Matt Page began his career directing and producing social and online shorts for the fashion house ellesse. There, he created over 60 live videos for the musicians such as Not3s and Nina Nesbitt as well as worked on a live series from London’s Metropolis Studio.
Though he began in fashion, Matt now immerses himself in advertising and live stream production which includes work for Amazon, Mastercard, John West, Clarks Originals and more. Having been at Anattic as a producer for three years now, he shares his journey into the industry and his love of fast cars.
LBB> What first attracted you to production - and has it been an industry you’ve always worked on or did you come to it from another area?
Matt> I started my career fresh out of university as a digital designer that - given the chance - would take my DSLR on photoshoots to make behind the scenes videos. I worked in a fashion house that owned the license of many brands, and was fortunate that my manager at the time let me explore my options. After two years I was challenged with organising three films that represented three different areas of a particular brand. Without realising it, I became a producer.
LBB> What was your first role in the production world and how did this experience influence how you think about production and how you grew your career?
Matt> Yeah so as I just mentioned, I became a producer without realising. I’d organised these three incredible short films exploring the lives of sporting personalities and music artists. At first, it didn’t come easy, figuring logistics, booking crew, and assessing budgets was something that hadn’t come naturally to me in the past. When stumped with a project I cared about, plans and processes seemed to form easier, without hassle - or stress.
LBB> How did you learn to be a producer?
Matt> I think I owe most of my credentials to my new boss and founder of Anattic Ltd. He guided me through my first set of short films and advertising campaigns, helping me explore new territory and challenging me with abrupt questions that made me think - why? Do we really need that?
LBB> Looking back to the beginning of your career, can you tell us about a production you were involved in where you really had to dig deep and that really helped you to grow as a producer?
Matt> Yeah, this one is easy. I produced and directed a short film with Not3s. If you’ve any experience working with music artists you’ll understand that sometimes they’re great musicians because they live in a bubble. Expecting the world to turn around them. Not3s was great, easy to shoot, great to bounce ideas off with, it was tracking him down and getting hold of him that was the hardest. The shoot was nearly over on the first day when he turned up over five hours late to Manchester and was pretty much untraceable before he arrived. Confidence, integrity, persistence and stamina makes you a good producer.
LBB> A good producer should be able to produce for any medium, from film to events to the digital experience. Do you agree or disagree with this statement?
Matt> I kind of agree, but probably swing towards the disagreeing side. Only because if someone called up and asked me to produce a music festival, I’d probably turn and run. It’s all about what and who you know, right? I’m currently working on a project that initially was out of my comfort zone but I adapted. Now I don’t sweat it.
LBB> What’s your favourite thing about production and why?
Matt> When I’m working on a production and I witness all the crew pulling together what started as an idea, all the way through from pre-production to post and delivery, it’s a really good feeling.
LBB> How has production changed since you started your career?
Matt> Can I use the fact that we just had a pandemic and it shook the business world? I’m not sure if production’s changed or not in the time I’ve been producing. Maybe the urge for companies to take production in-house has had an impact, but I like to focus on the positives.
LBB> And what has stayed the same?
Matt> For me, the want and need to make beautiful and engaging films, whether it’s a music promo, online commercial or live-streaming event.
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?
Matt> I want to keep to the budget for the benefit of the client and I want to keep my crew happy on set. Sometimes there’s a fine line between what boundaries you can push and what you can’t.
LBB> Which production project from across your career are you most proud of and why?
Matt> I’ve been working a lot with Daniel Ricciardo (name drop for whoever knows him), and we won a great project with him recently for an Australian agency. Working internationally can be challenging but when it works, it can work really well. I really felt the clients, agency and everyone involved in the production enjoyed being a part of it. We kept them in the loop on set by live-streaming the camera across the globe to their living rooms (at 2am AEST).
LBB> And in terms of recent work, which projects have you found to be particularly exciting or have presented particularly interesting production challenges?
Matt> Disclaimer - I’ve not won this project yet, but I’m in pre-production for it. I’m applying for permits with TFL, City of London, Tower Bridge, Westminster & Lambeth to have traffic management in place to halt traffic whilst we film for a very exciting car manufacturer. Keep your eyes peeled.
LBB> Producers always have the best stories. What’s the hairiest / most insane situation you’ve found yourself in and how did you work your way out of it?
Matt> I woke up one morning alone in the Sahara Desert and my private tour guide had gone, his camel nowhere to be seen but what was reassuring me is that he’d left the fire burning with a fresh pot of Moroccan Tea and a barrel of water. He came back, but that hour was mentally draining.
LBB> What are your personal ambitions or aspirations as a producer?
Matt> There are a couple of things that keep me passionate in life: family, dogs, music and (fast) cars. Winning projects in those fields (OK maybe not the family bit) but the others will always be both a personal and career-driven goal.
LBB> As a producer your brain must have a neverending "to do" list. How do you switch off? What do you do to relax?
Matt> I’m really good at switching off actually, my mum is a qualified yogi - but my meditation is cleaning and tinkering with cars. Also, I walk my dog almost five miles a day, that’s definitely a good breath of fresh air.
LBB> Producers are problem solvers. What personally fuels your curiosity and drive?
Matt> I’d like to use the term competitive problem solvers! We’re a growing business and my drive comes from seeing us expand, learn, develop and grow.
LBB> What advice would you give to people who are interested in becoming a producer?
Matt> Understand everyone’s role, understand everyone is unique within their roles and learn how you work best under pressure.
LBB> From your experience what are the ingredients for a successful production?
Matt> Crew motivation and support, good planning, good food and good ideas.
LBB> What’s the key to a successful production-client relationship?
Matt> Meet their needs and more without suffocating them is my approach. I guess something I had to learn is don’t be paranoid when someone hasn’t emailed you back. Wait and follow up the following day.