Holly Muse

About Holly Muse

Holly Muse is a Film Studies and English Literature graduate from Newcastle. After moving to Bristol to study at UWE she fell in love with the city and all of the weird and wonderful things it has to offer. While at University, she was coordinator of her University Film Society, involved with a variety of Film Festivals and worked as a runner for both film and television productions. Holly is interested in education and creative learning and has a passion for storytelling. When not working, Holly loves to plan unrealistic future travelling trips, explore Bristol’s green spaces and try out every Italian in the city.

Holly Muse's blog

Wednesday Session Number Two: Meeting with Mentors and Marketing with Jonathan Harper

This week, we dived straight into our second Wednesday night session and all had meetings with our mentors. The Future Producers team have split into three groups to work on each of our live briefs. These are:

  1. 24 and under ticket offer in response to a collaborative research project with Culture24
  2. LOVE Tea Dance with a Difference, as part of Bristol Family Arts Festival
  3. A series of late night screening inspired by the BFI LOVE season

Each group are closely mentored by Watershed staff, whose experience and skills align with the aims and objectives of each brief. I’m in the Family Arts Festival group, and we are producing an interactive day of games, activities, a dance and tea party that is themed around a film which will be screened throughout the October half term. Hannah Brady, Engagement Producer and Roseanna Dias, Editorial Assistant and Family Engagement Coordinator are our mentors. Our help, however, is not only limited to our group mentors, all mentors and Watershed staff are happy and willing to chip in and contribute ideas and advice wherever possible. We sat down with Verity McIntosh, the producer of the Pervasive Media Studio and talked about all of the exciting projects that we may be able to incorporate in our event.

The Pervasive Media studio is a fascinating place, where a multitude of talented people explore experience design and creative technology to produce all things weird and wonderful! One of the things our group is most excited about is working with artists/technologists/ academics from PM Studio and creating activities for our event that will delight and surprise its audience!

After another lovely sharing dinner, we had a talk and workshop with Jonathan Harper, the Managing Director of Exit through the Gift Shop and Executive Producer for No Boundaries. Working in the Arts, culture and music industry for over 15 years, Jonathan supports a wide range of UK organisations to plan and implement marketing strategies and to develop management teams with a view to increasing audience and income.

Jonathan was very down to earth and it was really great to hear about all his different experience, and about how Marketing as a profession has changed so much over the years. He talked about both creative and scientific marketing, how press and PR can contribute to the event, and talked us through his seven main focus points when marketing an event. We shared questions and ideas, and certainly finished the evening feeling a lot more confident about our events.





Wednesday Session Number One: Budgeting with Katie Keeler

And so begin our weekly Wednesday night sessions! Our wonderful introductory weekends of marshmallow towers, chubby bunnies, pitching ideas and meeting the previous Future Producers are unfortunately over, and it is now time to get serious with a lesson on budgeting. We continue on, however, with inspiring talks and workshops from an array of creative producers and learn from them how best to produce our events.

This week we met Katie Keeler, the Co-Director of Theatre Bristol.

Katie has produced 4 shows, co-produced 3 commissions and now takes an Executive Producing role at Theatre Bristol, which is made up of a collective of producers whose role is to work with artist, producers, venues and others to enable the best live performances to be made and experienced in Bristol. Alongside all of this, Katie is also Chair of Puppet Place and Vice Chair of the Independent Theatre Council.

Budget, budget, budget!

Admittedly, a talk and workshop on budgeting did not sound like it was going to be the most engrossing of topics (I speak for myself) but nevertheless it is an essential part of the process and it actually proved to be quite interesting!

A spreadsheet tells a story, and it is essential to start a spreadsheet where your story starts… at the beginning! Katie really instilled in us the importance of budgeting early on, and how fundamental this is for the whole project. We were told the difference between an administrator and a producer is the administrator focuses on expenditure while the producer focuses on the budget.

Some tips to take away with us were:

  • Plan for the best and worst
  • Make the spreadsheet idiot proof
  • Keep everyone in the loop
  • Don’t do it on your own
  • Identify the tricky bits

We also had an hour-long tour around all areas of the Watershed. This was led by Laura Wlader, Head of Operations and Helen Round, Watershed’s Food and Beverage Manager. We were introduced to the staff in the Pervasive Media Studio and Offices, before looking at the different event spaces in the Watershed. This was a great opportunity to visualise our events in the spaces and think about which areas would work best for each one. We learnt about the different ways the bar and café could support our events and started to think about health and safety considerations. Gareth Willis in Projections finished off the tour with a look at the projection area and a tour of each of the cinemas.

After a delicious dinner of roast veg soup, fruit and numerous packets of biscuits we rounded off the first Wednesday night session and headed home.