Search THE READING ROOM

Monday, January 25, 2016

How to be a success as a freelance production professional

SAAKSHA BHANDARY
Saaksha Bhandary (Commits Class of 2012), a production professional based in Mumbai, was most recently Associate Creative Director of the just-concluded reality TV show, I Can Do That, for Zee TV. She is possibly the youngest ever to be an ACD for such a big show.

I asked Saaksha to give us a lowdown on what it means to be a freelance production professional and elaborate on the responsibilities of an Associate Creative Director. Here is her piece:

Being an Associate Creative Director or Associate Creative Head means you, along with the Creative Director, are responsible for conceptualising and executing a show from start to finish — right from thinking of the basic idea of the show to finally working on it, putting it together, and delivering the “master” to the broadcaster.

When it comes to television shows and events, it means you are basically in charge of everything related to the show, be it thinking of the central theme or idea, the set design, the venue, the performers, the anchors, the on-stage and audience interactions, the light design, the costumes, the seating, the props, the scripts, the music, the acts, the choreography, the show flow or show progression, the edit pattern... in short nothing gets the green signal until the creative team approves it.

You are in complete charge of what the content of the show will be.  It's a lot of work and responsibility because one small mistake could have adverse effects on the show.

All this might seem quite daunting at first but the more shows you do the more efficient you become. I found that one of the most important qualities to have in order to be successful in this line of work is to be able to think on your feet. The Hindi television industry is not a big believer in “forward planning”. Everything happens, or, conversely, does not happen, at the very last minute and you need to be able to think of a solution immediately.


SAAKSHA BHANDARY WAS THE ASSOCIATE CREATIVE DIRECTOR OF I CAN DO THAT, WHICH WAS TELECAST ON ZEE TV.

If you are thinking about taking up this profession, here’s some serious advice:
  • If you're planning to come to Mumbai to join this segment of the production industry, forget about having lots of time to socialise and relax! Say goodbye to most weekends.
  • Don't play safe. If you want to get ahead in this field, playing safe isn't going to get you there. Take risks.
  • Take this up only if job security is not your first priority. There have been stretches of time earlier on in my career when I have sat at home for months without work.
  • Network, network, network! I wasn't too good at networking earlier. I would just come, do my work, and get out. But now I realise the importance of networking in this industry. It takes you a long way. 
Okay, I know I've made it look like a very difficult and scary field to work in... But I have come to love it, despite all the pressure and sleepless nights. When I finally see my show going on air it gives me a tremendous high to think that I have been part of creating something that lakhs of people in India and abroad will watch.

All I can say is, this is a very fulfilling job and I am fortunate to be among those people who can actually say “I love my job” and mean it. :)


IN APRIL-MAY 2011, SAAKSHA WAS ONE OF FOUR COMMITS STUDENTS WHO INTERNED WITH RED CHILLIES IN MUMBAI AND HELPED TO PRODUCE COKE STUDIO.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.