Thirty years working in Production Design and for most of those as a Production Designer, I’m still as excited and enthused about the industry as when I started.
Having graduated from Newport Film School in June of 1988, I started my career in the BBC Art Department six weeks later when it was still a powerhouse of TV Design. Wide-eyed and keen to learn, the first few years were invaluable and I was very fortunate to work on a wide range of shows and genres such as Bergerac, Ghostwatch, One Foot in the Grave, Grange Hill, Top of the Pops and the odd live event.
Being freelance staff at the BBC meant I had the flexibility to move with the times. So when the BBC Art Department was sadly fazed out, I found myself already established as an Art Director in the independent sector. By the mid-90s I was hitting my stride, art directing for an industrious rotation-triptych of Production Designers who were (and still are) very well respected in the industry. The diversity of the work they gave me allowed me to hone my range of skills and this experience and work ethic remains with me to this day.
The Crystal Maze, Game-On, Fantasy Football League, The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer, Alas Smith and Jones, East Enders, and Big Train are just a few of the shows I was involved with. By this point I had also started to dip my toes into designing pilots, taster tapes and several stand-up comedy shows.
This roll call of work led to production designing The 11 O’Clock Show in 1998. This show was very much a zeitgeist moment in TV and marked a huge gear shift in my fortunes and the fortunes of pretty much everyone associated it with it... I am hugely grateful for the chances it afforded me.
I find inspiration for my job all around me and this stems from interests away from work. I’m a pop culture ‘sponge’ enthusiastic about music, and its influences. My record collection is 3,000 and counting, and I still frequently attend gigs of both established and up-and coming artists. I’m fascinated with social and architectural history, an art gallery and theatre ‘regular’ and passionate about film and TV. I’m a huge fan of Instagram and Twitter and the communities they attract. My guiltiest pleasure is reading Twitter during live televised events. I’m also the dad of two teenage boys who are bemused by my fashion sense, surprised I can still beat them at Ping Pong at every affordable chance, and who take great delight in telling me how badly ‘my team’ are doing in the Premiership.