Hat # 1 - TV and Film Producer
An older, wiser TV director once told me that we were lucky to have so much creative freedom on the first show I worked on. It was true. The execs didn't really know what to make of us. They saw the ratings and left us alone.
I worked on Soccer AM for three years, joining Tim Lovejoy as he took over the Producer / Presenter role, we steered the programme from obscure sports-chat show through cultish, obsessive curiosity to a programme which influenced the channel and had an impact on the terraces. It was a thrill.
Ever since, I've tried to take that energy with me. Creativity drives what we do. To let it loose actually takes courage. As an Executive Producer, you have to protect the creativity. The development periods can be sapping, they can chip away at the purity of the concept the commissioner initially bought into. It's the EP's job to channel the creativity of the team and ensure the core spirit of the programme makes it to air. For every producing job I've had, I've found this rule to be the most important.
With film and drama, the tenacity required quadruples. I co-produced 'The 51st State' with Samuel L. Jackson and Robert Carlyle. I started off as the only producer, touting Stel Pavlou's brilliant script through the hotel corridors at Cannes. Five years later we had the film on screen. I was now the 11th producer, we'd had three directors attached, settling, finally, with Ronny Yu. The script had been through scores of drafts with the Hollywood suits dabbling with two other scriptwriters. The draft that ended up on screen was remarkably similar to the one we'd started with five years earlier. Tenacity. The other rule I live by.
I have worked for Sky 1, ITV, Sky Movies, Sky Atlantic, Sky Arts, Channel 5, Channel 4 and BT. I've partnered with Disney, Fox, Universal and Lucasfilm. If you'd like the full low-down on my credits please go to my Linked-In page, but be warned, it's a little drier than this site. Oh, and the credits move around, like everyone else, I tailor them depending on the next gig I'm chasing.