Adilla Immambocus is Head of Entertainment Production for Gamesys. We caught up with her for our In Focus series, which highlights the work of inspirational women from across the sector.
Hi Adilla, great to catch up! Could you tell us more about your role?
As Head of Entertainment Production for Gamesys, I manage an awesome internal team who create video content, from the ideation stage right through to final concept. The five areas of business we create content for, but not limited to, are: marketing, product, internal communications, learning & development and community. The type of content we create varies and can include video which supports above the line campaigns via social media channels, providing trailers for new products, or devising quiz/fun interactive formats to grow our online community.
An ongoing part of my role is developing and coaching members of my team, as well as others within the organisation. Having said that, being part of a corporate structure means I need to ensure we move forward as a business area, therefore I work on the strategic direction and vision for the team and implement processes which aid efficiencies.
What does a day in your working life look like and has this changed dramatically as a result of Covid-19?
In all honesty, no day is the same, therefore here is an illustrative day in my role.
I’ll start by checking in with the team for an update on all things good, bad and ugly. I’ll analyse the show data, to provide insight for our next formats, or for development on existing content. I’ll get an update on whether we are on track with our roadmap and hold a creative session for new ideas that will innovate and make a positive difference. I might have to review and approve set designs, formats and graphics as well as attend meetings (a lot!) with various stakeholders across the business to go through their briefs, where I will advise and consult. I’ll also read copious amounts of emails and undertake ongoing reviews of the processes we have in place, as we are constantly evolving.
Covid-19 happens, and it’s time for ‘creative solutions’ without losing the plot! In a matter of days, we moved from multi-camera set ups with a full crew in the studio, to solo operated shows from living rooms and kitchens. As they say, the show must go on. We adapted our formats as they were based on two on-screen hosts and utilised the use of graphical templates to accommodate the lack of a hard set to present from.
Additional meetings and daily check-ins added to the team’s calendars, as working remotely can take an emotional toll – and communication is key to staying focussed and productive.
Providing content from the talent also provide to be difficult, as they faced their own challenges in regards to balancing work and home life. We accommodated by using a couple of the team to present, never missing a development opportunity.
The most dramatic change has been in the way we think about what we are creating. We’ve changed our narrative from big sets and big moments, to memories, nostalgia and making the little things count. All in all, a personable approach tot he work we produce, with more of an emotional connection, which has been motivating and positive.
How did you begin your career and what inspired you to look at jobs within the broadcast technology sector?
From a really young age, I wanted to be a stockbroker (don’t judge me!) or work in TV. At the time, the advice I was given by the careers advisor was, “why don’t you think of something more realistic for a woman?” – and from that moment, I knew I would not give up; that was all the inspiration I needed to go after what I believed in.
I started work experience at the BBC, working on a live show. This gave me a huge buzz, and I knew it was production that I definitely wanted to work in; I loved the creativity, generating ideas and watching something come alive. I was given my first job at Granada in Manchester and I have never looked back; I am still excited to work in this industry. I have an interesting role of blending organisation with creative inspiration.
How do you think the industry will change as a result of Covid-19?
Our industry has been hit hard, from productions screeching to a halt, budgets being cut and freelancers, who are the backbone of the entertainment industry, needing additional support. Although I firmly believe there will be many learnings and opportunities from this situation for the ‘new normal’ post-Covid age, a couple of my thoughts are: based on the huge shift in viewing habits, and entertainment now being a necessity, this could in turn mean increased content, creating more work. Businesses will be determining the future of their workplace, thus ensuring they foster the right environment. During this climate, for the most cases, working from home (if it was possible) has proved successful in both a work/life balance and productivity. Going forward, the broadcast industry could build the right infrastructure and operating frameworks to enable a much larger proportion of their workforce to work this way on an ongoing basis.
What are you main challenges over the coming year?
My main challenges for 2021 will be keeping the team motivated and continue to ensure creativity flows. This includes rethinking and adapting existing content and format ideas, which adhere to the Government’s direction on Covid. Additional challenges include re-forecasting budgets and re-evaluating costs, as well as learning what works – or not, very quickly. On a personal level, my main challenge will be how we retain and combine the best of ‘new normal’ and ‘old normal’.
Thanks to Adilla for sharing more about her experiences.