Meet Georgie, our Head of Production, and find out what it's like to be a Producer here at Animade.
The overarching theme of my role is ensuring all of our creative projects run smoothly and successfully with the help of our talented Production and Accounts teams. Over the past few years, we have grown to a full-time team of 32, so a large aspect of my role is ensuring we're properly resourced for all of our projects, occasionally reaching out to talented freelancers during busy periods with the help of our brilliant Studio Manager, Michael! Empathy is super important in this role - you have to sense how your team is feeling and try to nip any issues in the bud before they linger. We are very supportive of our team and encourage a healthy work/life balance, so I’m here to listen to any stresses and to help find solutions, together with our Creative Operations Director, Laura, and Account Director, Katie. I’m also involved in lots of meetings where the topics can vary from strategic conversations, production processes, to working out the right team makeup for all projects, together with our Creative Directors, Ed, Mike, and Frida.
Pre-pandemic, a typical day would involve waking up at 7:45 am and cycling to our studio by Old Street from my flat in Hackney. Animade allows flexi-time so we can come in as early as 8 am or as late as 10 am, and being a night owl I’m usually closer to 10! Once in the studio, I’d normally sneak a cup from Stew’s Brew (our Senior Creative who makes outstanding coffee) along with some Marmite on toast, before catching up with the team and checking emails/Slack. We work a lot with clients on the West Coast of the US, so I usually start by checking anything that’s come in overnight and amend teams/project scheduling where necessary. Each day varies quite a lot which I enjoy and I’d say it’s quite reactive with new projects coming in and then assessing whether we need to scale up the team or move some things around. I’m also involved in lots of internal meetings as well as ensuring everything is running to plan. I usually head home around 6ish, often meeting up with friends for dinner (one of my fave pastimes).
Being a lover of people, I really enjoy the fact that my role is very collaborative. Communication is super important and I spend a great deal of my time catching up with our Creative Directors, Producers, Account Managers, as well as our leadership team. I love finding solutions to help people and I particularly find the line management aspect of my job very rewarding and seeing my reports grow within their roles.
From a young age, I always knew I wanted to work in the creative industry. It took me a while in my twenties to suss out exactly what my ideal role would be. After graduating with a degree in Visual Communication, I worked as a Graphic Designer for a few years but realised I got more of a kick out of meeting people and organising things than I did working on brand design for clients. I decided to side step over to Production and worked as a Media Manager on the TV show ‘The Cube’ which was an awesome experience. I remember looking at the producers and thinking ‘I’d love to do that role’! It felt energetic and sociable, so I eventually decided to take the leap and landed a job as a Junior Producer at the interactive design studio, Sennep. There, I collaborated with Animade on a few projects and fell in love with their joyful animations and knew it was a company I wanted to work for. I’ve always enjoyed creative work with soul and humour so when the opportunity arose for me to join the team, I went for it!
It’s a super exciting industry to be working in. It’s constantly evolving with technology advancing every day and I love how it keeps you on your toes. Animade recently gifted us Oculus Quest 2 headsets (I know, awesome right?) to inspire our VR animation thinking, and it blows my mind thinking of all the possibilities there. Growing up, my parents always told me that one of the most important things in finding a job you love is to find a company whose environment you love, surrounded by people you connect with, and I couldn’t agree more! You are with your work colleagues for a large portion of your week, so it’s important to feel connected. Animade’s studio is filled with plants and has a warm, homely atmosphere with music playing - this environment makes me feel relaxed and like myself. The team at Animade all have a fantastic sense of humour and while I’m hardworking, I am prone to bouts of silliness, and Animade’s playful nature reflects who I am. There are lots of laughs!
In my previous role as Senior Producer, I had the opportunity to work on some fantastic creative projects. If I had to pick one, I’d say producing the animated interactive wall we created for Mailchimp. We have a great relationship with the team over at Mailchimp and we are completely on the same wavelength which made the collaboration awesome. It was a dream brief: to create a huge interactive wall with animated characters that people could physically press to activate. Mailchimp trusted us which meant we could push ideas - I personally loved the ‘Easter Egg’ moments such as the sleepy worm that turned into a butterfly. There were some technical challenges along the way too but helping to find creative solutions to the problem gave me a sense of satisfaction. This project was a perfect example of how technological advances can push the realms of animation, and the results were brilliant. Once finished, I was lucky enough to see the installation in all its glory at the FastCo Innovation Festival in New York.
Read lots - there are so many brilliant online resources and schemes now and if you’re on social media, follow studios that you admire. If you are just starting out, try to gain as much experience as you can through internships or work placements. Find a company that you resonate with and who values employees’ development. And once you’ve landed your first gig, try to be proactive and help the production team as much as you can. Be flexible - things change a lot in the working day and if possible, try to remain calm so it doesn’t filter through to the team. Listen to people and be kind! Also, invest in a lava lamp for your desk - it’s really calming for those stressful days and I think it’s making a comeback!
I could list lots of amazing animation projects that I’ve worked on at Animade, but a particular highlight would be orchestrating a group holiday to Spain. I’m one of the ‘Culture Captains’ at Animade and my brief was to find the location and villa for the annual Animade Weekend. I'm obsessed with travel and after a long while scouring lots of Airbnb’s and various holiday lets, I found an amazing villa close to Jerez in Andalusia. Together with my fellow Culture Captains, we planned meals, games and surprises for the whole weekend and it was such fun! Seeing everything come together and everyone enjoying themselves in the sunshine gave me a real sense of achievement, and the task was everything I loved rolled into one: travel, organising, fun!
Fun, thoughtful, and joyful.
Written by Georgie Lister-Fell, Head of Production