Our Team Tuesday is LS Producer Julia Macleod! Read on to find all about her...
Happily, the LS Productions offices are full of kind, friendly and smiley people. Considering the occasional work stresses of production and the long days (hey - no-one is complaining, we all love our jobs), a positive attitude is key to help not just yourself but also those around you. Julia Macleod, an LS Producer and bright ray of sunshine into the lives of all the team, has an infectious smile, bubbly personality and a genuine enthusiasm that can turn even the most ardent of dog haters into dog lovers (yes Sarah Drummond, I’m looking at you). And that’s just for starters.
Julia started at LS in January 2015, after a long career working across both production (Picardy Media Group) and brand and account management (Navy Blue, Studio Norse). On this, Julia says: “Picardy gave my first introduction to the world of production, post-production… From the beginning I was hooked. I was out on shoots a little but was mostly in the office or working around post-production suites. After a year-and a half I moved onto Navy Blue as an account manager. Worked on various accounts including New Balance trainers, shoots, campaigns, rebrands, worked abroad a little bit [Oman, Sardinia, Marbella]. I learned a lot and it was great fun – definitely a job to have when you don’t have kids and can take off at the drop of a hat. I worked there for 11 years, which was a big chunk. I left as account director after the company sadly dissolved, and went on to create Studio Norse with a few of the other guys from Navy Blue. After a few years there I decided I wanted a change in direction, back to the world of production. The travelling aspect and production was what I focused on, as it was something that I got the most enjoyment from. I started to look around and this job appeared, and I thought “well hello there!” It so happened that I had the connection with Marie from many moons ago [Marie and Julia once worked together as cabin crew!], and after a bit of time I was offered a job here.”
And the rest, as they say, is history.
Having started in the company as a Stills Producer, Julia now works on both stills and motion jobs. “Many of the stills shoots now have a moving image aspect, so it makes sense.” Her favourite shoot from the past year? “Stills wise it would probably be prAna. It was a great, compact American team visiting Scotland so there was a fun tour-guide aspect to the shoot. We spent a week bombing around Edinburgh and the Borders. That was really good, really great.” Moving image wise? “Picking one is really difficult. Probably the Agile Films/Scotsman shoot, that was a really good one to work on. Ooh, Laphroaig! How could I forget that? That was excellent, such a lovely time on Islay. Hobbs was also good – I would have loved for it to have been longer as it was such a nice team and a great location. The longer shoots are great; you feel like you really bond as a team.” Is it hard to say goodbye at the end of a shoot? “Yeah I get really emotional! I get really attached to people. You feel like you’ve given them a nice introduction to work and life here, and hopefully we’ve given them a great shoot experience – at least, we’ve never had any complaints!”
Favourite part of the job? “Being out on the shoot. Definitely.”
Dream client? “I’d love to work with Mario Testino. I think it would be a really fun shoot. We need to lure him to a colder climate than he’s used to, though, as he loves to shoot in warm, exotic places… It must be in his Peruvian nature!”
Funniest moment on set? “One of the weirdest moments was seeing hundreds of frogs on the road in Skye, when Jennifer and I were driving at two in the morning. No-one else saw them! Out of a crew of 80 people! How does that happen? We still laugh about it now. Generally, though, we work with people and crew who are humorous and like having a good time while they’re out. Even if it’s pouring with rain somebody will be cracking a dry joke and keeping everybody’s spirits up. It’s rare that there is ever unhappiness. We all work bloody hard, but it’s great. What could be better than going on an expedition somewhere, a wee road trip, setting up your production and seeing it through? I love it.”
"What could be better than going on an expedition somewhere, a wee road trip, setting up your production and seeing it through? I love it.”
Is there anywhere in Scotland where she hasn’t yet shot, but would love to? “The fairy pools in Skye, or Lewis and Harris because of my family connection there! Out-with of the UK – I’d love to go to the Mediterranean. Mallorca, Ibiza, Barcelona…”
What about personal travel? “I’ve travelled around a fair bit. This year’s trip is Sri Lanka, for two weeks in April. I can’t wait to experience some of the wildlife, see some elephants and hopefully some leopards. Really looking forward to that.”
So what’s next for our resident animal enthusiast? “I want to shoot with some Labradors and Spaniels. A traditional stills shoot with some nice dogs. That would be nice.”
No – not dogs wise, Julia… “Maybe Mario Testino isn’t off the cards!”
And what about Julia out-with of work? “I love a good film. Not fixed to one genre. I like stories with a human edge. It doesn’t need to be a blockbuster. A bit of dry humour always goes a long way.”
“At the weekend I like going for walks at Cramond. It’s one of my favourite places. When the sun’s shining it’s just a magical place, just to have a walk along. It’s very relaxing after a stressful shoot, when you’ve survived on 4 hours of sleep every night for a week. You’ll find me down there by the water in a bubble of serenity. With a dog.”
Love this feature and interested in knowing more about the team? Please click here to read past Team Tuesdays, including Location Manager Amy and Production Co-ordinator Jennifer.