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Meet Your Makers: Charlotte Griffin on Learning As You Go and the Creativity of Working With Others

Meet Your Makers 246 Add to collection

No.8’s senior producer speaks to LBB on the importance of constant communication and how the pandemic changed the industry

Meet Your Makers: Charlotte Griffin on Learning As You Go and the Creativity of Working With Others

Charlotte Griffin is the senior producer at No.8, the Soho-based creative sound and vision studio. Since joining No.8, Charlotte has worked with clients including Asics, British Airways, Mastercard and Adidas. FIFA was her biggest project to date, with No.8 doing “everything” on the post-production side - the grade, the audio, the CGI and the VFX. Despite being highly complex, Charlotte loved working on the spot, commending the director and the extent of No.8’s creative involvement.


Charlotte strives to create a stress-free environment and hopes to one day head her own production team while balancing hard work with the fun that this industry inevitably brings. Running and yoga help her manage the stress of the everyday, while working creatively with others provides the inspiration and motivation that keeps her momentum going daily.


Today, she tells LBB why doing something is the best way to learn, how the pandemic has changed the industry, and shares the key to a successful production-client relationship.



LBB> What first attracted you to production? 


Charlotte> Many years ago, I studied Drama, Theatre and Media graduating at Cardiff University with the bold ambition of becoming an actress. The world of post-production was something I knew very little about so when I was offered a job as a runner in London, I was very intrigued to learn more. It’s safe to say I fell in love with the industry right away and knew I’d found a job and career that I was going to thrive in… it was a very exciting time, and I couldn’t wait to get stuck in. 



LBB > How did your career develop from that point onwards?


Charlotte> My runner role transformed into a year of hard work, meeting many clients and industry power houses whilst I was still getting to know the industry. My knowledge of the industry was growing, and I was eager to explore other areas as all I knew was offline, this led to my drive to grow and became a production assistant at Big Buoy. That’s when I fell into VFX.  



LBB> How did you learn to be a producer?


Charlotte> When I started as a production assistant I was mostly shadowing. I must have shadowed for at least a couple of months. For me, to be able to learn, I must physically do the task and get stuck in. I remember on my first day of becoming a production assistant, I printed out a post-production glossary and had that as my bible. That was a fantastic thing to do which I’d recommend to anyone in a similar position, but I found I needed to see what doing the job would look like. To do this I would sit behind Flame artists and ask questions all the time because I had to be able to learn how to convey a certain message to clients. When you get thrown into doing something, that’s when you learn the most. 



LBB> Do you think it’s beneficial to go on productions in person going forward?


Charlotte> I really do because it's so interesting to see how it’s all shot and how long things take. It would be very beneficial because this way, you know the job inside out when it eventually comes to you. It's always good to know the job from the very beginning, this is when projects become passion projects for me.



LBB> What's your favourite thing about production and why?


Charlotte> My favourite thing about it is the creative side of things. I love the feeling of seeing an ad you’ve worked on physically on the TV. You’ve probably been up late the night before delivering it, and then a week later, you can be running on a treadmill at the gym, and you see the ad on TV – that feeling never gets old. The best part about it is the creativity, and being able to say, “gosh, we did that, we worked really hard on that,” once all that hard graft is done, it’s the best feeling and accomplishment. 


I love the organisation side of things as well as the teamwork. Teamwork was what I missed hugely in the pandemic because you weren't in the office having that creative buzz around you, bouncing ideas off each other.



LBB> How has production changed since you’ve started your career? What has stayed the same? 


Charlotte> It has changed because of the pandemic, but the role has very much stayed the same. The pandemic took away a lot from the advertising industry socially. Beforehand, everyone was out together a lot of the time, which was amazing because you worked with great friends. So, I think it has changed, but I feel like we're slowly getting back into it again which is like a breath of fresh air for me. 


In a way, there were parts of the pandemic that taught us a lot. In the industry that we’re in its common knowledge that the hours are long, so now we can do elements of work from home, and it does make a huge difference to work life balance which is really important. There's less stress now that I’m not getting home super late at night; I can take my laptop home and do work from the comfort of my sofa which is fantastic.



LBB> What do you think is the key to being an effective producer - and is it something that’s innate or something that can be learned?


Charlotte> I think the key to being a good producer would be organisation, communication, and time management – they are the three key elements I swear by. I do think it can be both instinctive and learnt, but you must enjoy being organised. If you do enjoy being organised, it makes the job so much easier. 



LBB> With production, which production project from across your career are you the proudest of and why?


Charlotte> The project I’m most proud of would absolutely be FIFA, which is a job that we did recently. We did everything: the grade, the audio, the CGI and the VFX. This was the first big job that I'd produced as a senior producer. It was tough but the director was amazing to work with. We were involved creatively too, which was great. They were shooting different footballers at different times all over the world. It wasn't your usual workflow, but it was an amazing campaign to be involved in and I learnt so much. 



LBB> What's your personal ambitions or aspirations as a producer?


Charlotte> To produce really good work creatively. My end goal would be to become head of production one day, that would be my dream. I want to manage a successful team, but have fun doing it.



LBB> As a producer, your brain has a never ending to do list. How do you switch off? What do you do to relax?


Charlotte> Exercise has always been my go-to. I go for runs and do a lot of yoga. I always try to do something in the morning before I come to work. It’s very easy to open your laptop at seven o'clock in the morning and start work when you’re at home. You don't realise the commute is productive because you clear your mind, grab a cup of tea, and you're distracted doing something else other than work. Therefore, it’s important for me to have a solid routine for the days I’m at home as well which always enables me to have productive working days. 



LBB> Producers are problem solvers. What personally fuels your curiosity and drive?


Charlotte> I enjoy problem solving as a team. I'm definitely a team player. That's what I really missed: not working as a team throughout lockdown. I feel like creatively, I work better when it's a room of us sitting at a table bouncing ideas off each other.

 


LBB> What advice would you give to people who are interested in becoming a producer?


Charlotte> Don’t give up - you must work hard to get here, and in the end it's so rewarding and fun; I absolutely love my job.



LBB> From your experience, what are the ingredients for a successful production?


Charlotte> Constant communication and organisation. Every job that I do, I always make sure I've got a clear brief, so I know exactly what we are working towards. It ensures that everyone's on the same page at the start and it’s the best way to start. 



LBB> What’s the key to a successful production-client relationship?


Charlotte> Finally, that would be trust. You must build trust in the relationship from the get-go to ensure the best results are delivered at the end of each project, it really is at the forefront of everything we do.


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No.8ldn, Fri, 11 Mar 2022 11:12:13 GMT