By Laura Maddox & Liz Lacerda
Founded in 1993, by Jon Kamen and Frank Scherma
Originally renowned for commercial & advertising successes
Today – development, production and distribution:
- television content
- feature films
- music videos
- live events
- digital content
All platforms of media
Offices: New York, Los Angeles, Berlin, London, Shanghai and Sydney
– Global studio – navigate the challenges of a constantly changing media landscape
– Awards: Academy Award, Emmys, Golden Globe, Grammys, Webbys, (two) Palme d’Ors at Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival, The Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award for Communication Design
– produce hundreds of award-winning commercials all over the globe each year
– apply the highest level of creativity to the most exacting level of production
– future without walls or creative boundaries
– varied visual styles and approaches to storytelling
– training ground for the next generation of auteurs, storytellers and entertainment innovators
– work with Design & Digital Group + Marketing team
– integrate visions – agency, network, and brand partners
– development, production, and distribution of programming
– television, film, digital, and on-site platforms
Design + Digital:
– team of very creative individuals
– experience in strategy, marketing, design and technology
– create multimedia stories to influence the way people think/behave
– tell stories in every possible medium, from digital initiatives to traditional and new media
– conceive it, make it and distribute it with partners
– great freedom of creative expression
– develop, direct and produce video-clips
– working with talented and demanding clients
– more expansive opportunities, including documentaries, concert films and actual concerts
– vision and commitment to innovation
– repeatedly rewarded with a list of Grammys and MTV Video Music Awards
29 years old
Honors in Theatre/Film, University of New South Wales, 2001 – 2004
Plump Films – Aug./2007 – Nov./2008 – Facilities Manager
@Radical Media – Dec./2008 – present – Producer
Currently working on a documentary project for Medecins Sans Frontieres
“I had always been involved in theatrical performances through school and University; so, I always thought that was where I would end up. But during my studies, my interest in what happened behind the camera grew.”
2012 – Producer for OFFICIAL VIDEO for ‘Schoolyard Bullies’ by Daily Meds (Radical Media)
2012 – Producer for MLC Commercial (Radical Media)
2012 – Producer for Jay Jays commercial, Los Angeles/USA
2012 – Producer for General Electric, Internet Campaign @Radical Media
2012 – Project for Vans
2012 – Producer for Adidas commercial
2011 – Producer for Telstra, Inhouse Brand Film @Radical Media
2011 – Production for Australian Air Force Campaign, Rockhampton
2011 – Producer for Def Wish Music Video @Radical Media
2011 – Producer for TV commercial Earth Hour (Radical Media)
2011 – Producer for ‘Jogja Hip Hop Foundation’, on TV in Indonesia for The Visibly Smart Films campaign
2011 – Producer for commercial “Visibly Smart” TV Commercial for Intel (Radical Media)
2010 – Production Manager for commercial shoot AAMI “What About Me” (sequel) – Safe Driver Rewards
2009 – Producer for commercial New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation: The Blob
2009 – Aussie film Red Hill
2009 – The Poker Star, show on Foxtel, Crown Casino, Melbourne
– Summarize your career to date.
On completing Honors in Theatre/Film at UNSW I was unsure as to whether I wanted to go down the theatre or film path. I had always been involved in theatrical performances through school and University so I always thought that was where I would end up. But during my studies, my interest in what happened behind the camera grew. On returning from 3 years of travel and living in London, I started working for a smaller boutique production company in Sydney where I managed a post-production team and assisted the Producers and directors in preparing for shoots. I then moved to @radical.media nearly 4 years ago where I have moved my way up the production ladder where I am now producing.
– What are your successes, challenges, key relationships?
My recent successes include a campaign for the Australian Air Force last year. It was recently awarded a silver pencil at the One Show Entertainment awards. Another great success was producing last year´s Earth Hour campaign, where we filmed (from a bird´s eye view) 150 volunteers moving around creating objects with their bodies (like the globe, a bike). Coordinating this was very challenging and we had more countries involved last year than in any other previous year. The commercial was translated in a number of different languages and played on air and online.
On every different job there are a new set of challenges, new problems, which require solving. Experience is everything in our ever-changing industry, so as a young producer I still have a lot to learn. The key relationships I have formed and need to maintain are varied. Being full time at @radical.media I work very closely with our Managing Director, our Executive Producer, our Directors, and all production staff. When I’m on jobs, managing and maintaining relationships with crew are essential. They are who make everything come together on the shoot day. Other key relationships are with Ad Agency staff. We work closely with them to develop and produce pieces of content for their clients.
– How does your business work? Creatively? Financially, in terms of marketing to their audience?
@radical.media is a trans-media company – and by “trans-media” I mean we create content not only for TV or Web, but across all platforms of media. The size and scale of budgets we work with are varied, from huge car commercials to music videos, and everything in between. With the move from film cameras to digital cameras (which I witnessed 3 years ago) there is a definite change in the way content can be created. With cameras like the Canon 5D, small film crews can move quickly between locations without the logistics of relocating large-scale crews.
When pitching on jobs we generally don’t have to source funding. If it is for a music video funding comes from the band, if it is for a commercial funding comes from the ad agency (which comes from the client). Only if we came up with an idea for a documentary that didn’t have a client or brand attached to it would we have to go through the various funding boards in Australia OR get a brand/s involved and create what is known as “branded content”.
– What do you get back from their work that isn’t money?
There is a lot of satisfaction in working in Production. Spending long days, nights and weekends in the office in pre-production, doing long shoot days on location, but then seeing the finished product on TV, at the cinema or online makes it all worthwhile.
– Summarize your creative process in general or on a particular project.
Being fulltime at a production company, I am also very involved in the pitching side of the business. So the process begins with us getting a script from an Ad Agency for one of our directors. We will then have to submit a treatment (which is a document outlining how the director is planning on approaching the script) alongside a budget as to how much we think it will cost to produce. If the Ad Agency likes our treatment and we are within the budget parameters then we will be awarded the job. This is when my role as a producer kicks in and I will have to start pre-production which will involve elements like casting, location scouting, booking crew, holding gear, building sets etc etc. Once all the elements are approved by the agency and client we are ready to shoot. Because every job is collaboration between client, Ad agency and our Director, it is important as the producer to manage everyone’s expectations so that when we are editing the content all criteria have been met.
The research and interviewing of Helen Morahan have been very insightful in revealing the role of the producer for commercial and creative projects. The producer is a crucial part of the team to completion of successful work. Helen´s comments about the importance of gaining experience to further your career provides a realization that volunteering and internships are a valuable way to network and improve skills in order to gain employment in the industry. The interview and research also highlighted the fact that advertisements and marketing are very important for the financial sustainability of a production company. There should be a balance between creative and commercial projects. The dedication required by the producer is incredible, and sacrifices are necessary in the job to get the best results.