Every so often, The Study Room catches up with our favourite freelancers, creatives & fellow business owners to find out what really makes them tick (and jump out of bed everyday)
This week, we are looking at what it takes to work in the fast paced, intense and unusual world of Television with Lottie McGann, a Production Coordinator, based in London.
Keep checking in with us as we will meet with lots of people from lots of different specialities, to help you make the most of your day!
What does a typical day look like to you?
In my world, no day is ever the same. During a pre-production period I am predominantly office based working Mon-Fri attempting to stick to the 10-6 rule. On shoot days, all sense of time & space goes out the window. I’ve experienced swimsuit photo shoots abroad on an exotic beach with supermodels to working with hundreds of hopeful talent show contestants outdoors in the middle of an English winter. I’ve also negotiated A-List requests from celebrities including re-paints of entire penthouse suites & making sure that stray rats stay out of the shot in a South London scrapyard.
Where do you call your office?
Just as varied as the shows I can work on, my office changes constantly. I can spend my days in a friendly & casual office where I can pop out to Wholefoods joining the Brown Rice Brigade for lunch or spend 16 hours or more in a windowless room in the darkest corners of regional towns raiding the snack box to keep going.My favourite office was without a doubt on the poolside terrace of a luxury Villa in Mexico, my least would be tossup between having to 'acclimatise' with no air conditioning in 30-degree heat in an underground car garage or any of the aforementioned windowless spaces across our nations arenas & stadiums.
How did you end up in your line of work?
I wanted to be an actress, I can't tell you if it’s because of my love of drama or because I grew up with a family of actors. The older I got, working behind the camera became more & more apparent to me. I was fortunate to have an aunt in industry as a Production Manager. I picked her brains & realised that perhaps the logistics & planning of showbiz was something I could get to grips with. Goodbye Hollywood, hello Borehamwood.
I set about finding myself some running work in TV. I did some bits & pieces including working a feature film & some light entertainment studio day running that resulted in my crying into a pizza that I was delivering to Pamela Anderson. My dad suggested that perhaps getting a Degree might not be such a bad idea after all & after speaking to My mum & my grandma (mothers really do know best) they suggested I look at Ravensbourne College BA (Hons) Degree in Content Creation for Broadcast. The best part of my degree was being taught by TV Professionals, with specific focus on the practical elements of the Industry. With my previous running work & my degree; I was fortunate enough to find work as a Production Secretary quite quickly & aside from the usual quarter life crisis, haven't ever looked back.
What is one thing you wish you had known at the beginning?
Be prepared for your personal life & your TV life to merge. You will spend hours & days at a time with people who as a result will become your TV Family & your other friends might have to say goodbye to you for long periods of time, eventually it balances & that old school friend of yours is suddenly sat splitting a bottle of red with an Assistant Producer you worked with last year & sharing your most embarrassing teenage exploits with your Production Manager.
What is the best part of your day?
It is hard to select a best part of my day, because each one is different.I do enjoy moments at work where you get to talk about different shows you might have worked on with questions like 'Were you there when the David’s Dead saga happened in BB?!' (it was my well-earned day off actually) & 'Is Megan McKenna really that angry all the time?!' (Yes, she is, but as long as her gluten intolerance is supplied for she is TV Gold) Being able to talk to nearly everyone about what you do for a living is an aspect of my job that I really like, because people have an understanding of what you do as they have 'seen it on the telly' Mind you, don't expect your Nan to have watched ‘Ex On The Beach’
What are you working on at the moment?
I am currently working on the next series of 'Britain's Next Top Model'. I worked on the last season & it is a nice team to work with. I’m returning for another chance to organise the very important logistics of mass hairspray transportation, catwalk queens & glamorous locations aplenty. As the saying on this show goes, let's hope I am still in the running to becoming Britain's Next Top Production Coordinator.