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At No.8, Looking After Next Gen Talent is Key to Great Company Culture



No.8’s next gen creatives, Henry Williams, Charlie Parkinson-Sheen, and Theodora Mototolea tell LBB about their experience, what they love about working at No.8, and their career aspirations

At No.8, Looking After Next Gen Talent is Key to Great Company Culture

Runners are the backbone of the creative industry and without them the industry couldn’t run as smoothly as it does. Yet runners often don’t get the credit they deserve. At No.8, using the word runners to describe the people and the contribution they make to the company feels far too reductive. Instead, the company firmly considers them the next generation of industry talent and recognises the motivation and creativity they bring not only to their roles, but to their interest and passions outside of work. 

This ‘next gen talent’ is of course key to daily operations, but beyond their task-lists, the company also ensures that every person is getting the support they need to get closer to their career goal. That involves access to equipment for practice, time with senior members of staff, experience on big name projects, and encouragement to pursue the myriad of things that interest them outside of work. For next gen talent, No.8 is an attractive place to be as the versatile post house has multiple departments where they can gain experience and the friendly atmosphere that fosters learning and collaboration. 

Below, LBB spoke to Henry Williams, Charlie Parkinson-Sheen, and Theodora Mototolea about what attracted them to working at No.8, how the company is nurturing their development, and what’s next on the cards for their career. 

LBB> How did you first come to join the industry? Was this always the plan?

Henry> I was an intern/development assistant at a well-known film and distribution company for two weeks. From there, I signed up for any runner work I could find and luckily landed a freelance job as a runner at No.8. The plan was always to get into the producing side of things whether that be music videos, films or commercials 

Theodora> I studied art, but then I met a friend who works in the (film) industry and the idea just popped into my head. I was like, ‘Oh, film!’ and I had never actually thought about film. Film brings together everything I've done before: public theatre, fine arts, and everything else. So within two weeks I transferred to study Film instead. Then I chose the post production pathway and studied editing and colour grading in my second year. As soon as I came across colour grading I realised it was what I wanted to do. 

Charlie> I was making music for ages, and I realised I wasn’t going to make a living just from making music. Sound design was something I always loved from films. Sound design was the best option for me, being someone who's into visual media as well. I saw it as a very attractive industry as it marries a lot of my interests and being somewhere like No.8, which offers colour & VFX on top of audio, you can learn a lot more than you would do elsewhere.


LBB> What attracted you to working at No.8?

Henry> The work produced by No.8 caught my eye as I thought it was unique and visually stunning, especially the work done on ‘2 Step’ which was ambitious and produced extremely well. 

Charlie> Originally, it was the sound department because that was what I was interested in, having worked with Sam Robson (Creative Director) previously. I was attracted to the work No.8 was doing and how the numerous departments worked together. The culture of the company seemed really positive from what I've been told, a really good vibe.

Theodora> I met Charlie Morris (Colour EP), and he told me that he and Alex [Gregory]were going to start a colour department at No.8. He explained how the company works, that the staff development and training is not like at the bigger companies where you kind of just get lost. I then had a chat with Alex and had a trial week. I absolutely loved everyone, loved the vibe. 


LBB> What’s your favourite part of working as a runner?

Henry> Learning how the post production world operates and being able to meet various producers, directors, and artists. All the skills learned as a runner are incredibly valuable as they can be carried into your career as a producer. 

Charlie> The ability to learn on the job; being able to move between departments; having the time to sit and talk to engineers, to our producers, about the work and about how things are actually made. 

Theodora> Meeting new people every day and just talking to them, because that comes naturally to me. I think that will help in my career as a colourist as well to be in a room full of people and work out what everyone wants.


LBB> What are your career aspirations?

Henry> To become a hard-working and knowledgeable producer, primarily on music videos or feature length films.

Charlie> I’d like to move on to transfer, and then to become a sound engineer/sound designer working across short and long-form. I’m really passionate about film. Working in long-form is something I aspire to do in the future, but at the moment it’s about learning the ropes and learning the craft of short-form is really important because I need that to develop.

Theodora> To become a colourist is the dream, first on short-form and then on long-form


LBB> What kind of career support and development do you get at No.8?

Henry> The support at No.8 has been second to none. I was given the chance to sit in with production for two weeks learning from senior and executive producers. This involved sitting in on sound sessions and colour grades alongside clients on various jobs. Next, I learned the process of creating jobs and inputting valuable data i.e. costing a job, putting quotes together on Ceta, etc. 

Charlie> I think more so than anywhere else I have been before, the team nurtures runners because they see that the runners want to be here, they're passionate. You’re given every opportunity to really learn, like sitting in with an engineer for a session, or being given time in the evenings to work on your own thing. I have noticed there's less of a hierarchy here in some ways because everyone works collaboratively. It’s also opened my eyes to parts that I didn’t think I was even that interested in, like VFX, because I see someone like Rob [Peacock] working away and I now have a great appreciation for the art behind it. 

Theodora> Everyone is very supportive. There is no such a thing as a stupid question - everyone’s always there to help. I’ve had the chance to sit with a colourist assist and train up with them so now I am able to provide cover when they need it. It's very helpful when you have supportive people around you.

LBB> What’s been the highlight of your role so far?

Henry> Spending two weeks in production learning the process and getting hands-on experience was extremely helpful especially as I was able to learn from colour, VFX and sound.

Charlie> My highlight is having been the first full-time runner since covid when there wasn't any front-of-house team. That’s been really rewarding; we've had a lot of praise so it's nice to see. Having more runners means more time for each of us to spend learning. 

Theodora> It's great to build relationships with clients like you would as a creative, getting to know them and seeing that relationship grow. 

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No.8ldn, Tue, 06 Dec 2022 14:40:33 GMT