New Talent: Jamie O'Donnell
Growing up in Hunter Valley, Australia, Jamie O’Donnell always dreamed of leaving his small town and exploring the world. After briefly studying psychology at university and a short stint in hospitality, he would eventually take the plunge and start his career anew in jolly ol’ London. Following a blanket CV campaign over the Soho editing houses, Jamie eventually found a new home at Cut+Run as a runner, where over six years he made his way up the library and assisting ranks, before being promoted to junior editor and, most recently, editor.
LBB’s Liam Smith caught up with Jamie to find out about his recent promotion, what it was like growing up Down Under and how he ended up in editing.
LBB> You were recently promoted to a fully-fledged editor at Cut+Run in London (congratulations by the way!). How are you finding the new role?
Jamie O'Donnell> I love it! Every project brings an exciting new challenge and I get to create every day. I couldn’t be happier.
LBB> You initially studied psychology at university before finding your true calling in the media industry. What convinced you this was the right way to steer your career?
JO> While studying psychology, I became far more interested in the coursework projects of my friends who were studying media, than I was in my own! So I left my degree with the intention of studying media the next year. I fell into a career in hospitality and started travelling, but something was missing as work wasn’t fulfilling me. I took a leap of faith a few years ago and became a runner at Cut+Run London and built a new career from the ground up. It was a lot of hard work, but even as a runner I was so much happier. I felt right.
LBB> Would you say your education in psychology bleeds into your storytelling? Having an understanding of people and emotions must be a great boon!
JO> I would say so, yes. It helps me judge and find the truth in a performance.
LBB> You come from a small town in Hunter Valley, Australia. What was it like growing up there? What made you decide to move to the UK?
JO> It was a wonderful place to have a childhood. Lots of freedom to play and explore the surrounding nature with fabulously hot summers. But it was a small town and from childhood I had always dreamt of exploring the world. London was an easy option. An international city that I had a work visa for. I have lived here for 15 years now and there is still so much of London that I haven’t seen!
LBB> You've cut some fantastic promos for Jax Jones, Seramic and Years & Years, as well as spots for Cadbury, River Island and Vogue. Are there any brands or artists you'd love to work with?
JO> Musically I would love to work with Perfume Genius. I love his work. I think Arca puts out some stunning visuals which would be amazing to work on.
LBB> What are your favourite projects that you’ve worked on and why?
JO> That’s impossible to do, but each is special in its own way!
LBB> What do you get up to in your free time to help you relax and unwind?
JO> Travel. There is nothing better than exploring the world, meeting new people and seeing how others live. Catching up with friends and going to concerts and the theatre are also favourite pastimes that sadly I don’t get enough time to do regularly.
LBB> If you weren't in advertising, what would you be doing?
JO> I was in hospitality previously and I imagine I would still be doing that if I hadn’t changed careers. But I wouldn’t be fulfilled, here is where I want to be.
LBB> Do you have any tips to share for budding editors out there?
JO> Work hard and follow your instincts.