4 Tips To Surviving The Stressful World Of Production

Staff Writer

Dom Evans is one of the Today Network’s top image producers.

Like many audio producers he was a child prodigy (he will hate me saying that), working on his craft from an early age he is now one of the most innovative thinkers in the world of production.

He was good enough to share his top 4 tips on how to make it to the top of the production ladder.


What is the most important thing about being a producer? Obviously at a fundamental level, it’s the ability to produce appropriate material to a high standard. We’d be out of a job pretty quickly if we couldn’t do that!

But I don’t believe that is the most important thing.

Trust me, the biggest favor you can do your career is to master relationship building and people skills. It is so important.

Everyone you deal with, no matter whether they are at a high level or not, build and maintain a real relationship with them. This is building your personal brand. Every time you deal with someone, you are making an impression. Make sure it’s always a good one!

And no matter how good you get, don’t forget to be nice.


Know when to do a Picasso.

In radio production at least, with hundreds of pieces of production to make each and every week, it really isn’t reasonable to expect a 100% Picasso strike out of yourself.

Not everything you make is going to be amazing. Don’t worry about it.

At least 80% of what we make is going to be “ok”, “good”, or “great” at the most.

Learn when to spend time on something, and when to churn and burn. Often it’s more important to get 10 things on air at 95% than to get 1 or 2 things on air at 100%. That extra 5% you spent 5 hours nailing, your PD or client doesn’t notice it. They’re annoyed they didn’t get their other 8 things on air. Get it to a point where it’s good, and move on.

You know when it needs to be a Picasso, that’s your time to shine.


Learn to read between the lines.

PDs and clients can be average communicators. They are busy and stressed.

They trust you to do what you do well.

Here are some translations I have learnt over the years:

“Ta” – they had forgotten they asked you to make this.
“Thanks” – you have done what they asked – good work.
“Nice” – you really brought their crappy script to life, excellent job!
“Great” – this is possibly one of the greatest things you’ll make this season!!
“Nailed it!” – they had a very specific idea in their head, and you captured it!!!
“Fucking love it!!!” – this is a Picasso moment, put it in your ACRA folder.

Often we get sent quick short e-mails from airports, taxis and boardrooms that don’t make a great deal of sense at first glance or seem a little aggressive. That’s ok, read between the lines. They don’t have time to send you a glossy lovey-dovey e-mail first acknowledging how hard you are working and how much you are appreciated.

Imply it… it’s there between the lines.


Pay it forward.

This has been said to me many a time, and it’s true. There will always be people ahead of you, and people behind you. Learn as much as you can from those in front, and pass it on to those behind.

You won’t lose your job because you showed someone how to do that effect in a promo.

This all comes back into number one, your personal brand. By helping others achieve their goals, you are in turn achieving yours.

What do you want people to say about you?

So what are those points again…

  • Build relationships and your personal brand
  • Know when to move on and when to build a Picasso
  • Reading between the lines and communicating
  • Pay it forward and help others

You can see Dom’s Spotd profile here.

Our thanks to Adrian Brine and Spotd for allowing us to share this piece.

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