Creative Lives — “Nothing beats the experience of doing the role itself”: Sky production coordinator Iman Kassar
Although Iman Kassar originally applied for a role with Sky’s sports production team, during her interview the team saw how well she would fit within the entertainment department. She ended up landing the position of production coordinator with Sky Cinema Original Film and has been there ever since. Here, she talks to us about how her role is vital in ensuring the delivery of visual entertainment media to Sky’s vast consumer-base, and how she approaches every task with “a can-do attitude”.
Production Coordinator, Sky Cinema Original Film, Sky (2017–present)
Ingest Operator, Sky PLC
Sky Production Services (2012–2017)
Office Runner and Production Runner, Monkey Kingdom and Home for the Holidays (2011–2012)
BA Television Production, Skillset Media Academy, Middlesex University (2007–2010)
Iman at work
How would you describe your role at Sky?
My role at Sky is to oversee the production aspects of Sky Cinema Original film promos for each title. My responsibilities are to book voice over and audio, and manage the delivery aspect of the promos. I liaise with clients internally and externally – anticipating any problems that may arise and informing the account manager of these.
I am also responsible for ensuring that the team always have a point of contact within Sky Creative agency for any queries regarding promo deliveries, amending and booking at the last minute. My role is vital in making sure the creative makes it to air for our customers and audience to see.
My role within Sky Cinema Original was new, so there was no process or workflow put in place beforehand. I worked closely with the Sky Creative Agency and other internal and external teams to create a more streamlined work process.
“I think what gave me an edge was that I was a fast learner”
Does your role involve much collaboration?
My role is very collaborative – I work with the creative, designers, account manager, client and other coordinators. We also work with teams like compliance, content handling and promo ingest [in broadcasting, this is the act of bringing new programme elements into a studio or facility]. Communication between us all is key, and it’s important to be transparent with the information that we have.
I work most closely with the account manager and the creative. The updates that I get from my account manager are vital to ensure everything is actioned. The creative shares all their work, and it’s my responsibility to share this with the compliance team and communicate any feedback. I am their main contact for updates on audio, grade, versions needed and delivery updates.
How did you land your current job?
I initially wanted to move into a more production-type role since I felt that I had reached my potential with ingest, so I was ready to move. I had interviewed for a position to assist with sports production. Even though I interviewed well, the interviewer felt I was a much better fit in entertainment and passed my details on. From there I got a three-month secondment with Sky Creative. This then led me to secure a full-time position.
I think what gave me an edge was that I was a fast learner and I already knew a lot of the programmes used within Sky, as well as knowing the post-production side since working in ingest.
What has been your favourite project so far at Sky?
With Sky Cinema Originals my favourite film to date is Anon. It’s just great seeing the films that we are becoming more actively involved in, rather than just the films that are showcased on our service.
“I am always interested in what we, as human beings, can achieve when we put our minds to it.”
Do you run any self-initiated projects alongside your job?
I do not have side projects per se, but I do believe in always working on myself and improving my knowledge. I attend quite a few self-development courses and do a lot of reading. I think we are constantly growing, and I am always interested in what we, as human beings, can achieve when we put our minds to it.
Where are you from originally and what did you want to be growing up?
I am originally from Beirut, Lebanon. However, I grew up in Tottenham in North London from the age of three. Growing up, I had two loves: films and kids. Weirdly enough, I either wanted to be a nursery teacher or work in film.
How useful was your degree to your work?
I did feel the knowledge I gained has been helpful in some ways, but nothing beats the experience of doing the role itself.
What are the best and worst things about working at Sky?
The best thing right now is being at the forefront of something exciting with Sky Cinema Originals – being part of such great creative output.
Also, the food here is discounted so you tend to eat loads, but they do have healthy options with free fruit!
What skills and tools are essential to your role?
Organisation is key, attention to detail is vital and your problem-solving skills must be impeccable. Having a can-do attitude is always beneficial – I believe there is a solution to every problem.
“Nothing can beat the experience that you get from doing the role itself.”
What do you feel is the natural progression from your role? Do you have any career goals you can share with us?
For me, the most natural progression is into a production manager role. My career goal would be to become a head of production for a company within the Sky Originals section. Doing Sky Cinema Originals has really inspired me to continue down this path.
What advice can you give to emerging creatives wanting to do the same kind of work?
The main thing is to believe in yourself – do not let anyone give you any doubt. Be passionate and dedicated, and if something doesn’t work out, believe it was never meant to be for you.
This interview is part of a studio feature on Sky Creative Agency, a Lecture in Progress partner.