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Interview with experts... Lisa Davidson

We speak to television production designer and North East Screen's Skills Manager, Lisa Davidson about her thoughts on the industry.

"Don’t doubt yourself. Don’t give up. Don’t be bullied into something you don’t want to do."

How did you get your start in the industry?

Constant researching and networking. Being in the right place at the right time. Talking to the right people, being polite and good at my job.

What is the most rewarding part of your job? What keeps driving you forward?

Problem solving, reading a script and being able to interpret in a creative way. Working with a great crew and team, being able to look at all the amazing art history & architecture for ideas of styles and colour palates.

Career highlight thus far?

Production Designer for The Dumping Ground at CBBC.

Can you tell us about a difficultly you’ve faced in your career and how you managed to overcome it both literally and mentally?

New manager into an established department. Trying to get older crew to respect and work with me as their manager. Over come by positive management methods and asking questions to encourage awareness of a job to be done rather that demanding and commanding jobs to be done. There are better ways to talk to people to ensure you all want to work as a team to achieve the same goal.

What have your successes and failures taught you?

Don’t doubt yourself. Don’t give up. Don’t be bullied into something you don’t want to do. Do your research, have a back up plan. Know your stuff. There are no stupid questions. A fact is only obvious to the person who knows it. Don’t pretend you know something if you don’t, be confident to ask if not sure.

What would you say has made you so successful in your career?

A positive, friendly, proactive working attitude. Quick thinking, people person. Learn by mistakes. Understanding of other peoples feelings and goals.

Since the start of your career, what changes have you noticed in the industry and how do you feel about them?

I think I have changed as a person as I have become more confident in myself and gained the experience of working in different environments with different people.

The inclusion of diversity has improved and training opportunities are getting better.

What is your hope for the industry moving forward?

More programming filmed in the North East of England.

Why is representation and inclusion so important in the industry and what do you feel actors themselves can do help improve equality throughout the industry in all areas?

There are many diversity schemes currently run by companies such as the BBC. I think there

should be better awareness of these though. I have personally struggled to find a to fill a fully funded trainee post through the BBC as people simply don't know that the opportunities exist or perhaps don't feel emboldened to apply.

If you could speak to your younger self at the start of your career, what advice would you give them?

Listen more, be calmer.

Make the right choices. Don’t be afraid.

What would be your greatest piece of advice to actors?

Be modest, self tape, learn to drive. Make friends with people in the production office, they could put in a good word for you.

What would be your advice to actors trying to make an introduction to yourself or others in your field?

Be friendly, kind and polite. Modesty goes a long way. Listen to other people.

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