Wake The Town
Stuck in Motion
Contemplative Reptile
  • International Edition
  • USA Edition
  • UK Edition
  • Australian Edition
  • Canadian Edition
  • Irish Edition
  • German Edition
  • French Edition
  • Singapore Edition
  • Spanish edition
  • Polish edition
  • Indian Edition
  • Middle East edition
  • South African Edition

Fearless, No Bullshit Production with Anissa Payne


NM Production's founder and executive producer on how the company has evolved ahead of its fifth year anniversary, what is yet to come and what advice she'd give her younger self

Fearless, No Bullshit Production with Anissa Payne

Anissa Payne is the founder and executive producer of NM Productions. Anissa started NM exactly five years ago, with a background in talent management and bookings, working for companies such as Core Artist Management and Schon! Magazine, she harvested what she had learnt in previous roles, together with her rapidly growing network and built NM Productions from the ground up. She is now responsible for her core NM teams and mobilising productions in London, LA, New York, Dubai, Milan and Madrid, working with high profile clients such as Hugo Boss, CitiBank, Ford, Nike, Jaguar, Land Rover and Aman Hotels, to name a few, across both moving image and stills campaigns, globally.
Throughout the rest of her career she learned what works, what doesn't and what drives her as a person

Today, she speaks about her no fear production model and how she came to set up her own company based around courage and non-traditional production. Anissa looks at why she felt this approach was necessary and how she felt when she set out to make it happen. The EP explores the lessons she learned along the way so far, and how the no fear ethos penetrates all the way through her NM team. 

LBB> How do you see NM productions and where it sits in the market place?

Anissa> NM is coming into its fifth year and I am really excited about the traction we have started to make. Covid was a tough time for all but I think our scalable, collaborative approach to working really helped us not only survive but also thrive as a company. I am a Northerner (Leeds to be exact), so our approach is about flexibility, hard work and a no bullshit approach. First and foremost we are a production company but if you only want production support in specific areas, such as casting or location scouting, we are more than happy to provide that as a stand alone service. The way we are structured allows us to work with great flexibility and a varying range of budgets. This allows us to function well as a business yet still deliver great quality work and with a great work ethic right across the board. This also applies to our NM network of directors, fixers and location scouts in all the key territories that we produce in globally. 

LBB> What gave you the idea to set up NM productions? 

Anissa> NM Productions was born out of a want to do things differently. I spent a few years freelancing for a number of production companies, all doing things with varying different styles. I learnt about what works but also a lot about what doesn’t, and most importantly I learnt about what drives me as a person. I started NM in order to provide clients with solutions and to provide my team with an environment where they feel appreciated, nurtured and motivated to work. I have a grafters mentality. I want them to know they can grow within in their careers here and that we’re all evolving together. 

LBB> How do you feel about the commercial production model now, in 2023? Do you think the model is shifting/ changing? 

Anissa> I think there is a definite shift in the market given the current global landscape both economically and politically. We certainly see budgets being tightened but not necessarily a reduction in the scope of work. There are also of course new technologies such as virtual production becoming more prevalent. Another thing we are seeing is a shift in the way directors market themselves. The concept of exclusivity is becoming less and less appealing. We see all these changes creeping in and are constantly looking at how we can better position ourselves competitively in the market. We still bid on briefs that are director led, but if we don’t have a director within NM Talent, then our model works well for external freelance directors too. You send us the brief and we will find the right director for the project to plug into our structure. We are also working very closely with leading agencies on virtual production, creating new and exciting ways to approach these different shaped projects. Our goal is to maintain a structure and a way of working that allows us to continue to work on such fascinating projects, regardless of their ever changing budgets. 

LBB> What do you think the industry has learnt since the global pandemic and how do you think this can benefit our industry now and in the future?

Anissa> The pandemic has certainly shown us how to be more efficient from a distance and how we can reduce our footprint on set. AdGreen is becoming increasingly important to production and of course travel is a massive contributing factor. 

LBB> How will you continue to nurture your own in-house talent with the fearlessness mentality in mind? 

Anissa> I am a massive advocate for jumping in with both feet first and giving it a go. A considered ‘jumping in’ of course! 

We have a really tight knit team at NM and I strongly believe in encouraging all of them to step outside of their comfort zones in order to be bolder and take on more responsibility so that they can further themselves in their careers. We don’t do hierarchy and everyone is expected to chip in and help one another. We ask questions across projects, this helps everyone get ideas and share recommendations helping find solutions for each others’ work load. 

LBB> Give some examples of work you're most proud of that hit all the markers for fearless production and quality outcomes. 

Anissa> The project I am most proud of to date is the one that we did for Citi Bank with the International Paralympic Committee. I spent a lot of time working through the best scenario on that project, going over copious versions of the estimate and talking to the in-house producer at the agency about the best approach for the production. We managed to outbid the in-house arm of the agency and deliver what we think is an amazing and powerful campaign, led by Publicis New York. The shoot spanned over two long weeks and took place on location in Dubai. We coordinated the athletes training schedules in order to create the most efficient shoot schedule. We worked through 4 am call times, 40+ degrees heat and during the middle of Ramadan. I would be lying if I said it wasn’t a grueling project but I’m so proud of what we achieved and we’d jump at it again in a heart beat. 

Above: Stills from NM Production's Citi Bank project

LBB> Where do you see NM evolving to in five years time and what would be your perfect outcome?

Anissa> 2023 is our fifth year of business and I am very grateful for how far we have come in that really solid base of clients. We want to continue that trajectory of growth we are on and get NM in front of more clients and agencies as there are still a fair few doors we want to get through. We continue to drive home that a traditional approach to production is not the only one, and also not necessarily the right one for your project every time. 

LBB> What advice would you give your younger self on how to approach the production working world now? 

Anissa> I wouldn’t change anything that I have done, as it’s got me to where I am now. However I would certainly reinforce my younger self to be confident in my abilities and to not let people walk all over me. Production is not for the faint hearted but it’s also an amazing industry to be part of. You get to meet incredibly talented people, travel the world and create some pretty cool shit. To those coming into the industry I would say, do the graft, prove yourself, work hard and don't expect to hit the top without doing the leg work, and having a couple of sleepless nights. It's easy to forget how lucky we are that we get to do all of this, so be FEARLESS! 

view more - Trends and Insight
Sign up to our newsletters and stay up to date with the best work and breaking ad news from around the world.
NM Productions, Thu, 23 Mar 2023 15:51:59 GMT