What is your morning ritual to help get the day started?
I wouldn’t call it a ritual; it feels more like a race against time. A typical morning would be: wake up and think “Yeah, 5 more minutes” (bad idea); wake up a second time, start thinking about what clothes I’m going to wear, fall asleep again; 30 minutes before my train is due I jump out of bed, shower, put the kettle on (why? I don’t really have time for tea), grab some clothes, ignoring my embarrassing hair state and lack of make-up (confidence is all!); leaving, I’m suddenly overwhelmed by a weird feeling: did I forget something or is it just the uncertainty of life on a rainy day? I dash back in, grab my umbrella, and then run-for-my-life; finally, I jump on the train, the doors closing behind me… I made it! YES! And then that feeling comes back, and I realise what it was: I’ve left the kettle on.
How did you get into TV / production?
I have been drawing since I was little, so it seemed a good idea to get a BA in Design. While at uni I directed a weird short film about a guy who buys his wife at the supermarket. The film was CRAP, but I thought: I love this! This is what I want to do! I loved the hype, the teamwork, the fast pace, even the chaos of filmmaking. I had no idea what role exactly I would fit in, so I started by helping on any possible role, on and off set. A couple of years (and many jobs) later I was hired by a production company to create TV ads. I started as a Creative, but after a few months in the job I told my boss I wanted to be a Producer. He wasn’t looking for one, plus, he would have to hire a new Creative to replace me.
“And what would you do as a Producer, exactly?” asked my boss. “I’m like Mr Wolf. I solve problems”. He patted me on the back and left, and never talked about it again. I thought I had given it my best shot, and just kept writing creatives. Then, one day I walked in to the Creative office and found that all my things were gone and a stranger was sitting in my seat. Surprise! My desk had magically moved next to the other Producer, and the stranger was the new Creative! I finally got to be Mr Wolf, and I have been a Producer ever since.
What is your favourite film and why?
Labyrinth. I love everything about that movie: the looks, the special effects, the music…
And the message behind it: take care of your little brother otherwise he’ll get kidnapped by goblins (?), and an eccentric David Bowie will court you with a crystal ball (??), offer you a poisoned peach (???) and then propose to you! I mean… the 80s, right?
If you could do any other job what would it be?
When I was little I used to say: “I want to be either an astronaut or a scuba diver”.
I guess I just liked the idea of floating while working. But if I had to pick another job I would be a comic artist. I still draw as a hobby and I love it. And the sad truth is that I am not actually good at doing much else.
What advice would you give to newcomers trying to break into the industry?
I went to a conference once to listen to this amazing producer. I asked him to give me some advice, and all he said was: “If you don’t give up and you are not a t*** you’ll probably make it”.
What quote do you live by?
"A word is worth a small coin, but silence is worth two." — Talmud, Megillah 18a
My dad doesn’t talk a lot, and I guess he taught me the value of being silent when you don’t have anything meaningful to say (maybe that’s why I am so bad at small talk and I get awkward at parties).
What motivates you?
Weirdly enough, what has motivated me more are the people who didn’t believe in me, because they made me want to push myself and prove them wrong. If you can turn bad feedback or experiences into something good, you are invincible!
If you could be a superhero for the day who would you be?
Benedict Cumberbatch/Sherlock Holmes! It must be amazing to feel incredibly smart AND have great hair at the same time.