6 May 2021

Q&A with a client -
Sly Fox Productions

By Gareth Graham (old) Sales Team Leader
Silhouette of a cameraman kneeling down


Savannah James-Bayly


We took some time out to chat to Savannah, an independent producer to find out a bit more about what she does.

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself – who you are, what you do and a bit of background into your story so far.

A: I’m an independent producer working across film and TV. I started out making short films with some brilliant emerging writers and directors and alongside this I worked in development, initially at Starfield Productions, where I was Associate Producer on A Guide to Second Date Sex , starring George Mackay and Alexandra Roach, and then for Sly Fox Productions where I was Associate Producer on the first and current series of Queens of Mystery for Acorn TV. I’m also developing a slate of features with help from funders like Film4, SFTN and BFI and I’ve been lucky enough to be supported by some amazing organisations along the way through schemes like BFI Flare Festival’s mentorship scheme, and as a ‘Film London Lodestar’, amongst others.

Q: You start off doing short films; how big is the jump from doing that to doing a TV series? Tell us about the different challenges you face.

A: It’s the difference between a sprint and a marathon. The manic energy with which short films usually get made is unsustainable over many months. But the support of a professional production team makes the two experiences incomparable. On a short, you may only be shooting for a week but you’re doing the jobs of about six people at once and usually with a fraction of the financial resources you require. Being surrounding by a great team, I felt well-equipped to navigate new challenges with the benefit of their expertise. Every project, no matter the scale, throws new things your way. Case in point: this year, it’s a completely different process having to rethink everything to adapt to the challenges of Covid. Finally, my molecular biology degree is coming into use!

Q: As a producer, what do you believe is key within a production and what are the biggest challenges you face, no matter what size the budget?

A: It is all about the team you have around you, from your key creatives, to your cast, crew, lawyers and brokers! Productions always throw unexpected curveballs your way, but if you have capable and collaborative people behind you, you can overcome any problem.

Q: And finally, if you were to give a budding producer one bit of advice, what would it be?

A: Other producers are not your competition; they are your greatest resource. Building a network of producers at a similar stage in their careers and a few steps ahead has been invaluable, initially for peer advice, but now that’s turned into some amazing producing partnerships too.

Back to Behind the Scenes: Issue One

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