A view from the bottom
A view from Phill Bircham

A view from the bottom

Backtrack to April. I was a recent graduate, freelancing as a videographer. I came across Saddington Baynes on Twitter and was impressed by their work...

After a brief spell in the marketing department, I was offered a permanent position as a production assistant and couldn’t be happier. I work across a broad range of projects, from full CGI to photography, animation, live-action, video and digital productions. I am currently shadowing our executive creative director, James Digby-Jones, and it’s great to be learning how complex visual content is built.

At Saddington Baynes, we love our high-end tech. Last month, I was assisting on a shoot using a video-mounted drone and playing around with a Phantom Flex, and I’ve just had sign-off for some exciting new video production equipment.

First thing Monday morning – it’s time to grab a coffee and a croissant for our weekly company-wide meeting led by our head of production, Jennie Mackay. It’s here that we run through the status for live projects and discuss new-business opportunities.

Every day at 11am, the core team get together for the "heads-up meeting" to go through the details of projects that have come in from our London, New York and Los Angeles offices. It’s important that we work quickly and cohesively to create a solution for our clients. This meeting is where we discuss techniques, technologies, approaches and timescales, then move on to the requirements around forthcoming shoots, quotes, pitches and treatments, where we show a proof of concept prior to job win. Preparing pitch visuals is a service that our clients increasingly require.

The rest of the day develops organically. I’ll be working closely with our marketing team to create interactive visual assets for our case studies, most recently for 5 gum and Strongbow. And I’m creating a video to showcase some of the apps we’ve made this year.

I also manage our weekly Instagram staff takeover and Vine, and provide a helping hand on our digital strategy for YouTube.

At around 3pm – or whenever I feel the dip – I’ll head out for a retro sugar buzz. Cream soda, preferably. A bit of Bournville, perhaps. No doubt I’ll get caught up in the odd fantasy football conversation and my boss will be wondering: "Where the hell is Phill?"

Today is a sunny day, so I’ll be grabbing my camera and heading out to get some footage of a 360-degree visualiser that we created for Infiniti’s flagship store. Only last week, I was on a mission to capture footage of the Strongbow Dark Fruit digital posters when a chap from National Rail marched me into his office and it was only a matter of a time before Carrie Mathison was whispering in my ear. I knew I should’ve shaved that morning and not worn those trainers.

Phill Bircham is a production assistant at Saddington Baynes

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