Mia Riches joined the team in November from a background in post-production.
What actually brought you to film making and how did joining Hamlett Films come about?
An early memory is my pre-school Nativity play. My mum walks into the school hall, expecting to see her daughter as shepherd number six, only to discover me telling my toddler peers where to stand, how to deliver their cues and Mary & Joseph how they needed to project. My teachers were forced to make me the show’s stage manager.
Storytelling is in my DNA, it excites me, emotes me and transports me to another reality. I believe that through effective storytelling we can impact social change and can provide a voice to those underrepresented communities. I am thrilled to have found Hamlett Films which makes those kinds of award-winning films.
What has been your biggest success and challenge so far as a production manager?
Although I hadn’t yet been at Hamlett Films long, I was catapulted straight in with a brand new project to start working on; to make a series of social documentaries – set around the four regions of the UK – as part of the Open University’s Public Health Module.
Due to our delivery deadline, we had to work fast in order to secure contributors and locations, but were dealing with sensitive issues such as diabetes and mental health. We had to focus hard but be sensitive to form strong relationships with our contributors to make informative exemplar films.
What does a production manager actually do?
I organise everything from budgets to overseas permits and all operations on set and off. I ensure all production schedules are met and I’m in charge of running the office in Hackney. It’s a bit like Tetris, making sure the blocks don’t stack up and keeping ahead of the curve.
What are the key elements for great video content these days?
Maintaining the viewers attention from the outset is all important. With so much video content out there – and statistics proving that locking in your viewers attention within the first 30 seconds is vital – it is important to differentiate yourself and to find visually engaging ways to educate or communicate with your audience.
You have to be daring and willing to push the boundaries in order to create something engaging, informative and most importantly visually appealing to those watching. Educational content films are no less demanding with many key learning points that our films need to cover.
What figures in the industry do you tend to look up to?
Someone I really admire is the head of post-production, my first boss, when I graduated from University. She trained me and gave me the practical experience I needed. She supported me and encouraged me to explore the various job roles within the industry and really did help me get on the right path for the role I was meant for – Production Management.
Give us one word that would describe you the best
I think a word that best describes me is empathetic. I love working with people in a collaborative environment such as filmmaking. I think being empathetic is highly important in order to maintain good working relationships. I also believe it’s this empathy and compassion which I have that made me want to join Hamlett Films, so that I could use these traits to tell important stories and give others a voice.
If you had known you would become a production manager quite early on, what would you have told your 18 years-old self?
Remember those Excel formulas from computer classes – they will most definitely come in handy! And don’t underestimate the power of a good colour coded spreadsheet!