post ‘game of thrones’, maisie williams turns app developer to create an online safe space for creatives
A girl has no follower count.
When Maisie Williams got her big break, signing on for the first season of Game of Thrones at the tender age of 13, she could hardly have realised the juggernaut that the show was going to become. Seven years and eight seasons on, Maisie has gone from child star to baby faced assassin, world famous actor and now, app developer.
Not every young actor or creative in the industry manages to land an HBO fantasy epic when they’ve barely reached their teens, something Maisie knows all too well. That’s what her newest post GoT venture, the app Daisie, wants to change. After working with her friend Dom Santry (who is now her fellow app developer on Daisie) on a film where he was camera assistant, the pair got to discussing problems in the film industry. “Dom told me how difficult it was for young creatives to access opportunities that can progress their careers,” Maisie tells i-D. “He vouched that this something we would change together.”
The end product of the duo’s conversation, Daisie, is a platform battling the old adage “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” The networking platform offers a new way for filmmakers, musicians, visual artists, writers and any other young creatives to both showcase their work and connect with other collaborators.
“The platform is a safe place for people to upload their work even if it's just an idea, without being criticised,” says Maisie. “We celebrate what an idea could become rather than something polished and final. As much as possible we try and suggest others in the community who can help with the project you are working on. I've always been passionate about the creative arts and I feel lucky to have got to the position I am in now so I created Daisie in the hope to encourage other people starting out in the industry.”
Unlike Instagram or Twitter, Daisie has no follower count, eliminating the popularity contest that Insta feeds can become, and offering a fairer playing field for those wanting to promote their work, look at other people’s projects and find new ways of connecting and contributing. It’s the collaborative aspect of Daisie, not follower count, that allows someone’s profile to grow and gain traction. Thanks to that key difference, Maisie doesn’t see the app becoming a competitor to traditional social networking platforms, but instead as a stand alone tool for creatives. “We see Daisie as a place where you turn ideas into projects and we help you find the team you need to create something special,” she explains. “Opposed to other platforms, it’s a place to find your audience. For that reason, we don't see Daisie becoming a rival.”
Rival or not, the reaction so far from users has been, according to the app’s creators, overwhelmingly positive. “The most exciting thing is seeing people collaborate in ways we never expected,” Maisie says. “There are people meeting up offline and creating work together who didn't know each other before Daisie.”
Surely, as Game of Thrones comes to an end, many people will have expected Maisie Williams to move on from to other shows and films. But, just as Arya Stark defies expectations, so does the actress who brought her to life. Instead of throwing herself into another huge film project just yet, Maisie had instead chosen to bring to life a platform to give other young creatives access to the same opportunities she’s found in the industry. And after that? “I'm making time for personal, creative projects. I just got a studio where I get to relax and be free to make mistakes.” In the creative industries, that ability to make mistakes, be unedited and find other kindred spirits is all too hard to come by. Maybe Daisie will make that just a little bit easier.