Prioritising the right priorities
In this industry a lot of the time we make decisions based on our calendars, the location of the work or because of the lack of other opportunities. Sometimes the decisions come down to wanting to work with a certain director or producer. Sometimes we get a chance to make a choice based on something else. That was what happened to me in the spring of 2021. I was approached by a producer in the early stages of crewing up for a new CBBC show. The conversation revealed that the series was based on a Julia Donaldson book, which as a parent piqued my interest. If you’re not familiar with Julia Donaldson, she is the author of The Gruffalo, Zog, Room on The Broom and many other children’s books that are firm favourites in houses across the country.
I have two daughters, Lily (5) and Poppy (4). I’ve spent hours and hours reading these books with them and watching the animations of many of those books. The series that was in the works was Princess Mirror-Belle, a story that my girls were less familiar with but I knew they would enjoy. The story revolves around a young girl whose reflection comes out of the mirror and causes all kinds of mischief. At the time my youngest was going through a phase where she thought her reflection was her best friend, so it felt very relatable.
At the time I had a couple of other offers of jobs but after years of working away from home periodically in a job that my children didn’t really understand, it felt like the perfect opportunity to take a job that wasn’t just about me and furthering my career. The job would involve doing the assembly edit from home, due to the ongoing covid restrictions, meaning that every day my girls could see the show come together scene by scene. My girls would be able to see a little more of what goes into my job and the fun of adding music and sound effects to enhance the comedy.
The decision didn’t take me long at all, and a job that I thought I was taking for them, turned out to be one of my favourite jobs of my career. Not only did I get to be part of a new series, which is always fun, but I also got to see the sheer joy on my girl’s faces when the episodes aired fully completed and with all the visual effects in. They managed okay using their imagination for green screen shots, but there’s no replacing the final product!
We don’t always have the luxury of choice in this industry, but when we do it’s
a great opportunity to try and prioritise what’s important, whether that’s what we normally value or not.