Today marks the start of National Apprenticeship Week (7-13th February), Prolific North caught up with Amy Mayers, apprentice graduate at McCann Manchester. Amy joined the apprentice scheme at the agency in 2012 fresh from High School. Ten year’s later Amy is a post production manager at CRAFT, the agency’s in-house production department.
Amy share’s a typical week with us:
I snooze my alarm for what I convince myself will be the last time and wake up 40 minutes later. Once I’m up dressed and ready for the day, it’s a quick check of my emails and Teams chats before the flurry of Monday calls begin. The calls consist of workflow and resource management with our in-house editors and producers to assess projects we have in for the week and beyond to discuss requirements and workflow plans. The team are all briefed and good to go so it’s on with the day and onto my catch up with our Head of TV (and my line manager) Lucy. We discuss the busy upcoming pre-Easter period; we’re going to need all hands on deck. After a quick bagel and a brew, I spend my afternoon responding to the emails that have stacked up whilst I’ve been on my morning calls. I look up and it’s dark outside – how is it 6pm? I should put that Gousto away, it’s been sat in the porch since 3pm. Gousto away, what’s on the menu in Amy’s kitchen? Chicken tikka naan with Indian style salad and mint yogurt – yum!
Is it Thursday yet? I quickly realise it’s only Tuesday and perk myself up with a little morning stroll around the block 3 times, lockdown style. The sun is shining, today is a good day.
It’s 8:45, there’s time for a quick bowl of porridge and a brew, check me out looking after myself – you go Glen Coco. Will today be the day I finish the post-production training deck I’ve been attempting to finish since before Christmas? I start the day amending a cost estimate I pulled together last week as the deliverables have changed and the client is due to sign off on budget today. Done. It’s 9:30, time for the daily catch-up with our Motion team to run through their daily briefs and address any questions/technical issues the team might have. Finance have started the next call, I wrap up our team meeting and jump on with finance to discuss our Q4 audio revenue, we work our way through my log of completed audio projects to ensure the correct revenue is allocated in the tracker. Emails are coming in thick & fast, nothing unusual there, but then I notice a code red message lands whilst I’m on the call, a mood film is needed for a pitch by end of tomorrow… Looks like finishing that training deck will have to wait... With the help of my post production assistant Savanna, we pull the brief together and send over to our editor Jamie ready for him to crack on later today. Time for our weekly producer status call followed by my lunch that I picked up on this morning’s stroll. My diary is clear for the afternoon, is it a mirage? It’s not, I finally have chance to complete that deck and send round to the team. Hallelujah!
Good morning campers, it’s hump day. Today’s EOP deadline for yesterday’s pitch film is fast approaching. The phone rings and there’s another pitch film needed. “When’s the pitch?”, it’s this Friday at 3:30pm – loads of time. Meanwhile, one of editors has messaged, he’s not feeling well, so a quick re-jig of workload is needed to assign his work for someone else to pick until he’s better, he’s working on a TV commercial for one of our biggest clients and it’s a tight schedule so we can’t afford to lose a day.
One of the lecturers at Salford University has been in touch, she wants to know if we have a live brief we can share with this year’s video production students to form part of their course, roger that, thinking caps on. A phone call comes in from one of our production assistants, she needs some advice on a legal super (aka t’s & c’s), advice given.
I chase for client feedback on that 3d turntable WIP we sent last week – the deadline is looking less likely to be met by the hour. It’s 3pm and the mood film for tomorrow morning’s pitch is coming along nicely. *Teams notification* “how’s resource looking”, a third pitch film lands. Deadline: next Wednesday, now you’re spoiling us!
It’s 7:30pm and today’s mood film is approved, I’d call that a win.
I’m working from the office today, it feels good. My day starts with my usual cup of tea and a cheeky pain au chocolat in our Bistro– why not. Right, we need a voiceover recording for today’s pitch film, this isn’t a job for my bargain basement Mancunian voice, we need a real-deal professional VO artist. A few emails later and we’ve bagged a great voiceover, she’s booked in for 2:30pm.
Our Chief Creative Officer is off for a brew, en route, he asks me for what I believe to surely be a joke project (cannot disclose said request for legal reasons), he confirms it’s not a joke. I add it to the ever growing ‘to-do’ list…
A couple of edit briefs come in, we can squeeze two of them in, so I assign those to our editors and liaise with one of our post-production partners about the third.
It’s lunch time! I enjoy my delicious homemade Bistro lunch with some other human beings, real life ones, in the flesh! Makes a nice change from talking to the fridge. I return to my desk to a code amber, our voiceover artist has a family A&E emergency and can no longer record for us this afternoon. No panic, we had plenty more brilliant voiceover options through this morning so we confirm actress Lucy Akhurst for 4:30pm and she’s recorded in the nick of time.
I’ve finished by 7pm but I have some life admin to sort, I’ll do it in the office whilst I’m here with rocket speed Wifi. The cleaners have now left which means the sensor lights are turning off. The infamously haunted office isn’t somewhere you want to be on your own at night. C’ya later!
It’s Friday which can only mean one thing, a McCann Bistro 7-item breakfast is in order. One of the things I missed the most during the panny D. Brekkie digesting and I’m helping one of our producers with a cost estimate, I advise on the post-production time required and the associated costs and cast my eye over their schedule to check the resource allowance marries up with the budget for the project. Once we’re done, I send a quick message to my post-production assistant to book the appropriate resource in.
It’s our daily motion team call and with Friday brains engaged, everyone is feeling primed and ready for the busy day ahead. There’s time for a quick ‘extra-curricular’ brief, set by one of our amazing editors, George. We’ve been tasked to create a character for one of our existing clients using a method of our choice.
A few emails later and it’s time for a networking call with a North West based VFX company, they contacted me on LinkedIn on Monday. The call went really well so we add them to our database of partner companies for future collaborations.
I spend the afternoon facilitating final amends to today’s pitch mood film and ensuring this week’s other project deadlines are all met. One of our producers is off today and I’m familiar with the project so I pick up her handover in the afternoon.
Another week in the can. Weekend loading… Time for some quality time with my partner & some R&R with the family.