Answering the #FridayFive this week is Oliver Seymour, from multi award-winning winning producer of programmes and live events, TBI Media.
Tell us a bit about your job?
I work in production across a number of commercial and BBC titles – among other projects I’m currently producing an interview series featuring different adventurers, and I’m a producer on Radio 2’s Pause for Thought strand. I also recently worked as Assistant Producer on Audible’s ‘Sleeping With…David Baddiel’ and ‘Christmas: What The Fa-La-La-La-La?!?’
What are the key ingredients for success?
Surrounding yourself with dedicated, likeminded people who you trust and can have a laugh with. Making sure that whatever project you’re working on, it’s something you genuinely find interesting and enjoyable – every task involved won’t be fun but at the least they’ll all be contributing to something you believe in. And keeping your mind sharp by mixing things up, rather than just solely focusing on the day job – in my spare time I’m learning Spanish.
Describe a normal day?
l start my day by getting through as many emails as I can before moving on to my to do list, which will vary quite a bit depending on what project I’m working on. I’ve found that the last month or so I’ve been quite focused on booking talent for a series, but right now I’m out and about recording the interviews. In my evenings I’m either doing freelance work (theatre production), watching a play, or at the cinema.
For those trying to break into the industry, could you explain how you got to where you are today?
I started out doing work experience- I was really lucky this was possible for me because I lived near London, but obviously that won’t apply for everyone. I think the industry recognises passion (and I really hope that’s whether you’re able to get office experience or not) – that could be recording a podcast on your phone, going to talks and events, or doing your best to set up calls and coffees with the people who interest you.
What are you reading, watching and listening to now?
I’m just about to start watching the new season of Better Call Saul, I think that show’s storytelling is fantastic. I’m not reading as much as I’d like right now but my last great book was Louis Theroux’s autobiography. And for listening I seem to be jumping between Shagged Married Annoyed and This American Life – I’m not sure you could find two more different podcasts!