Briefly. I’m a Londoner. I grew up in a multi-cultural community, where creativity was my outlet and something I was encouraged to pursue, despite the warnings that ‘It’s about who you know’. So with nothing but a vague plan to have fun creating work that makes people smile, I’ve put myself out there and been open to opportunities as they come up. In 2000 I landed my first creative role making promos for Cartoon Network, which set the tone for the rest of my career. When I started at Disney in 2013, I was surprised to learn I was the only in-house creative making content for advertisers. I saw a huge opportunity to build a team that would break the dependence on external agencies, bring creativity in-house and show just how much more can be achieved when you immerse yourself in the brand. It’s a fantastic, diverse and inspiring place to work, we still have so much to do. There’s definitely a place for collaborating with agencies and benefitting from outside innovation, but as the world’s best content creator we should be able to make a few ads ourselves!
1.) What was your very first job?
One of my first paid jobs in the media was as a runner for a London commercials production company called HLA. Helen Langridge is still one of my all time boss heroes.
2.) Please describe, in your own words, what your job is and what work it entails.
I head up the in-house Creative team at The Walt Disney Company producing commercials and more. We get to play with a lot of lightsabers.
3.) How did you discover that the creative world was right for you? Was there a time in your life that you credit to this discovery?
I still don’t know if the creative world is right for me…but it’s been a blast being allowed to play in it. Those early years spent as a Creative Producer where I had to brainstorm, write, produce and direct all my own commercials, really taught me to appreciate every stage of the creative process.
4.) In your constantly growing and expanding industry, how do you find inspiration to keep your work fresh, innovative and relevant?
I’m lucky enough to work with some of the most creative people on the planet, they keep me on my toes, and shove things in front of me that make me think ‘Aha, we should nick that!’
5.) If you had to pick one piece of work or project that you are most proud of, more for the creative work and innovation it required, rather than its recognition or industry “success,” what would it be?
I’m really proud of this commercial we just finished for Star Wars product. It distills everything Star Wars is to a kid in 30 seconds. We worked with my favourite animators, Blue-Zoo, on the ‘stop-motion’ and LEGO animation under the supervision of Academy award-winning John Knoll, original creator of Photoshop and CCO at ILM. It’s the culmination of many months building up trust of the senior management here at Disney to bring the creative development of these commercial campaigns in-house.