HOW TO MAKE SHIT HAPPEN:
As an experienced producer, WNW Member #5949 Carly Gray knows how to make shit happen. Efficiently, correctly, on time, and within budget. During her eight years at Wallpaper* Magazine, Carly worked with clients as diverse as BMW, Rolex, and Dom Pérignon. She now heads her own company, Carly Gray Production. We interviewed Carly on what it takes to get started when trying to make the impossible possible. It turns out getting motivated is easy for Carly: "I love every part of my job so I’ve never had trouble getting motivated."
But that doesn't mean shit never hits the fan: "Whilst on a 10 day travel shoot in Taiwan I had to manage 3 additional shoots in Brazil, France and Switzerland (with no Blackberry). We somehow managed to pull off a 24 page travel supplement, 8 page fashion shoot, 4 page art feature and 3 designer videos for Mercedes. Seeing the final results you forget the craziness around each project."
Carly's Top 5 Tips on Making Shit Happen
1. Schedule everything
2. Don’t stress - if you feel like you are doing everything you can to make a project a success, it will be, and a happy client keeps you motivated.
3. Build relationships - having brilliant clients and creatives to work with makes each project fun. It also makes it easier when working in pressurised situations.
4. Keep creative - I post images on social media of things I love (always credit the artist) and often end up collaborating with the creatives I am inspired by.
5. Drink coffee!
What's some advice you have for those dreamers who want to become doers?
No project runs 100% smoothly so always expect the unexpected. You have to be prepared for any situation and know that there is always a solution to everything, so never stress.
The most rewarding part of my job is seeing a project realised and published. It is so exciting to work from an initial creative brief all the way through to the final results.
Any stories come to mind when something impossible, you were able to make possible?
Before starting Carly Gray Production Ltd, I was the Bespoke Producer at Wallpaper* magazine. Travel was a big part of my role which meant weekly global trips. Frequently I had to turn around impossible shoots in days. Having an extensive blackbook of creatives now means I can always find a photographer to execute a project with beautiful results, regardless of where I am in the world.
What are some of the craziest things you've had to pull off?
Whilst on a 10 day travel shoot in Taiwan I had to manage 3 additional shoots in Brazil, France and Switzerland (with no Blackberry.) We somehow managed to pull off a 24 page travel supplement, 8 page fashion shoot, 4 page art feature and 3 designer videos for Mercedes.
Seeing the final results, you forget the craziness around each project.
How integral is networking and the power of relationships in your job?
It is the most important part of my job and most of my freelance work today is down to relationships, whether it be with clients, photographers, creative talents, designers or interns. I keep in touch with everyone, after each project I always send a hand written thank you note to each contributor.
One of the nicest things I remember is walking into a famous photographer's studio in London and seeing all my thank you notes pinned on his studio wall.
How does your job producing help with your personal relationships? Is it ever difficult to turn off your producing skills after hours?
Yes! I organise everything…I love schedules and planning each part of my day so that I never have to rush. My diary is with me 24/7.
What’s your creative outlet?
I collect. I have a vintage collection of glassware and tableware and travel to markets and vintage stores around the world.
Living in London is the ideal city for working in the creative industry, there are so many galleries, exhibitions and events to visit for inspiration. I regularly take a day out of my work schedule to visit galleries on my own and be inspired.