A Producer’s Life

Ever wanted to know if you have what it takes to be a Producer? We talk to Executive Producer Lee Bassin about travelling 25,000 miles a year, tapping into his inner journalist and why no shoot will ever go as planned.

Firstly tell us about your role and what a typical day looks like.

I am an Executive Producer, responsible for generating video content for The Economist and their clients. So a typical day for me will be spent setting up the next shoots I am heading out on, sitting with our in-house Editors working on our latest piece of content, as well as working with the wider team on video proposals for prospective new clients.

What’s the best part of your job?

To be able to travel the world filming interesting people in fascinating locations and then tell great stories through the videos I create is a real privilege.

What are the key skills you need to be a Producer?

You need to have a good eye for what looks good on camera and have the journalistic skills to get the very best out of every person you interview. And when you hit the edit suite you need to know how to work with your Editor to craft compelling stories from the footage you have. On location it’s really important to be calm under pressure and think on your feet, as no matter how much you have planned for a shoot, things always change!

You travel widely in your role – how many miles do you rack up in a year on average and what are your tips for hitting the ground running after a long journey?

I probably rack up about 25,000 miles a year on average as I generally go on one or two long haul journeys and then four or five European trips. I always use the time on the plane to gather my thoughts, go through my notes and make sure I am as prepared as I can be for the shoot ahead, so even if I have to go straight to sleep when I get to the hotel, I am ready to go the next day.

You’ve been at TVC for nearly a decade, looking back over the years what are some of the highlights?

What sticks out for me is being able to work with some of Britain’s best athletes like Jess Ennis, Mo Farah, Rebecca Adlington and Ellie Simmonds, as well as interviewing David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Working at the breakdancing world championships for Red Bull in Rio and then Seoul the following year was amazing as I had never been to either of those places. And working for Virgin Galactic in the Mojave Desert was a great experience.

But I think my all-time favourite was probably the week I spent with the British Paralympic Athletics team at their training camp in Portugal. Just an amazing week with some of the most humble, talented and inspiring people I have ever met.

And finally, tell us something not many people know about you.

I’m a bit of a geek at heart who loves comic books, watching WWE wrestling, collecting action figures and playing Pokemon Go! But don’t tell anyone as I have an image to uphold!

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