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Meet Producer Sarah-Jane

In this video, Sarah-Jane (Producer) discusses her responsibilities, both at entry level and in her current role.
My name is Sarah Jane. I am a television producer and my location is Cheshire in the Northwest. I work in production, so it’s all about making TV shows. And at the moment, I work in reality television shows and my main responsibility is to make sure that we are generating and creating story. So everything that you watch on TV obviously has to follow a cohesive story. My job is to make sure that we’re doing that, make sure that it makes sense for the viewers sat at home, and make sure that it’s good.
My first job in the industry was also within television and I was a runner, and I worked on a TV show called All Star Mr & Mrs, which is an ITV programme. And my main role on that was to basically assist the presenters in doing sort of rehearsals before we actually went to record the show with the celebrities, and I loved it. It was really, really good fun. So we were in a studio, lots of bright lights, and for a moment, I could pretend that I was a celebrity. Working in telly and in media is not all as glamorous as it seems.
There’s a lot of hard work that goes into it, but you do get to meet some really cool people both behind the scenes and in front of the camera. On one of my first ever jobs, I met one of my biggest childhood crushes, which was one of the boy band members from Westlife. I started doing entertainment-type shows, so the kind of things you’d watch on a Saturday night. And I did daytime-type shows, and then I moved into soaps. And then finally, I’m where I’m at now, which is reality. So I work in the editorial side of television.
And to get to the role that I am at now, which is a producer, I started as a runner working across loads of different types of productions and different genres to really get a feel for the industry. And then I moved up to researcher. Following that, I was an assistant producer. And then I became a producer, which is obviously where I’m at now. Some of the recent television shows that I’ve worked on are Celebs Go Dating, Love Island, and The Real Housewives of Jersey. To work in media, one of the main skills I think you need is communication, good communication skills because you will often be working in large teams.
You’ll be working with people that you have spent very little time with and that you know very little about. But very quickly, often, you need to pull something quite big together. You’ve got to be quite organised and that’s across the board in television, because as I’ve just said, everything works at a very, very quick pace and so we’ve got to be able to keep up with that. I think everybody that works in media is obviously a creative. That’s why we do it. And I think it’s really important that you harbour whatever it is that you find you’re interested in because that’s how we create new things and that’s why we attract different types of audiences.
So it’s really important to sort of, obviously, figure out what it is that you quite like and try and pursue that. Two big things that I didn’t know before I started working in telly– number one, you get so excited about meeting the stars and the people that you hear loads about, but actually, I’ve made some of my most incredible friends from people that are like me that work behind the scenes. Another big thing that I didn’t realise was, I think, it’s sometimes quite easy to get swept away with all the kind of big television shows or the big productions or the big things that everybody’s talking about and think that that’s where you need to be aiming for.
But in fact, it’s much nicer to find something that suits you. Whether or not someone’s heard of it or whether or not somebody else thinks it’s amazing, it might be the perfect route for you. Every person is creative in a different way to one another, and it’s really important that you make sure that you bring what it is that you have to the table. Because, obviously, much like everything in life, it’s constantly evolving as the media world and we need new faces, new ideas, new people to come along and really, really punch it up. If it was the same old people doing the same things all the time, it’d get quite boring.
So if you do have something unique or a new idea or something that makes you different, then absolutely go with it.

In this video, Sarah-Jane, a Producer, discusses her responsibilities, both at entry level and in her current role. She explains what it’s like working in media and the main skills required. As you watch, think about where your own strengths lie.

Over to you

  • What’s your ultimate goal?
  • How can you use the skills you already have to achieve this?
  • Are you full of ideas or is there something unique or different about you that would make you an asset to the screen industries?
  • Has anything Sarah-Jane said surprised you?
  • Has this video raised a particular emotion or question?

Please share your comments below as usual!

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