My Media Day: Louisa Taylor, creative director, Fablevision Studios

LOUISA Taylor is creative director of Fablevision Studios, which is based in Glasgow and is a social enterprise providing bespoke HD video production, editing and event management.

She submitted this on Tuesday, September 13 2016.

What exactly is it you do? 

I am the creative director of Fablevision Studios. We are a social enterprise, based in Glasgow, and is a sister company to the charity, Fablevision.

Our mission is to deliver bespoke HD video production, editing and event management to businesses in the private, public and Third Sector across Scotland.

We offer HD video production and event management whilst working with and developing the talents of the long-term unemployed, those who face multiple barriers to work and/or long-term health conditions, student interns (both local and international) and refugees.

These people are trained by industry professionals in all aspects of HD video production and event management.

They also learn vital soft skills such as confidence, client management/relations, plus communication and interpersonal skills – all of which improve their employment prospects.

What did your working day yesterday comprise?

Most of yesterday was taken up with client liaison and contract management.

I used to do a lot more of the creative side of our filmmaking and event delivery services. But, since taking over the company, I tend to be networking, tendering for business and overseeing projects rather than being the one to deliver the outputs.

I also work very closely with all our volunteers and placements who come to us.

Volunteers come to us to develop all kinds of skills whether that is in the film, digital media and events management field or in more transferable skills such as admin, research, client liaison skills or marketing for the company.

We have a wide range of volunteer opportunities and an extremely high rate of people who come on placement with us go on to media jobs outwith Studios, set up as freelance artists, go into further education or come and join our freelance pool as one of our go to artists.

How different or similar is your average working day to when you started? 

When I started, I was the outreach manager for Fablevision Studios.

This involved me working with all types of groups and individuals over different periods of time to facilitate them in creating a film, an event or a performance piece as part of a project.

Now, my job is more about developing projects, overseeing them and bringing commercial contracts.

As we are a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fablevision, the charity, all our profits are fed back to them which means that our Social Return on Investment ratio is very high.

For every £1 invested in Fablevision or Fablevision Studios there is a £13.68 social return for participants, the local community and funders.

How do you see your job evolving?

In the future I would eventually like to expand the company so that we have hubs all over Scotland.

I would like there to be opportunity for people looking to get a foot in the door of the creative industry to gain experience rather than being trapped in the cycle of not having experience and not being able to get experience because they have none in the first place.

It is a difficult industry to get into, in a lot of ways, the fact that Studios have had such a high success rate of people doing placements with us and then going on to work with the BBC, STV or even on big budget films proves that our model works.

With that in mind, I would like it to be a model we can roll out across Scotland, especially as the film industry eyes have been focused on Scotland for the past couple of years with big budget films such as Under The Skin, Cloud Atlas and World War Z having some of their scenes filmed here.

What gives you the most job satisfaction?  

We work with a lot of individuals who face barriers to work – for many different reasons, such as long-term unemployment, long-term health conditions, people who are carers, single parents and lots more.

I think, for myself, what gives me the most job satisfaction is seeing the transformation in the volunteers and placements we work with, watching them develop skills and confidence and flourish in their creativity.

Quite often, at the end of a three-six-month placement, our volunteers have gained so much valuable experience that I am confident enough to give them their first contract as freelance artist in our pool.

Knowing that an individual has come to us because they were struggling to advance their media career and then, at the end of their time with us, either moves on to be part of our go to artists list or goes on to another job or course centered around the experience they have had with us gives me a great sense of job satisfaction and pride.