Describe your role at LEO Learning.
My job title is Executive Producer of Moving Image, which is something of a catch-all. Fundamentally I’m a writer/director, but my role involves plenty of other things too – learning design, client liaison, casting, producing and logistics. Basically anything that feeds into creating a successful video product.
Which part of working at LEO Learning do you love most?
I feel most fulfilled when in a room working with actors. I’m able to do that often in my role here. Also, writing scripts that clients respond well to is a big buzz, as is training learning designers in the fundamentals of how narrative structure and drama work. There’s a lot of variety in the work we do. We could be filming monster trucks on a Monday and delicate scenes at a hospital bedside the next day. So you never really know what’s around the corner.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
Producing video involves a lot of moving parts. There are so many things that can go wrong, so many things to cover off and deal with. There’s always a great satisfaction when a complex shoot comes out well – and the more complex it is, the greater the satisfaction. We recently dressed a racecourse in Surrey to look like an American airport, and shot a huge set piece involving eight actors and more than 20 extras, all of whom needed to be precisely choreographed to move and behave in specific ways. Logistically, it was extremely challenging and it took forever to set up properly, but we’re all delighted with the end result.
Away from LEO Learning, I’ve just crowdfunded a film starring one of my all-time acting heroes, and I’m looking forward to shooting that later this summer. To assemble the talent we have onboard, and find the money we needed, is something I’m really proud of. (You can have a look at our trailer here.)
What is the biggest challenge you’ve overcome?
When the team here was still relatively new, we won a project for a large, global mining company that involved a two-week shoot in South Africa. It took over our lives for weeks! The logistical challenges involved in sourcing actors, crew and locations so far away from home (the UK) were huge, and it was a steep learning curve. Given it was the first real ‘biggie’ the team had undertaken, it was a fairly intimidating prospect for everyone involved. The work we produced went on to land very successfully with the client (and, actually, with the wider mining sector as a whole).
What are the three things you can’t work without?
Quiet, coffee and other people.
As a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?
A cricketer. I fell some way short in the end, but I’m still the proud owner of a Sussex Schools XI sweater from the 80s and a decent record in league cricket. After a brief flirtation with sports journalism, I discovered acting in my teens and trained at RADA. It’s a three-year experience I wouldn’t swap for anything in the world, and it has led me (somewhat circuitously!) to the career I have today.