From childhood aspirations of becoming a Postman, to working with agencies like U-Dox, Wednesday, Superimpose, and now client side with Adidas, Faye Young is the Creative Producer with an infectious personality. Faye talks to us here about how she got started in production, why business cards are a turn-off, and why being interested in other people is the best career advice.
Tell us about what you’re up to at the moment?
Following a fun (buck wild) few years as Senior Creative Producer at U-Dox and then as Exec Producer at Superimpose (where Adidas was the main client for both agencies), I have now gone in-house to fully embrace the three stripe life as a Senior Creative Producer for Adidas Global.
What did you want to be when you were a kid?
A Hair Dresser, Postman (loved Postman Pat), Orthodontist to exact revenge on others (haha). I had a brief obsession with Ally McBeal and wanted to be a Lawyer. I had no idea what a Creative Producer was as a kid and nor was it something I sought out.
How did you get started in your career?
I was always interested in the creative industry and when I was growing up I would pour over magazines. I was always really into clothes and design. I ended up working on a fashion prize nearly nine years ago as a coordinator and met one of the judges, and I started my production career from there.
What kind of skill set/qualities do you need to do your job?
I’m reminded of that Rudyard Kipling line here: “Keep your head when all around are losing theirs and blaming you.” A good sense of humour is vital, you should be able to run on little sleep and have a lot of energy. It’s key to be really organised and solutions focused. Last minute shit shows always arise on productions but being solutions focused and calm under pressure will ensure a smooth running production and what’s more: a great final output.
Always remember you’re working in a team, so people skills will get you a long way – even if you have to sometimes work with difficult people. It’s a really small industry and in weeks to come you’ll bump into each other again and laugh things off. A certain agility is great too – you never know when you’ll be asked to do a last minute shoot so flexibility goes miles.
What is the best thing about working with creatives?
It’s like a bag of badgers: truly never a dull moment. Managing a lot of people’s various personalities can be quite challenging but I’m constantly amazed by what my colleagues come up with, I have been very inspired by the creatives around me. I also have no qualms telling someone that despite their love of Game of Thrones we do not have the climate or the budget to shoot with wolves.
Tell us about growing up in Hong Kong then moving to London?
I was born and raised in Hong Kong and left when I was 18 for university. I had such a fun upbringing, my school had over 70 nationalities and I made friends from all over the world. I was lucky to travel around so much of Asia and loved the fast pace of life. It was a real sensory experience. When I was growing up we were a bit behind the times in regards to bands coming to town, fashion, film, art… so moving to London I was overwhelmed by how much was always going on, although I do find the city sleepier.
Hong Kong is very much a 24 hour city, I still find it weird being in Soho and last orders at most bars are 11pm… I don’t have any family in England but do think London has the best people and I definitely consider it home.
Do you have a dream project or a brand that you’d love to work with in the future? Why?
I’ve had a few “never meet your heroes” experiences throughout my working life so I am always intrigued about working with a brand I would never have thought of, and being so surprised by the amazing work you can do together. I have predominantly worked in fashion so I would like to branch out into alcohol, cars or a boutique hotel group perhaps.
Have you had any great career advice that you think is worth passing on?
Be interested, talk to people you admire/respect and ask them about themselves and their careers. It’s so boring to talk about yourself constantly. I lived in New York for a while and there were numerous Patrick Bateman American Psycho business card scenarios. I hope I never have to have a business card. Whenever I’m at a party and someone is harping on about themselves I swiftly depart.
I believe things come in swings and roundabouts and not to assume you know everything or know best. It’s amazing to share information and if you can help someone with an introduction or a recommendation, I feel this is really beneficial for all – you never know when you may need a bit of help yourself. I also believe if you aren’t happy in a job, try and identify the reasons why and GTFO. Life is too short to be miserable at work.
What’s next for you?
You’ll have to sign an NDA ;-)