What is your job role and what does ‘a day in the life’ look like?
My main role is a creative director, and no two days are ever the same (which is part of my job that I love). As I run my own production company (DB Media), as well as work as a freelance director for other companies, my day can be sat catching up on admin for my own company, pitching for a project, prepping for a project, or an ideal day for me is being on set collaborating with a team. I try to keep my days structured, as it would be easy for me to hit the sofa and watch a movie or TV drama instead of working, but I keep myself motivated by splitting my time between my kitchen table and my office in the city centre of Newcastle.
Have you had any specific training? Or studied a relevant course prior to working in the industry?
My career started out as an actor. I was very lucky to get a lead role in a continuing drama at the age of 19, this job alone gave me over 120 hours of broadcast experience and that’s where my addiction for storytelling began.
I was like a sponge during my time as an actor, so when I started exploring directing I discovered I have a wealth of knowledge from watching great directors do what they do for over 20 years. I bridged my career as an actor during my cross over to directing by working within the AD departments of broadcast dramas such as ‘Wire in the Blood’… As a 3rd AD, this is where I started to fully understand what a director does. My experience up to that point was from the perspective of an actor, so to see a director from a crew member’s perspective was when it all started to fall in to place.
How did your journey begin, and what made you pursue this career?
My love for storytelling began as a child watching movies constantly. I grew up as an only child, so my company was a VHS player and the local video store… I did have friends, but at times preferred to spend time with Marty McFly or Indiana Jones.
I had a passion and talent for acting, so that was my introduction in to the industry. I worked for over 20 years as an actor before I started considering directing. I was inspired to direct by a director I was working with as an actor. He is called Declan O’Dwyer, and it was working with him that opened my eyes to the mass collaboration that directing is.
What was your first job?
My first acting job was at 18 years old with Live Theatre in Newcastle. The show was called ‘The Twelve Tales of Tyneside’ and it was where it all began for me. I got my broadcast break on ‘Dream Team’ for Sky Television at the age of 19… And spent 3 amazing years working on that show.
What do you wish you had known when starting out?
I wish technology had been more available, in the way it is now. I also wish I had started exploring directing earlier.
What skills do you need to do this job?
My main transferable skill is communication… Overall people skills are incredibly important.
What advice would you offer out to those looking to work in this Industry, and what should people be aware of when pursuing this role?
There are THREE very important rules to working in this industry…
- BE ON TIME
- KNOW YOUR SH*T
- BE NICE
Career highlights so far?
I am lucky enough to have way too many highlights to list. But I will say I have travelled the world and met some incredible people because of my job. The fact that no two days are the same, and I still can’t believe this is what I do for a living is a daily highlight.
What are your top tips…
See RULES above.