Thursday, March 12, 2009

Wild Child!

Q: Introduce us to yourself and your company.
Hi, my name is Gelya Robb and I am the executive producer at The Wilderness, a design collective specializing in motion graphics, animation and live action.

Q: Interactive Producers come from all walks of life, they are a hybrid of talents, tell us about your background and how you got interested in digital production?

I started out as a broadcast producer at Ogivly & Mather working on large domestic and international TV commercials. I then moved to a boutique audio facility, Q Department, producing music to picture and doing supervision for film. From there I worked with a new media marketing solutions upstart and then relocated to Berlin, Germany where I produced an electronic music show for an NYC internet radio station, VIVA Radio. I've produced projects in the sustainability sector as well. Over the years, all aspects of production have moved in a digital direction, so it's been a natural transition. Now producing technical visual work has brought my career course full-circle. What one sees is the core element of any design project, and I'm very optically stimulated so it's exciting for me to be working in this medium.

Q: How do you stay on top of emerging technologies and keep your team informed and motivated?

I make sure to explore aspects directly related to the field and to remember those not directly related as well, as they can be equally as inspiring and idea sparking.
I constantly communicate with friends, colleagues, and agencies. I read blogs and industry magazines. I check certain websites daily such as Motionographer, Stash, Feed, Creativity, etc.

Additionally, every person at The Wilderness does the same kind of research and we share ideas and discoveries and keep each other informed. We have a weekly meeting solely designated for this kind of idea swapping and to share anything we find exciting. We also all enjoy impromptu dance parties, what's not motivating about that?

Q: What does your ideal client/project look like?
Best case scenario would be a collaboration with people on all sides of the project who are intelligent, jazzed about the work, and open to an assortment of creative solutions resulting in a well executed business strategy. Since we have evolved into a full service shop, our ideal project would require our involvement from the early stages of the process all the way through to the end, including concept, direction, editing and finishing.

Q: How do you educate your clients and set realistic expectations for a project?

A major part of my job is to balance clients' expectations and goals with what is feasible given the budget. There is a way to make any budget a successful piece. I speak to clients openly about what is possible and what direction will be the most successful given the constraints of the project. At the end of the day, we are in the business of problem-solving!

Q: What was the best project you have ever worked on?

Most recently, and most interactive-oriented, are two spots we did for the Ad Council in collaboration with RGA for a sense awareness campaign called "That's Not Cool" (, which is being backed by Google and Youtube. Creatively, we had a lot of freedom and the end result is smart, informative and playful.
But there's another "best project" always coming down the pipeline so stay tuned!

Q: How many projects are you comfortable producing at one given time?
Ideally depending on the size and scope of the projects, we would have three projects in motion at one time, all at different stages of production: Pre, Production, Post. The beauty in being a small, ambidextrous firm, however, is that we can bulk up or slim down, expand or contract depending on the work load.

Q: What does your dream production team look like?
Every person on an ideal team has a serious technical knowledge of the process as well as an innate design sense. If each person on the team is thinking in both these veins from start to finish, the end result will prove it. We're lucky enough to have a team like that in house.

Q: How do you ensure that your client's best interests are met?

By openly communicating about big picture goals and the tools available to meet them. This economic climate is an opportunity for us to become more efficient with our production process and more creative with our production costs, which in effect provides smart alternatives for our clients.

Q: What is your vision of what the next phase of our industry is going to look like?

Clients and agencies will want to streamline the production process more than it already is, looking to production companies for one stop shopping.

Q: Please share a snippet of wisdom that you would like to impart on our readers.
The Wilderness' tag line is "It's Friday Night!" We like to keep things in perspective!

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