Louise Lockwood is an experienced producer/director (PD) and talks about her varied role. She offers advice on how a successful PD can set the mood and personality of a programme and stresses the importance of being able to tell a good story.
There is no typical day as a producer/director, since a day could involve being in the office, on a recce, shooting editing or preparing for the edit.
A TV producer/director will usually be given the idea for a programme once it has been commissioned by a broadcaster. It’s then their responsibility to research, script, direct and edit that programme. They will often manage a research team, a film crew and an editor, and will usually work to a series producer. They are usually contracted through pre production right through to post production.
"Don't be afraid to follow your vision and take risks." – Louise Lockwood
They are responsible for creatively defining the mood and personality of a programme. They need wide ranging knowledge of lighting, sound, camera and editing hardware and techniques. They are also required to write well in order to produce scripts and voiceover.
Louise enjoys the variety of the roles that make up her job. One day she could be planning a shoot, the next out on a recce, and the following day preparing an edit.
She believes the key skills for the job are that you should be sociable, and easy to get on with, as well as being a strong decision-maker. Above all else, the ability to tell a story in words and pictures is central to doing this job well.
Louise loves having a clear visual concept for each of her films, because she says it helps her to make decisions. For example, in a documentary about Edgar Allan Poe she wanted to replicate the uncomfortable nature of the author’s work, so she deliberately broke all the visual rules when composing the shots for her interviews.