How did you get started in the production industry?
After finishing my BFA at the School of Visual Arts and working as a custom printer, rental studio manager and scanning tech all in New York City I found myself moving to Los Angeles where I pursued a career in advertising as an Art Buyer. I worked quickly up the ladder landing as Sr. Art Buyer at Deutsch LA and had the opportunity to work of some of the world biggest and most well known brands including Volkswagen, Dr. Pepper and Playstation. As an Art Buyer I prided myself in being knowledgable about all aspects of the production and being as involved and helpful as possible so naturally when I made the transition into producing on my own I felt extremely prepared. My production company Hello Pictures was formed when I moved to Atlanta after my six year stint in LA. I started off first with small studio shoots, but quickly took on large lifestyle productions and eventually started working on small TV commercials. I moved, once again, this time to Austin where I continue to work on TV and print productions throughout the US.
Describe a production from last year you are really proud of.
This past summer I was asked to produce a particularly challenging, but super fun project for Pepsi's Live For Now TV campaign with the director Chris Stanford. This project was challenging because basically we produced a 3 day lifestyle shoot that traveled all over the state of Charlotte for an incredibly small budget, but managed to make a beautiful spot and we all had a lot of fun doing it. The work was so inspiring it kept everyone interested and willing to put in the long hours, I think we hit 19 on the 2nd day! Our crew was 7 people including the director, DP, myself, wardrobe, hair and make-up, an AC and our PA, so you can only imagine how hard everyone had to work. We also had 5 really amazing young actors who also put in the time and dedication with a smile. You can see the spot here on the Director's reel at http://detourfilms.com/directors/chris-stanford/work/pepsi-live-now/.
What are some of the big trends you see coming in the next 5-10 years in the production industry?
This one is easy and I'm sure obvious: video. Every photographer is getting into it and every client wants it shot right along with their print shoot. I think photographers are at an advantage because they can produce a small video project on a competitive budget with an incredibly efficient crew. And if they can offer this skill and service well, they become a very desirable option to the client.
What advice can you give to talent when they're on set?
This is so basic but, show up on time, be polite and attentive, don't hit on the other talent and certainly not the client. If you have questions or don't understand how something works, don't be afraid to ask the production discreetly, not the client. If you are bringing your child talent to set, make sure they are entertained when not working. In fact, it's always good for children and adult talent on set to come with a book or iPad to keep themselves busy while all that waiting around happens, just don't let it distract you to the point of making yourself seem unavailable.
Unrelated to work, what are you passionate about?
My true passion is fine art photography, mostly landscapes and some intimate portraits. I've studied it since I was 13 and really it's the thing that makes me the happiest. Exploring on my own, making images and editing throws me into an internal contemplation that excites my mind.