Tellings stories with a producer/director
Tom Adams has over 20 years’ experience in television production, having made programmes for all the terrestrial channels as well as Discovery, National Geographic and the History Channel.
Here he tells us more about his route into the industry, and which on-screen talent he found a delight to work with…
How did you become a producer/director?
I went knocking on doors around Soho, literally, handing CVs to anyone I could get to meet. This was a world well before emails.
I got a job as a runner in a post-production house, which gave me the chance to get to know some production companies. Eventually I worked my way through various roles until I got to direct.
Why a producer/director?
Ultimately to tell stories.
What are the main challenges of your role?
The same as ever, budget and schedule! But the challenges just encourage more creative thinking.
What’s the most challenging job you’ve ever worked on?
A slightly misconceived series with some rather difficult talent. Enough said.
What’s the most enjoyable job you’ve worked on?
Industrial Revelations. A series about the industrial revolution with Mark Williams. He was a joy in front of the camera and good company once we wrapped.
How is your job changing?
As with all technology, changes seem to accelerate, so keeping on top of that is a challenge. The flipside is that more can often be done for less.
What key skills do you need to become a producer/director?
Patience, time management, people skills and budget juggling. Being good with pictures and words helps too.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to become a producer/director?
Get out and make stuff. It can be done so cheaply today and there are so many places to get your work shown.
If you could meet a version of yourself right at the start of your career, what’s the one piece of advice you would give yourself?
Take more risks.