Our next Job Spotlight shines a light on Production Manager Lauren, who's a linchpin in the running of two of our biggest TV shows.
How long have you been in your role?
I joined Blue Zoo in August 2016 as a Production Assistant. I've been a Production Manager since April this year.
What did you study?
I graduated from the UCA in 2010 with a degree in Animation, and no idea where I fit in the industry. I'd worked part-time at a shop whilst I was studying, after graduating I became a full-time supervisor there and did freelance motion graphics projects in my spare time. After working in retail and admin for a few years, in 2015 I decided to quit and go for it. A few tense months of unemployment later the risk paid off; I got the job that would lead me to Blue Zoo.
Where were you working before and in what role?
Before joining Blue Zoo I was working at a small TV production company as a production/edit assistant and After Effects fiddler. It was there I realised I had a knack for production, but that I wanted to do it in an animation studio.
I love seeing every stage of production happening, from the scripts through to lighting and comping.
How did you get the job?
I'd been following Blue Zoo on Facebook for a while, it looked like an awesome place to work, so when I saw the Production Assistant opportunity pop up on my feed I jumped at it.
What does a typical day look like?
Currently, I work across Go Jetters and Numberblocks. Typically, I will go through my inbox first thing, make to-do lists for the day, check in with the directors and leads about their plan for the day and to see how everything is going for them, whether we are still on track to hit targets for the week, and if not, figure out how to adapt to that. I'll contact the scriptwriters and composer to follow up on how they are getting on too. I book in briefings, reviews and meetings, track schedules, and organise the voice records and post-production. On days when voice record sessions are booked in, I'll attend those, which is one of my favorite things to do. I communicate with the client about approvals, and I'm also responsible for keeping the budget on track and getting all of the deliverables ready for final delivery of the episodes. It's hectic but never boring!
Blue Zoo invest in people and develop talent within the company. There is an open, collaborative culture here.
What are the best bits of your job?
Being part of a team of incredibly talented and dedicated people, they inspire me every day to work hard and do my best. I love seeing every stage of production happening, from the scripts through to lighting and comping.
Have you received any training at Blue Zoo?
Through Blue Zoo, I had the opportunity to take part in the AWUK Achieve Programme this year. Thanks to the support I receive at Blue Zoo, every day I am learning and developing in my role.
What's it like working at Blue Zoo?
For me, it's inspiring and challenging. Blue Zoo invest in people and develop talent within the company. There is an open, collaborative culture here.
What would you like to be doing in the future?
I'm fairly new to my role, so would like to do that for a while longer and learn as much as possible. Longer term, I want to gain a deeper understanding of the creative and technical side of things and contribute to creative decisions as I progress in production. I thoroughly enjoy working on pre-school, but would like to experience working across shows for older kids and features too.
After working in retail and admin for a few years, in 2015 I decided to quit and go for it. A few tense months of unemployment later the risk paid off; I got the job that would lead me to Blue Zoo.
Do you have any advice for people thinking of a career in animation?
If animation is the industry you want to be part of, whether you're a graduate, or animation is something you're passionate about and you want a career change, go for it. Do your research, network, and utilise any opportunity that comes your way. Trust your gut and it'll all work out.
Many thanks to Lauren for talking to us about her role at Blue Zoo, and some great words of advice! If you think you'd suit a role in production we have several jobs availble, for both production managers and coordinators. Please head over to our jobs site here for details.