Creative Lives — Lead producer at Blink Matt Marsh details the benefits of welcoming new challenges
Initially, Blinkink lured in Matt Marsh to produce an Atoms For Peace music video. Matt was so enchanted that he never left, and now works as a lead producer balancing responsibilities between individual projects and the wider development of the company. Talking us through his first job as a junior compositor, offline morning rituals and ambitions of forming the next generation of animation directors and filmmakers, Matt details the benefits of welcoming new challenges: “It’s tempting to take the easy road, but the bumpy journey offers a more exciting ride!”
Lead Producer, Blinkink (2013–present)
Co-founder, Mummu (2010–2013)
Head of Production
Freelance Director, Animator, Compositor, Editor
BA Animation, Kingston University (2003–2007)
Matt at work
How would you describe your job?
My role puts me right in the middle of Blinkink with responsibilities to both individual projects and the wider development of the company.
My project responsibilities are to make the strongest possible creative work, on budget and on time. The easiest way to do this is to have strong relationships with all members of the team, and inspire people to make their voices heard, be passionate and take pride in the work they produce.
My company responsibilities are to ensure the company travels in the right direction. We do that through a mix of things, which include building the right teams to make the greatest work, developing the in-house studio, finding new talent, and encouraging team members to embrace Blinkink’s ethos. We do all this whilst keeping an eye on our finances and trying to make the right business decisions, which guarantee Blinkink survives and thrives.
“My company responsibilities are to ensure the company travels in the right direction.”
What does a typical working day look like?
The range of work we do means we rarely repeat processes and continually look to challenge production techniques, which in turn, means we rarely make things easy for ourselves! During an ideal working day, I’m able to give things the time and space they need. On a busier day, this luxury is not possible and I have to rely on more instinctual, quicker decision-making. My morning ritual is spending time with my son, logged off from work, singing experimental versions of Old MacDonald.
What do you like about working in London?
I like the fast paced nature… most of the time. It’s where the most talented people tend to congregate, so there lot’s of incredible people to learn from. Of course, the insane living costs are a downside, but you also have amazing cultural opportunities on your doorstep to offset this.
How did you land your current job?
A director introduced me to Blinkink and I ended up producing an Atoms For Peace music video with the director Andrew Thomas Huang. I’ve been here ever since.
How collaborative is your role?
It’s a massively collaborative role, both internally and externally. If you can get everyone to feel part of the same team with the goal of producing the highest quality work, then the process tends to be smooth and enjoyable for all.
What are the most and least enjoyable aspects of your job?
Reconciling a job at the end when all the fun work is over is the least enjoyable aspect. The work-life balance is always a tricky tightrope to walk. The key is keeping an eye on things that really matter in life and making sure they get the time they deserve.
Matt at work
Matt at work
What has been the most exciting project of the last twelve months?
We produced the titles for Sarah Silverman’s new TV show in the US, which was a fun process. We had a great team with a collaborative and trusting production partner.
What skills are essential to your job?
Positivity and communication, which require great storytelling, a creative eye, listening, reading, talking and writing skills – all combined with basic Excel.
What tools do you use most for your work?
Google Docs is a brilliant way of sharing production files these days. I’m always in and out of the Adobe Suite, building documents for sharing with clients or explaining things to team members.
“It’s tempting to take the easy road, but the bumpy journey offers a more exciting ride!”
How I Got Here
What did you want to be growing up?
I didn’t really have an idea of what I wanted to be. I just knew I liked being involved in creative and technical process. Studying animation at Kingston University seemed to offer the perfect opportunity for mixing these skills.
What were your first jobs?
My first job was as a junior compositor for Tokyo Plastic. It provided a great insight into the industry, which I was very unfamiliar with until that point.
Was there a particular person that helped your development at the start of your career?
My peers from university continue to inspire and help in my development through the industry. Helping each other along the journey is a great feeling, and always feels like a nice community to be part of.
“If you can get everyone to feel part of the same team, the process tends to be smooth and enjoyable for all.”
What’s been your biggest challenge?
Trying to challenge myself with each project. It’s tempting to take the easy road, but the bumpy journey offers a more exciting ride!
Is your job what you thought it would be?
I never really stopped to think about what it would be. It formed around me and I did my best to make it a shape I enjoyed.
What would you like to do next?
I want to help form the next generation of exciting animation directors and filmmakers, lending support and guidance on how to build reels and develop their work.
Words of Wisdom
What advice would you give a young creative wanting to do the same kind of work?
Try making contact with people in the industry. They tend to be a nice bunch and are often willing to help open a door to get your first chance. Then, be a positive, interested and interesting person, and the rest will look after itself.