1.How was your overall LA / WWRS experience?
Wow.. what a week!
Where do I start! From smashing a Philly Cheese Steak with Dom Evans when we first arrived in Glendale at 8:30am on the Monday…. to passing out for 5 hours on the flight home from exhaustion (and maybe a couple too many Vodkas in the Qantas Lounge)… The experience of being in LA for WWRS and Iron Imager is one that will stick with me forever. Cementing amazing friendships with the Benztown Team and Re-Connecting with your good self Andy, opening my world up to so many amazing Image producers who’s back stories blew my mind, shaking hands with guys I have idolised my entire career and never actually met (Jeff Thomas), getting to know Sam Wickens (and Em and Ryan), being introduced to Moscow Mules (purchased 4 of the copper cups the minute I got home) and just making my way around parts of L.A in Ubers that don’t involve a Pier at the end of Route 66 and some shady looking characters handing out prescriptions on a beach. To be honest.. the buzz of the week is still with me.
2. Iron Imager champ, how does that feel?
For me winning the spot to challenge Sam was the prize. The above mentioned experiences were the prize. Honestly.
Taking home the chocolates was a bonus. I had a fair backing at home as it turned out… and when I walked back into work with the Iron Imager Belt raised above the head…. the Triple M Team really got around me and it was at that moment the win truly sank in.
3. How did the actual contest feel? How challenging was it to produce a country promo? Have you worked in the format before?
I have done the odd country thing here or there in the last 2 years as our network has a couple of country brands.. in ‘Triple M Country’ and ‘The Range’ but nothing more than a couple of sweepers to give the producer who usually looks after the brands a bit of a chop out. Whatever the format we were to be given… I always had it in my head that I will take what I do for Triple M and adapt it to the format. That thought process helped keep me calm right up to the start of the contest. Then.. the shit hit the fan. Take the clock out of the equation and I would be comfortable to work on the format. Give me my toolbox I work with everyday and the promo could be calmly built in the same or less time.
But throw in the clock, and a folder full of 300+ elements that I have no idea of what is in there and where and having to sift through it all before even making a start… thats when the minutes start melting and the stress levels peak.
4. What have been the biggest challenges during the contest?
1. Keep calm. The minute u stress.. u start spinning the wheels. Spending all your energy and going nowhere.
2.Trusting your instincts. Knowing that the process you go thru, combined with a cool head… will get you through.
The stress of it all was the hardest.. but also the coolest thing about the contest. Because what it did… it brought Sam and I to somewhat of a level playing field.
It will bring anyone of any number of years experience to something of a level playing field. Workparts and format aside…. It all comes down to your process and the way you go about putting a piece together.
5. What has been your favorite LA moment?
Realising that Benztowns Chris Johansing and I (or whoever chooses Chris’s clothes and My Wife… who is my ‘Director of Fashion’) … have the same taste. Around the table back at Benzhaus the night after the contest… pulling up a chair beside Chris to take my place in the drinking game and we are basically in the same outfit. That moment and that image will be with me forever.
6. Any new learnings, take aways, parting words?
The only thing really is to encourage Image guys the world over of all levels to support the Iron Imager Contest that you guys have been putting on for 8 years now. No-one else is doing anything like it for our part of the industry. I can imagine it is a fair investment from Benztowns point of view not only in Dollar$…. but also in time and energy. The entire Benztown team put so much into the week and the event…. So all I can do is encourage other Image guys to support the contest…. have a crack at it… cos u just never know where it will end up for you.
It’s been nothing short of a world of fun.