Creative Lives — How PR creative Will Norman kick-started his career by speaking up and stealing fruit bars
For those less familiar with the world of PR, you might be surprised at the huge breadth of work covered within Will Norman’s role as a creative for PR agency, The Academy. From working on documentaries to set-based commercials, the company keeps Will on his toes as he’s constantly producing and fine-tuning his filmmaking skills – something he puts down to “a strong ‘just do it’ ethos that runs from the top down.” Here, he highlights how an idea, hard work and recyclable fruit-bar boxes helped him stand out from the crowd in a competitive industry.
Creative at The Academy
BA Film and English Literature, University of Sussex (2013-2017)
How would you describe your role at The Academy?
I work as part of the production team, creating anything from set-based commercials, documentary pieces, event films, filmed podcasts, vox-pop interviews, stop-motion films, animations and GIFs. I’m constantly on my toes, exploring all areas of production and sharpening my filmmaking tool kit. It’s an incredibly exciting role, particularly for someone at the early stages of their career. Each job brings with it new challenges, which I welcome enthusiastically. I consciously aim to learn something new on each project. The technologies that I can discover, people I can meet, places I can visit and lessons that I can apply to my personal work help me grow as a filmmaker.
How did you land your current job?
By making a good impression during my work placement, as well as having little embarrassment around failing. I would always pitch ideas, voice opinions and make suggestions – basically expressing any thought that I considered valid. I was also proactive in making my own film work. The Academy looked after a fruit-bar brand at the time and I had been helping myself to about 50 a day after discovering London food market prices. One night, I took home more packs than usual. I then recycled the cardboard packets into origami fruit figures of the bars’ ingredients, and made a short stop-motion film showing how I did so. The agency loved it; the client used it and my placement became a paid internship, which ultimately led to the job.
“I’m constantly on my toes, exploring all areas of production and sharpening my filmmaking tool kit.”
What do you enjoy most about working at The Academy?
There is a strong ‘just do it’ ethos that runs from the top down. It encouraged me to take initiative and create work off my own back. More often than not, the work makes its way into the wide world. This is a liberating ethos to live by, and one that I believe is essential for a filmmaker. Additionally, I am lucky to work alongside very knowledgeable individuals with experience in many creative fields. I make it my mission to soak up wisdom from these fountains of knowledge like a hungry young sponge.
Words of Wisdom
What advice would you give to a young creative wanting to get into a similar line of work?
Create constantly. Reach out. Live fast, die old.