APA Masterclass

This week, Rebecca Groves The Distillery's Production Manager writes about her recent experience at the APA masterclass.

Recently I had the opportunity to attend the APA’s Masterclass, a week-long intensive training course that covers all aspects of production. It was a fantastic chance to learn from top producers and industry leaders, as well as meet peers, make new friends and play around with big, expensive equipment.

We learnt a lot about how different areas of production work together, how to plan a schedule, and how to set up and run a budget. New skills which were soon put to the test as I production managed the Disasters Emergency Committee’s appeal for famine in East Africa, just a month later.

During the two week appeal, part of Team Distillery moved into the DEC’s office at King’s Cross, where we created over 200 pieces of online content. These ranged from videos, to gifs, to live streams, all of which were made to spread awareness and ultimately help raise money. My role as production manager was to keep the post-production team happy, assist with running the in-house studio schedule, and liaise with our creatives and shooting team. I also helped manage content from the DEC’s member agency charities, while our producers managed teams in Somalia and South Sudan, and an extensive creator outreach programme.

With so much going on in such a short space of time, our shooting and post-production schedules had to be meticulously managed and kept up to date. At The Distillery we make platform-specific content, a practice which we continued throughout the appeal, so we had to build time into our schedules for creating many versions of each piece of content. In our in-house studio we went live on Facebook every day; on one particularly busy day we actually produced 8 live streams (much caffeine was consumed.) 

We made so many films during the appeal, but this is one of my favourites!

It was amazing to be part of a team that helped to raise over £50 million for such a great cause, and the skills I learned from the APA Masterclass really helped us get there.