We continue our Guest Blog series on ‘Working in 2020’, speaking to our industry friends about how Covid has affected working life across the Film, TV, and Advertising industries.
We chatted with Barry Pilling, a Creative Director and Content Consultant about what 2020 has been like for him…
Who are you and what do you do?
Hi I’m Baz and I’m a Creative Director and Content Consultant. I used to own a content agency in Shoreditch but these days I consult with broadcasters, brands and IP owners who want to create big vision projects ranging from TV shows and advertising campaigns to viral videos and social media communities… Basically, if it involves attracting audiences using content, I’m your guy.
What were your plans for 2020 career wise and how has covid affected them?
I’ll be frank – my plans got totally shafted. I began the year working with a major indie who wanted to build a global social media community about incredible women in sport. It was a dream project and it went incredibly well. We had brand partners, sporting talent, influencers and a killer launch strategy that was going to kick in just before the Olympics… but when all global sport got cancelled the project got put on hold, which was heartbreaking!
Have you been working through lockdowns? How?
Since April I’ve been consulting from home with businesses that want to expand their IP. That’s mainly involved creating new social media communities for a major PR client and prime time TV formats for News UK. I’ve loved working in lockdown… in an office there are so many things to snap you out of your flow, from office politics to last-minute requests, but working from home has given me the space to disengage from that noise and work my own hours in my own way. It’s helped me gain clarity and improve my output.
How have you found the processes and measures put into place to keep you safe at work?
I’m lucky that I can switch from a production role to a development role quite easily, so I’ve not been put in harm’s way. But I see friends directing shoots on the other side of the world from their desk at home and I’m filled with admiration for both their skill and the ingenuity of the solution that is keeping them safe.
Has anything worked amazingly well or not at all?
Ad-hoc communication is more difficult outside the office, and ironically that makes everything much more efficient. Before COVID it was too easy to pop into a meeting room to discuss a project, and this inevitably led to disruptive changes in direction. Now I’m communicating solely over Zoom in much deeper, planned sessions with greater structure and better results.
Have any of these new processes made work life easier for you?
‘Zoom fatigue’ has helped… nobody wants to be on more video calls than are strictly necessary! So I get the time and space I need to build a compelling vision, and finesse it to a point where it sails through sign-off, rather than being pulled apart.
Has this year shifted your career focus?
When the industry gets shaken up it makes everyone much more open-minded, so I’ve capitalised on this by bringing my own IP projects to market much faster. I love connecting investors and media owners together around big ideas, and the response has been better than I could have imagined! 2020 has removed the safety net of predictability for many of us, but I’d encourage everyone to stay brave and bold… It might feel like there’s a chance you’ll crash, but the reality is you might just FLY.
What are your goals for the new year?
I’m publishing a book on the theme of KEEP GOING, as well as bringing new TV formats and a children’s music brand to market. All those hours saved on commuting have been put to good use developing these projects, now it’s time to put them into production… and call on the amazing contact book of Loop Talent to bring them to life! I’m being transparent with the journey as I create this work, so I’d encourage anyone interested to follow me on Instagram @barrypilling where I regularly share tips and progress updates.
STAY SAFE EVERYONE!