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Do You Remember Your First Boss?


Laura Swinton looks forward to the onepointfour awards and reflects on working with a true original

Do You Remember Your First Boss?

Whether they were a nightmare or a creative genius – or some unholy combination of the two – your first proper boss can have a huge impact on your whole career. I imagine it’s a bit like the biological imprinting that happens when little chicks hatch and latch onto the first things they see. I was lucky, in more ways than one. My first proper boss was possibly the most passionate advocate of raw creativity and new directing talent I think I’ve ever met and this week the production community will be coming together to celebrate her continued championing of the industry’s young boundary-pushers.

Lyndy Stout was my boss when I was a young and probably quite naïve young editorial assistant at shots; someone who couldn’t have told you the difference between an online and offline edit and whose knowledge of advertising began and ended with the Tango Man and Irn-Bru. These days Lyndy spearheads onepointfour, a carefully curated website all about creative filmmaking, which has become a popular platform with directors. 

This week sees the inaugural onepointfour awards, which I know has attracted much warmth and support from across the industry. It has also got me thinking about how influential Lyndy has been on my own career and how easily we forget, as we progress, just how much impact (for the better or worse) we can have on those who we manage. Being a natural stresshead, who lurches between deadline panic and plate spinning, I know that I can tend to be a bit, err, ‘tunnel vision’ and I can often forget to be as supportive as perhaps I might be.

One other area where Lyndy’s had a huge impact is her pure passion for awesome creative people. When your first boss knows that work is about so much more than ‘work’, I think you can count yourself as incredibly lucky. I like to think that I follow her example (God knows I far prefer to write stories about ingenious projects over man-gets-job), though we go about things in different ways. 

Being the small, incestuous industries that they are, the boss-minion relationship is a fairly fluid one in advertising and production. You’ll never completely lose touch and if you’re lucky you’ll become friends. 

So, apologies for being a soppy old sod this week – normal service of terrible jokes and snark to return next week I promise – but that’s nostalgia for you. In any case, I’m just kind of grateful that this week has given me the prompt to stop and remember working with one of the industry’s most unforgettable characters. Being organised, focused and operating on the same plane as the rest of the planet are, quite frankly, overrated. It’s far more fun (and stress… and fun) to work with a true original.

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LBB Editorial, Wed, 16 Sep 2015 17:33:10 GMT