Fiction & Drama

Friday Five: Adam Boome, Head of Creative at Underworld TV


This week, we have Underworld TV’s Adam Boome answering the #Friday Five.

Tell us a bit about your job?

I run a fairly new TV production company specialising in the subject of crime. I’m the ‘Head of Creative’ as my background is television and film. My fantastic business partner is ‘Head of Crime’ as he’s an ex-criminal. We’ve just completed our first broadcast series What Makes A Murderer for Channel 4, which one director we were interviewing told us was impossible to make, so we’re feeling quite smug.

What are the key ingredients for success?

I think the key ingredient is passion for what you’re doing. Any business has its ups and downs and sometimes you have to fall back on that passion to keep you going. Also, finding good people to work with and creating an environment for them to succeed in.

Describe a normal day?

There’s no normal day for me. We’re either in production or developing new ideas. So I’m either trying to keep the production team working, or immersing myself in a new subject to become expert enough to write a treatment. Both of those things mean we meet a lot of really interesting people, which I love. Then there’s the business admin which I don’t love, but it’s necessary so I have to grit my teeth and get through it.

For those trying to break into the industry, could you explain how you got to where you are today?

I’ve always said yes to anything which sounds interesting. I started off in the art world making video art. Because I could use editing equipment (it was much more technical back then) I got offered a job in TV and gradually moved into editing feature films. But I love documentaries so I started directing docs, then when I met Tony, my business partner, I started a production company so that I could concentrate on the subject I find the most interesting – which is crime. My advice to anyone starting out would be keep putting one foot in front of the other and don’t lose heart, you will definitely get into the industry if you don’t give up. It just takes one break, but you have be ready to take advantage of it. And think about which bit you love. I wanted to be in control of the films I made so I had to get out of editing, a lot of people thought I was mad because I was editing A-list studio movies, but that wasn’t my goal so I had to move on.

What are you reading, watching and listening to now?

I’m reading a book called Big Data Policing about how the police use our online footprint to predict crime, I’m listening to an audiobook by The Secret Barrister about the depressingly awful state of our criminal justice system, I’m watching as much factual TV as I possibly can to try to keep up with the competition, and my guilty pleasure is Succession on Netflix which is hilarious, terrifying and utterly brilliant.

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