Sunday, April 26, 2009

Open to Change

Q: Introduce us to yourself and your company.
I am Jason Sutterfield with The Martin Agency where I function as the Director of Technology and Production. My primary responsibilities are management of our digital production studio, and assisting in new business and cross training within our Integrated Production and Design group which includes all mediums of advertising.

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 my career in adverting 13 years ago as a developer. During my development years I worked within a lot of developmental silos including front-end and back-end development, game/lingo development, Shockwave, Flash, server management, production design, etc. I moved into a role of project management/producer approximately 8 years ago. I truly enjoy having my hands in all aspects of project life cycle.

Q: How do you stay on top of emerging technologies and keep your team informed and motivated?
Having a strong, tight-knit group that loves to share is key! Google Reader has become a great asset to our team. We all follow our own RSS/blogs and then with the stroke of a key are able to share with each other a story or topic and then continue the conversation with our points of view. Between everyone in the studio I guarantee there isn’t a topic covering technology, production or advertising we’re not aware of. Twitter has also become a way of life of ours: not only to communicate with each other, but also to more broadly share key topics that might benefit the agency as a whole.

Q: What does your ideal client/project look like?
It is our responsibility to lead the client in whatever endeavor we approach them with. It is our job to help them understand the limitations of a technology or advertising exercise. The ideal client is one that is open minded to new ideas that might have not been executed before, and also one that will consistently push us to drive the idea further than even originally imagined.

Q: How do you educate your clients and set realistic expectations for a project?
The agency’s relationship with the client must be trustworthy: period. If it is, you’re then able to carry on a realistic conversation and set expectations throughout the project accordingly.

Q: How many projects are you comfortable producing at one given time?
At any given time our group is juggling upwards of 50+ projects in different phases of the production lifecycle. We attempt to level our producers in a way that they’re able to focus on the quality and delivery of the end result.

Q: What does your dream production team look like?
A team that is nimble and agile in response to the consistently changing demands of the project. If we’re able to keep our teams small, informed and focused we’re able to produce amazing work.

Q: What is your vision of what the next phase of our industry is going to look like?
Integration among our offline production partners is key! Integrated campaigns are a way of life now and we need to constantly drive to find efficiencies across all mediums to provide world class work.

Q: Please share a snippet of wisdom that you would like to impart on our readers.
Be open to change; perhaps even daily change. Our industry is evolving so quickly we must be open to new ideas; new leaders; and even more importantly, new client demands.

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