Last Thursday night, Holiday Films hosted their second annual Producers Unite event at Toronto's Thompson Hotel. Nearly 100 of the city’s agency producers assembled for an evening of networking, information sharing and general fun, aimed to unify the community through conversation (and a few cocktails).
Building on the success of their inaugural gathering of freelance producers last year, they added to the experience by inviting on staff agency producers and including a panel of leading heads of production, who discussed topics such as the ongoing challenges of producing for digital, finding the appropriate talent, common pitfalls of producing evermore diverse types of content, and mentoring. Panelists included: Cynthia Heyd, Vice President, Integrated Production at TAXI Canada; Beatrice Bodogh, Vice President/Head of Broadcast Production at BBDO Toronto; Janice Bisson, Head of Production at Juniper Park; Ann Rubenstein, Freelance Producer and former Head of Production at Rethink; and Sarah Michener, VP, Manager, Broadcast Production at MacLaren McCann. The session was moderated by former Boards editor and freelance journalist Rae Ann Fera.
A spirit of openness and sharing permeated the conversation. While conscious of the oft-sensitive nature of specific jobs, all panelists agreed on a need to be more forthcoming with each other when it comes to knowledge sharing. Given how many pressures producers face – from budgets to tight timelines, cost controllers, and the rigors of being content producers versus TV producers – the overall sentiment was that there’s strength in facing the difficulties of work through unity.
Freelance Producer Kali Kyriazis was the winner of the door prize - a trip for two to NYC, which includes airfare and three nights stay at the Thompson LES.