Step into the world of Lydia, Head of Business and Talent at NERD Productions, and get a glimpse of the thrill and excitement of the production industry. Getting briefs, catching up with producers & creatives on a daily, nurturing talent and much more. Lydia's passion for the industry started at the age of 19 and it never stopped!
We managed to steal some time from her busy schedule to pick her brain on how she navigates the industry where personal connections are paramount. We also snatched a few bits of advice for those who are perhaps looking to embark on a similar career journey.
How did you first get involved in the production and what appealed to you about it?
It all started when I was 19 years old and worked as a receptionist at a production company in London. From then on I knew it was an industry I wanted to get involved in.
What about your personality, skills and experience make this position such a great fit?
People say I have always had “ the gift of the gob” and connecting people has always been something I felt I was good at and still enjoy doing immensely. I don't like giving up, so pursuing the right brief for the right director as well as finding that perfect match for the client is crucial.
I like to laugh and always say that I can hopefully make people laugh too, it always breaks the tension. Listening to clients’ wants and needs is another quality that I use in my professional life.
Being spontaneous and picking up that phone to absolutely anyone has always been something that has never phased me and that has led to making great connections over the years.
What piece of advice would you give to someone just starting their career in production?
Go with it, go slow and carefully, and don't be afraid to push the boundaries. More than that, don't give up at the first or last hurdle, push on through and do it with a smile on your face. Patience and persistence go a long way.
Thinking back to some of the most challenging experiences you’ve had in your career, what do you think tends to lie at the heart of the more tense or difficult client?
Leaving the ego at the door can be extremely beneficial for all involved. Working as a team can gain much better results than thinking only about your own creative needs and without collaboration. Working together can definitely be much more productive and powerful!
And what are the keys to building a productive and good relationship?
Honesty, communication, collaboration trust and ambition.
What’s your view on disagreement and emotion - is there a place for it and if not, why not? If so, why - and what does productive disagreement look like?
Having disagreements is ok. We encourage talent at NERD to always come forward and tell us their real thoughts. It can be healthy and can lead to more brainstorming and result in an even better thought/idea. However, being polite and communicative in a calm & mature manner will always have better results.
These days, agencies and production companies do so much beyond traditional campaigns. As a producer or account manager/sales manager you do so much to put all the pieces together - and that complexity can often be mirrored on the client stakeholder side too.
What’s the key to navigating (and helping the client navigate) that complexity?
Communicating in the right way. If there is an issue - discuss it! Don't leave it or that can make things worse, reassurance is always important but at the same time be honest and not exceed expectations.
What recent projects are you proudest of and why? What was challenging about these projects from a sales/production perspective and how did you address those challenges? And finally, what was so satisfying about working on these projects?
To be honest, I am proud of them all! Pain is gain and sometimes you have to push on through the hurdles to get to the other side. Sometimes production, agency or clients can be on different pages but working together, and finding that balance can be really rewarding and have a brilliant result. When you work on something that doesn't necessarily start off super creatively but by the end, with everyone involved, the end piece will inevitably bring a smile to everyone’s face!