The last few months here at Picasso HQ have been busier than a fancy hat shop during Ascot with two new Directors coming on board, a mountain of stupendous new work from Holbrook's Film's viral for Baileys to Mia Nilsson's work with Gulf Air and so much more. However, this week sees one more milestone for the year, the addition of the wonderful Sam Hope to our Production team.
There's nothing nicer than filling the office with smart, creative types and Sam is as smart and creative as they come. Having dipped her finger in every pie from Producing the visuals for Rihanna's Rated R tour to founding the Animation division at production company HSI London in 2002 and to being on the board of almost every Animation Festival from here to Chicago. We sat down, in so much as our desk is next to hers, to talk shop, sweets and success...
Picasso: So tell us, why are you currently packing pic'n'mix into tiny plastic bags right now? We thought you were an Animation Producer, are you branching out into Tuck Shops?
Sam: Its very important work actually, I am making “Thank You for Listening” Sweet bags to hand out at the end of my lecture for the IPA Producer’s Course.
P: You're obviously very dedicated to the next generation of production talent, how comes?
S: It’s the old Nature /Nurture thesis - where there is an inherent talent, sometimes a little bit of nurturing can go a long way in getting it recognised and appreciated. Basically, I love being inspired.
P: Tell us about how you got started in Animation, when did you know it was your 'calling'?
S: I was working for a company that did both, back in 97. I thought I wanted to pursue a live action career, but fell in love with animation and never looked back. It becomes a way of life, you have to love animation to work in it. I even once dreamt I was dreaming at the wrong frame rate and adjusted it accordingly whilst still asleep.
P: You've worked on so many amazing projects, which sticks in your mind most?
S: Gosh, I have loved loads. Each job is different. I guess I am proud of the Rihanna Rated R Tour visuals, the whole process was incredibly labour intensive, but it was so satisfying to view the work on such a large global scale. Also, I loved a cinema commercial I did for Buxton, incredibly talented directors with an exciting technique, which made it a great experience.
P: What brought you to Picasso and don't say it's the tea-on-tap!
S: Well I have known Jane [Executive Producer] for a while and always respected Picasso since I started in the Industry, so I feel honoured to become part of a great animation institution and see what I can bring to the team.
P: If you couldn't be a Producer, what would you have been?
S: Ooh, I would have liked to have been a tour guide in a museum or national trust property, telling people how the house was lived in, and getting swept up in the history and romance, except I am scared of ghosts, so would be rubbish once it got dark, or I was left alone. And another career could have been teaching, it must be really satisfying to help mould young minds, or maybe that sounds too much like an evil mastermind.
P:You look ready to get stuck in, what's next for Sam Hope?
S: Working hard and being nice to people.
P: Finally, what is all this talk of 'cheese' we keep hearing?!
S: Oh, when Claire said you were going to ask me questions, in a panic I randomly thought you were going to ask me what my favourite type of cheese is. But then soon realised that was unlikely, so no need to worry. I still can’t decide, so don’t ask me.