The Gorgeousness programme caught up with ex-TV advertising producer, Debbie Capon, to find out what five things help make a splash in TV career! Here’s what she said …
“It is many years since I was lucky enough to work in the tv department of many advertising agencies in London.
I started off as a temp secretary covering for someone who was off travelling, but lucky for me they fell in love in Greece and never came back. I was offered the job and gradually started to work my way up the ladder to eventually reach the dizzy heights of having the title of Advertising Agency Producer.
All my skills were learnt hitting the ground. You didn’t need a degree in those days whereas today is a whole different ballgame. But whist the route into TV is different, the qualities required have stayed the same.
Here they are:
Super organisation skills.
A budget for a commercial could be anything from £10,000 up to £500,000 upwards. It is the producer’s job to make sure the budget is strictly adhered to. Because of this you’ll be expected to know exactly what is going on and this takes some major organisational powers.
A producer must always appear to be calm, organised, never make mistakes and always be fun. If the shit hits the fan it is the Producer who will be hauled up in front of management for a roasting. A Producer must be able to work closely with the account team and the creatives. The account team are the link to the client and the creatives just want to be creative and see their ideas come to fruition. The Producer must be able to make sure everyone can work happily together.
A Producer must be sociable and have contacts. In the cut throat world of Soho it really is sometimes who you know as much as what you know. A producer must be aware of who the next up and coming Director is that ‘everyone will want to use to shoot their next ad’, or the new sexy or husky sounding voice over artist who will enhance the next production.
Once the Creatives have had their work and a budget approved enter the Producer. The Producer will work closely with the creatives suggesting Directors who might be ‘the one’ to bring their idea to life. Enter the Account Director who might not agree with the choices made. It is up to the Producer to ease the way through the path to the perfect team.
Many creative teams would not agree with my final choice, but although you must never deem to think you might just have some useful creative input, I think it is important. As a producer you must also know what is the latest kit available to shoot with and the same goes for post production methods.
All in all a Producer needs to be a bit like a chameleon – a jack of all trades in one of the most enjoyable careers I could possiblty think of!