Jessica started her career in production as a runner in a post house and worked her way up from there. She shares her advice for anyone wishing to become a producer, her background in the industry and why excellent communication and transparency are important in client relationships.
Jessica> My first production interest was actually photography and retouching. I started as a runner, biding my time and trying to squeeze in training with the retouchers where I could…then I discovered the world of moving image. I never even knew a producer job existed, but I was immediately drawn to it and wanted to learn more.
Jessica> I started from the bottom and slowly worked my way to the top. Starting out as a runner I got to know the company and the people within it, which helped me grow some strong relationships and see how the business works. I then moved to a role, where I would assist with Master QC, the start of the production process. From there I took on more responsibility and supported the producers with art working, ensuring we had media plans and scripts in on time. This led me to manage more complex projects and take on a brand lead role, working across multiple brands and being the go-to producer for any production requests.
My current position as an Executive Producer, within Freedman International, an insight-driven localisation agency, entails helping brands to create content that connects with the target local audiences. All of these stepping stones really helped me to develop and hone in on all aspects of being a producer.
Jessica> Some producers like to specialise and excel in one particular medium which doesn’t make them a bad producer! However, in this ever changing world, I do think it is important to keep up to date with the times and investigate and experience the latest mediums and technologies to stay ahead of the curve!
Jessica> I love seeing a project from start to finish. Although as post producers we are not too involved in the pre-production stages, we like to assist and see the creatives develop until it comes to us where we localise and deliver the content. Making sure the content resonates with different audiences and is culturally relevant is at the heart of what we do, so seeing it come to life is a satisfying part of the job.
To then see it on TV, on social platforms, on the radio or in the cinema is a real proud moment, I love seeing these adverts and shouting 'I DID THAT!'. That feeling will never get old.
Jessica> Both, I think it helps to have the natural drive and organisational skills to enjoy and thrive in the role. However, the technical side can be learned via thorough training, mentorship, good leadership and company culture.
Jessica> The latest Fitbit campaign “What is strong with you”, managing multiple VOs 7-0 per spot and stitching them together. It was exciting to work on a global campaign that resonates locally, having an understanding of how to connect with audiences worldwide is reflective of the value we bring to our clients.
Jessica> To work on interesting projects with big brands. Also to work my way up to a position where there is a sense of accomplishment, but it still allows me to enjoy my job.
Jessica> I make sure to maintain a good work life balance. Setting out clear working hours with breaks to recharge. It is important to get outside as much as possible and exercise to keep you feeling relaxed and on top of everything.
Jessica> Problem solvers are naturally curious, and are always looking to find the best way to approach tasks and complete them in the most efficient way. I am no different, when I am not solving problems at work I am doing so in my personal life. I am a huge fan of puzzles, strategy games and quizzes!
Jessica> Like any job, just make sure the job is right for you and you are doing it for the right reasons. If you are a driven and organised person it is going to be massively enjoyable and rewarding.
Jessica> A clear and transparent vision where all parties involved are on board with the client’s ideal outcome. Communication, organisation and collaboration spring to mind.
Jessica> I believe excellent communication and transparency breed trust in any working relationship, and it is no different here. It is important to make sure your clients feel they can rely on you and your team. We have a responsibility to our clients to manage their brand as well as ours. Make them look good, and they will continue working with us.