I have been working in the food styling industry for about 14 years, and after so many years in one industry it is easy to become disillusioned and jaded. Make no mistake I absolutely love my job, and have mentioned my passion and enthusiasm for what I do often on this blog. However, with every job comes a measure of challenge, often the frustrations and/or a bad experience with a job, client or agency can lead to skepticism or even outright negativity.
Such was my experience a couple of years back with a TV commercial. (no names mentioned) Simply put: I had a bad experience.
With hind sight I was probably young and naive, and if I had to go through the same experience now it would most likely not affect me in such a dramatic way, if at all. But this is the nature of life and learning, and at the time the experience was so awful, I made the decision there and then to focus on styling for “stills”or print media only and not to work in television.
Over the years I dipped my toes back into the water of TVC, but nothing that made me want to dive back in. Recently I was asked to assist on this commercial for Romans Pizza. I was to be assisting the senior stylist on the job, I wouldn’t have to navigate the treacherous waters of agency-clients- company politics. Í just needed to pitch up, slice some veggies, chop some cheese and make a pizza look good, easy, so I put on my water wings and flippers and jumped in.
What an interesting and enlightening experience it was, and once again reminded me “you’re never too old to learn”
3 things stood out for me, and I will share them with you .1. Romans Pizza is a really good product (and I don’t say this lightly!)
I avoid fast food, and am a vociferous advocate of the slow food movement. Even if I did eat fast food, I don’t eat wheat, or even gluten if possible. So count it as good measure when I say I was impressed by their product. They use reputable suppliers, the quality of their ingredients is good and for you pizza lovers out there, as far as pizza bases go, all are hand made and each store makes their own yeast-based bases in-store !
2. Catapult Productions, the production company who handle and manage all the logistics, casting, crew, location, scheduling, schlepping etc etc, are without exception some of the most professional people I have ever worked with ! Add to that nice too. Maybe my jaded skepticism is showing in saying this, but I was really blown away by how pleasant every single member of the crew was, how slick the operation was and how cool, calm and collected the executive producer, directer and his team were. Clearly an impressive and capable company.
3. You’re never too old, too experienced, or too important to learn from others.
I mentioned that I assisted the senior stylist on the job. A lady who has been in the industry 20+ years. Not only is she friendly and warm, she is as passionate as I am about sharing the ins and outs of our industry with others. She is not secretive or cagey about her skills and shares openly and honestly. A rare quality these days. It was a pleasure working with her and I was touched when she called to ask me to assist her on the next TVC, so watch this space…