how to become a creative producer by sylvia farago
Want to get into fashion, but not sure which path to take? From designers and stylists, to writers and directors, we asked a few i-D friends and family how they made their fashion dreams a reality.
Despite playing an integral role in every creative endeavour, producers often work beyond the reach of the industry's spotlight. It's one of those industry jobs that is rarely spoken about in university classes. Canadian-born, London-based, Sylvia Farago didn't start out dreaming of becoming a producer. Her first love was photography and when she moved to London aged 18, she started out shooting gigs for Dazed & Confused, before becoming Photo Editor and then Photographic Director. After spending two years at Burberry as a creative producer — working across everything from catwalk shows to campaigns — she set up her own production company.
After becoming her own boss, she hasn't looked back. From Calvin Klein to Victoria Beckham, Céline to Stüssy, Angelo Pennetta to Nick Knight and Walter Pfeiffer, her client and collaborator list reads like an A-Z of fashion's finest. Very much an industry insider, Farago delights in making the magic happen behind-the-scenes but here, she steps out of the shadows and shares her journey.
What I do and why I do it:
I'm a producer because I wanted to be part of a creative team, working with photographers I respect. From initially wanting to be a photographer myself to becoming a photo editor and then photographic director, my career has evolved into a creative production role. Growing up, I wanted to a be policewoman. I guess that's close to production in some way.
A day in my life:
Every day is different — a mix of office and location work. No day is ever the same, which makes the job exciting and never boring to wake up to. The most rewarding aspect of this job is someone saying 'thank you.' The biggest misconception is we can change the weather.
The moment that made me:
Jefferson Hack, Emma Reeves, Nicki Bidder, Greg Stogdon, Shea Spencer have all had a huge impact on my career and life. There have been many highlights but some of my best times were working as Photographic Director at Dazed & Confused. It was pre-iPhone days, when we spent time developing friendships. My favorite shoot was with Chris Cunningham and Grace Jones, my last cover shoot while working there.
To degree or not to degree, that is the question:
I don't think going to university is necessary in securing a career in the creative industries. You just have to go out there and work. Meet people. Be nice and work hard.
What I wish I knew then that I know now:
That life only gets better. The best piece of advice anyone has ever shared with me is, "don't dwell on what everyone else is doing." Just focus on what your priorities are.
I'm excited by tomorrow because:
I'm juggling about six shoots right now. Beyond that, the potential of traveling to interesting places excites me. It's a real joy traveling to places with photographers and seeing their perspective through the images they capture. Where will I be and what will I be doing in 2020? Hopefully not working the crazy hours I currently work!