Suong – Every day of life is a daring and exciting adventure
For Rice’s team, Suong’s presence always can bring joys to our office. Her vitality and energy never fade away despite being overloaded by tight deadlines. As a producer, she is often seen juggling multiple project tasks and running around all day, so it’s quite hard to find time to chat with her.
Luckily, after a TVC shoot in Thai Binh, she finally manages to sit down and have a conversation about her experience as a producer at Rice.
You have a background in marketing, so how did you land your current position as a producer?
I had first applied to Rice for Account Manager Position, but one day, Andy wanted to train me to become a producer. Life is a rollercoaster ride, and I just jumped in the position without any proper knowledge of film and TVC production. Then after a while, as you know, I’m a producer now.
You didn’t have any experience in term of production management, so was it challenging for you to get used to this position?
It was extremely challenging. The more I did the job, the more I find myself knowing little about the field. I started as a post producer. For this position, I’m kinda a liaison bridging the gap between Rice’s artists and clients.
On the one hand, I need to communicate progress with our artists and supervise edits and audio sessions to ensure productivity and profitability while making sure that each different stage of the post-production process is delivered on time. One other hand, my role is to maintain excellent client services.
At first, I was easily stressed out by clients’ demands and artists’ temper. I didn’t understand the technical process, so I found it was hard to interpret creative briefs and be capable of quantifying, pitching and quoting all aspects of post-production undertaken by Rice.
One more thing is I couldn’t get artists to cooperate fully with me. Most of the times, the hardest part of my job is also my hours as days can be extremely long with piled-up emails and daily tasks.
From what we see, you already made it even though works have kept giving you setbacks. You have surely picked up a lot of lessons and valuable experiences from the job. Can you tell me more about these?
For me, the most important skill I’ve learned during the process is the ability to adapt quickly to changes. There’s one rule of being a producer everyone must know is that things are constantly changing, and you must be able to roll with the punches without getting into a rising panic.
More than that, I must know how to master my verbal and body language to make myself approachable and sociable in any situation. Besides, administrative and organisation skills are two fundamental skills of a producer I keep improving over time.
All these skills help me move though preparation stage and reach the next steps.
What’re the next steps? Can you tell me more about it?
Rice had a TVC shoot in Thai Binh, and I was assigned as a Project Manager which is slightly different from Post Producer position. As a Project Manager, I took care of logistics aspects of TVC production which requires my ability to master administration and organisation skills as all aspects of the final products are considered in this process.
At this stage, I already had solid flexibility skills gained from my previous role to deal with any changes against what was promised and planned with the stakeholders.
I was quite comfortable about finding out what the cause of these problems, then took charge to make tough decisions under pressure to get the shoot back to how it was supposed to be.
From what we know of your progress, was the shoot in Thai Binh your first-time external shoot? Besides from technical and soft skills you gained from this experience, is there anything worth mentioning?
Of course. I had a chance to get to know villagers and experience life in Northern rural areas. You can’t imagine how warm and welcoming hospitality villagers gave the film crew. They were willing to support us whenever we went to, and we even had lunch at their home.
You’ve come a long way till now. You’ve held multiple roles and will continue to be challenged by new tasks to be able to oversee a full workflow on behalf of our company. How do you feel about this and what do you want to say when looking back at your progress?
Everything I’ve done till now just stepping stones to achieve the last goal. I appreciate every chance I got to get better every day as I acknowledge the fact that there is no shortcut to become a producer.
Is there anything you want to say as you don’t have any time left for this conversation? Like any advice for those who want to work in the industry.
Fast-paced work environments and results-oriented approach can often make it a challenge to pay close attention to every small steps of the whole process, but believe me, you’ll regret later on if you skip any steps.
It’s important to enjoy and appreciate small steps you take every day, so when you look back down the road of the adventure it all adds up and it will make more sense how far you already went towards the goal.
Live life to the fullest without regrets is my mantra now.