> What advice do you have for others in this position?
Brice> Continue learning and honing your craft. I tried various types of production to learn skills that make me a well-rounded producer: I focused on digital and experiential work. More often than not, these tracks of work blend together. Most importantly, do your thing your way. If you do things differently than everyone else that’s a blessing, not a curse.
Q> Do you have any passion projects outside of work?
Brice> When I’m not at R/GA you can find me at The Hole, a contemporary gallery in Nolita. I’m an art handler and help install all of the exhibitions. Ultimately, I want to take my love of production and production design and apply that to the art world. Working at The Hole has been a brilliant opportunity for me to do just that. By using the art and the story around the individual art piece conceptions, we are able to physically create a space for individuals to connect with the work and the artist. I’ve worked with artists such as Jim Joe and Katsu, which was truly inspiring. To work side by side with some of the most disruptive artists on the art scene was eye-opening and provided me with a huge insight into how artists work and how each artists’ process can be wildly different.