Fiction & Drama
Lisa Rookes on the inspiration behind The Gallows Tree
Answering the #FridayFive today is Wendy Rattray, MD of Glasgow-based factual production company Hello Halo.
Tell us a bit about your job?
I’m the MD of Hello Halo Productions in Glasgow. We make popular factual series for UK and international broadcasters
What are the key ingredients for success?
Energy, enthusiasm, a genuine love of tv, popular culture & news. An ability to handle rejection – particularly if you work in development! And top tip for beginners – find a way to make yourself indispensable, see where the gaps are and try to be the person to fill them!
And please – don’t take yourself too seriously, it’s only a tv programme.
Describe a normal day?
Well right now it involves making sure we stick to some sort of ‘normal’ schedule – once my kids are registered for online school it’s a 10am Zoom call with the team to plan the day and make sure no one is struggling in isolation, keeping in contact with our key commissioners to get updates on their ever shifting needs and developing ideas that we anticipate viewers will want to watch when this is all over – happy, joyful, escapist series with purpose.
For those trying to break into the industry, could you explain how you got to where you are today?
Whilst at university I found out who the heads of departments were at the BBC and STV and pestered them until I got some work experience. Rather dull story! So here’s a tip – when people approach me for the same I find myself drawn to the cvs & cover letters that show a real bit of creativity and humour. A lot of hiring is based on instinct about the person, it’s difficult to get any sense of who a person is from a Dear sir / madam email. Find a way to grab the reader’s attention. In a way that’s SFW!
What are you reading, watching and listening to now?
I’m a voracious reader but finding it hard to get into anything right now, I’ve started Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood about five times. So I’m contenting myself with leading through Martin Parr’s The Last Resort as a bit of escapism. I’ve recently been fan girling about the Fortunately podcast with Fi Glover and Jane Garvey – gentle, relaxing and amusing. And watching The Tiger King of course. Is there even anything else on right now??