Thu, 06 Jan 2022 15:04:27 GMT
Neil started his career as a studio junior, where he learnt everything from the ground up, which he believes is the only way to really learn the craft. After 38 years in the industry, he’s never looked back. He shares with us how he got started and what makes a successful career in production.
Neil> I fell into Production at the tender age of 16, back when dinosaurs roamed the earth. Originally, I wanted to be a photographer, but sadly or happily, depends on where you’re looking from, that never happened. At that time (1983) everything was done on a drawing board, I’ve been involved in some iconic advertising over the years, but I’ve swung from production, through the entire remit of creative, and back to production, basically I love to solve problems.
Neil> My first role in production was as a studio junior, where I learnt everything from the ground up, it still is the only way to get a real understanding of our business. It teaches you every aspect, and when you’ve learnt how to do this manually on a drawing board with pen, pencil and scalpel, and then how to understand, mix and apply colour for different situations and lights, it’s an easy jump to the computer, at least that’s how I found it. On the computer side, I was in bed with Apple at an early stage and learnt all the relevant industry standard software on the job on my own. I’ve learnt over the years that there is more than one way to complete any task but only one process that really works, yes even for creatives.
Neil> I think one of my biggest hurdles and results was not with a big flashy blue-chip client but for a mundane but high volume fast turn around client. We had a minimum of 80 ads to work up over a 24-hour period every week. The copy and media plan would come in on a Thursday and be delivered to the newspapers on a Friday afternoon. This was the early days of automation and the use of Applescripts and email hot watched folders, and strictly adhered to artwork templates and client side word templates. We had one month's notice to build this process which caused some sleepless nights writing the correct script. The weird thing was, it wasn’t until I was completely exhausted that I woke up in the middle of the night with the correct line of code that was missing! We had one week to trial with the client, the new scripts and process with the correct templates before the contract started and smashed it. That gave me my new nickname in the agency, my name from that day was MacFreak.
Neil> Solving problems is my favourite thing, everyone wants to be a superhero!
Neil> Production has changed completely since I first started, literally a different game these days, although the process is basically still the same, except that the timelines allowed these days are ridiculously compressed.
Neil> I worked on the last Ghostbusters film release and premier, everything from cutting new trailers, through to digital and print advertising, OOH and DOOH and a Waterloo station experiential takeover. This could only work with close comms with the client and media agency.
Yep, never off, I’ll probably answer anytime of the day, except when I’m on holiday, and I mean a proper holiday, then I might only answer at one or two times of the day, if it’s urgent. Otherwise, I have amazing people who report to me and can handle all situations, they’re who make me relax. Surround yourself with great people, make your work life easier.
Neil> Learn your craft, and then learn your craft more, then keep learning, never stop learning, I’m still learning, and I’ve been at it for 38 years. Every day is a school day.
Neil> Deliver when you say you’re going to deliver and make it the best it can be.
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Categories: Business Services, MarketingFreedman International, Thu, 06 Jan 2022 15:04:27 GMT