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How I became a Senior Producer

Senior producer, project manager, creative producer, creative project managementContinuing our series on what it takes to become a particular role/job in London’s Marketing, Advertising and Digital Agencies, Angel Lewis talks to us about how to become a Senior Producer. If you want to find out how to be a producer or progress your career, read on. If you want to share your story in the same way, let us know…

Angel Lewis is a Senior Project Manager/Producer. He has worked in agencies in London, Dublin and Sydney; including VCCP, George Patterson Bates, Rothco, AMV, Wieden + Kennedy, DLKW Lowe & Albion London. Angel is currently freelancing at Creature of London.

“I’m Angel and I’m a Senior Producer, I have been working in for 20 years: having initially worked in magazine for seven years, then moving into advertising 13 years ago. My background is mainly print, but in the past 2 years I consciously made a decision to work on more digital and experimental work, so I gave up my full time role and went freelance.”

How did you get started in production?

I never went to university; I started working as a cadet journalist when I was 19. When I was 20, I put myself through Night College (TAFE) and did a two-year Advertising Certificate. I only completed a year of the Marketing Certificate as I knew I was never going to have anything to do with sales.

What was your first job?

My very first job was in dog and cat boarding kennels in 1992, to be fair it was a recession! The following year I got a job as a cadet journalist, working on an Australian women’s glossy magazine.

When did you decide you wanted to work in production?

From a young age I was convinced I was going to be a journalist; TV, Radio or Print. I soon realised I was not the best writer – I can’t write what people ask me to, just what I want to, so I chose to go down the production route. It was perfect for me, I am extremely organised.

When did you realise you had a talent for Producing?

I have always been really organised and had an interest in production – at high school I did all the photography and production on our Yearbook, I realised that I‘m good at getting people to do things.

Did you have to complete any training or get any specialised qualifications to get into your field?

I think it is mostly on the job. There is so much you learn just by doing stuff.

Describe some of your first jobs in the industry

  • Editorial assistant – collecting dry cleaning, making tea, getting people’s lunch, running to the bank 5 minutes before it’s closing to do the company banking, transparency filing.
  • Advertising Production Manager – copychasing and getting ads produced for advertisers for several magazines. Then I got a role producing a couple of magazines in their entirety.
  • Project Management – my first role in project management, working on print campaigns in Sydney.

How did you work your way up the ladder?

Hard work. Keeping my head down, doing what was expected of me and more. To be honest, there is not much of a ‘ladder’ in production, you just know more and get paid more as you move on. I think titles and ladders are more for account management.

Finally what advice do you have for an aspiring Producer?

  • Pay attention.
  • Don’t pretend you know everything – you don’t, no one does.
  • Write everything down.
  • Ask loads of questions.

This is how Angel became a Senior Producer, but it’s not the only way.  Find out more about the role here on this blog. We’ll be looking at the job in more details in a few weeks.

If you would like to share your experience in the same way, we would love to feature it on our blog. Please contact Annika@wearesource.co.uk or tweet us @wearesource.

If you would like a job in Production, search our latest vacancies or if would like to find out how to further your career, please contact Leanne Duke; Senior Consultant, Integrated Project Management and Creative Services;  leanne@wearesource.co.uk