Ever wondered what it's like to work in production? We caught up with Tom Miller, Production Manager for George at ASDA at the Hearst Content Agency to find out what makes his role so rewarding and what a typical day looks like...
What do you do within the agency???
I produce and manage e-commerce photography for our client George at ASDA for their website?and in-store POS. I also help manage all social activity that goes through our team,?including?influencer partnerships and still life shoots. ?
Tell us how?you?got to where you are now….??
I began working at Hearst?Content Agency?in April 2018 as Production Co-ordinator. My responsibilities included supporting my managers to produce above-the-line campaigns which involved stills and video. As well as this, I managed?the?social content?that came through the agency for George. After fourteen months I was promoted to Production Manager which meant I became responsible for managing e-commerce photography for George’s website?and in-store POS, while still being involved in?any?social activity.?
What does a typical day look like?
After receiving a brief for a shoot, I work closely with the Art Director to develop creative concepts that elevate the brand. I also put together the wider creative team and brief them to ensure the given concept is achieved in all stages of production. I spend a lot of time in excel when working through budgets and critical paths.
During lockdown, our client shifted into a social-first world as all e-commerce photography shoots were put on hold. There was a huge focus on influencer activity as well as creating useful and positive content. Communication between my team and I became even more crucial, whilst working remotely, so I spent a lot of time on zoom calls briefing in the team to ensure we are producing and delivering content to a high standard that the client expects, and that we are proud of.
What is the most challenging part of your role?
I would say being on top of workloads. We are working across so many projects at once so it's vital that we are working in the most efficient way.
What is the most rewarding part?
Seeing my team's ideas come to life and achieve great results for our client.
What’s next for you and your team? I imagine there are some exciting plans in the pipeline…
In 2019 we trebled our follower numbers for George on Instagram, and in May we hit 500k followers. We’re constantly looking for ways to increase our engagement and grow our followers. We also recently did a casting for e-commerce in order to increase diversity and inclusion in our model bank for future shoots. It’s great to be part of that movement.
What advice would you give someone trying to get into production?
No production is ever the same... But that’s what makes it so much fun! You are constantly learning and growing as a professional when working through different briefs, and you also get to work with some truly inspiring people within the creative industry. It’s also super important to build a list of contacts to maintain a strong and diverse bank of talent to work with.
Finally, when you’re not at work, what would we find you doing?
I spend a lot of time with my friends visiting new places and going to fun events, but I also love spending time at home decorating or finding space for a new house plant.