December 2023

Meet the Team: Hannah Robinson, Production Development Producer

Meet the Team: Hannah Robinson, Production Development Producer

We've been meeting people from across the business and finding out more about what they do. Recently, we met up with Hannah Robinson who told us about her role as Production Development Producer.

WHAT DOES YOUR AVERAGE DAY INVOLVE?

I work in dock10's Virtual Studios team and there really is no average day. My job is to look after our clients during the virtual production process – from pre-production to designing the virtual set to filming in the studio. I'm the liaison person between the client and the developers in our technical team. On any day, I could be filming, hosting virtual demos for clients, doing research and development, showing students and clients around the studios, or quoting for jobs. I work on a huge variety of programmes from sports series like Match of the Day and Football Focus to factual shows such as Dinosaur with Stephen Fry or comedies like Inside Number 9.

HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE MEDIA INDUSTRY?

My first full time role was for adi.tv., who supply giant LED screens for live events and sports stadiums. I started as a production coordinator, helping to create and deliver advertising content for LED perimeter systems at football and rugby clubs. I was in their sports media team for eight years and worked my way up. I was promoted to assistant producer, creating content for big screens. Eventually I became a senior producer, working with Wolves to create huge match day events involving light shows, fireworks, and DJs. I became known as the ‘Wolves Light Show Person’! It was a great experience and gave me lots of transferrable skills because I did a bit of everything - from directing to editing, camera operating and floor managing.

WHAT TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE DID YOU HAVE?

I went to Aberystwyth University where I studied a mixture of media and communications and film and TV. We got some practical experience in studio production there, as well as lots of experience on single camera shoots. I also had a weekly show on the university radio station. But it wasn't really enough to fill out my CV. So, I did lots of work experience after leaving university to make myself a bit more employable!

I volunteered at a local theatre, filming and editing promo material. I did some work experience at a local newspaper. I also got work experience at Liverpool radio station Radio City where I sat in on the hourly news bulletins, recorded vox pops and was even on a 5am drug raid! I funded it all by working pretty much full time at Debenhams. It meant I had to work two jobs for a while just to gain industry experience – but it was worth it because it helped me get my first job in media.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB?

I love the idea that a show I work on might be special to someone. For me, media brings up so many great memories: like playing the PlayStation game PaRappa the Rapper with my brothers, watching Jim Carrey films with my sisters and my cousin, or tuning into Stars in their Eyes with my family on Saturday nights.

It's also a really exciting industry to work in. Since I've been at dock10, I've worked with some of my childhood heroes, like Stephen Fry, Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton. I really enjoy working in this department too: the R&D we're doing around motion capture, animation and AI is truly ground-breaking.

DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR PEOPLE ASPIRING TO A ROLE LIKE YOURS?

Don't be afraid to admit what you don't know. It can feel a bit daunting working in virtual studios – you feel you should know everything about this very new and exciting technology. But you really can't know it all - the technology changes on an almost daily basis. If anything, you're admired here much more if you admit you don't know something but know how to go about finding out the answer.

I'd also try to become a little bit familiar with Unreal Engine. I'd not worked with Unreal Engine before I was offered the job at dock10 but downloaded it just to have a look because I knew people in my team would be using it.

Networking is really important too. It's so important to have a good network of industry colleagues and friends that you can rely on. You never know when you're going to need to call on them.

My final piece of advice is - don't be afraid to message someone who works at a company in a job you're interested in. Ask them to tell you about what they do. I used to think it was a really cheeky thing to do. But it happened to me, and I just felt flattered!