Posted on 22nd january 2019 by the eric team
When Warner Music Group let us into their offices to run riot, we did a few things. Touching everything a celebrity may have touched (this took a while), ‘borrowing’ memorabilia from unmanned desks, an unsuccessful attempt to break into the in-house studio... and we also cornered a couple of WMG employees to ask them about what they do. All in all, a great day for the ERIC team. P.S. It turns out there are some way cool jobs in the music biz that you may never even knew existed! One of those being the Creative Production Coordinator...
Interview with Ellys Airey, Creative Production Coordinator
Where does your job fit in with the rest of the business: The unique thing about Creative Production is we work directly with most other depts in the company. My dept. is split in two, the Frontline guys look after new signings and current acts, such as Dua Lipa, Ed Sheeran and Coldplay, whilst my Catalogue team generally look after the legends such as Pink Floyd, The Smiths and David Bowie. When an artist decides to release an album, marketing will come to us and we'll discuss the best way that can we release it, depending on the kind of content we have, how much we want to sell it for and when we ideally want it in the shops! I then give the options (e.g. CD, vinyl, deluxe version, etc), and it’s my job to give them the prices and a timeline. Then I’ll talk to A&R and the studios to get the vinyl cut, CD masters made or digital audio files etc in time for release, and also work with designers to finalise the artwork side and get things ready to go. We aren’t in the merch department (we have a separate merch team) - our dept creates all the different formats that people can actually listen to the music on, whether that's physical or digital.
What’s your day to day: My day to day is project managing a number of different releases at one time and every day is different! As I say, we deal with Marketing, A&R, Finance and Business Affairs, as well as designers, the artist and their management in order to make it all happen. We often talk to the factories and suppliers too, and chat about new creative products we can do - bespoke boxsets, crazy vinyl, CDs and even cassettes! We basically have to work with everyone to get it perfect so we can fit with the release date and budget - we ensure it always looks and sounds the best it possibly can! It’s also not just physical products, but digital too. We deal with the Digital Ops team making sure we have hi-res audio masters and the streaming platforms to deliver them on - Spotify, iTunes, Deezer, etc. Digital releases are a bit less involved than the complex physical ones, but there are a lot more of them, and we can often set up a whole digital release in a single day!
What’s Warner really like to work at: I love the environment here. It’s such a friendly place to work and is super social. There’s always something to get involved with - I’m part of the Warner Music Choir! There’s always music-related talks and events going on too. I think in the day to day it’s easy to forget what you’re working towards, but when you get that final product in or it goes up on Spotify it makes you really proud of what you've achieved and appreciate the amazingly impressive industry you’re part of. You get really well rewarded for the hard work you put in too - my boss is amazing and always makes sure to appreciate the work I put in. It’s just fun to work with creative and like-minded people, really.
What’s the best thing about your job: I was at uni before joining Warner so I’ve only been in the game for about a year. But I’ve still worked on some massive things - Pink Floyd, Bowie, Chic, Pet Shop Boys… and we do work in conjunction with the US a lot because anything the US office wants us to release in the UK (like White Snake for example), we take care of that here.
Also, it’s fun when my friends will pick up a product and see my name credited on the album! You get to have ownership and credit on the projects which is really cool. A lot of people are impressed by the fact I get to look after big name artists that they don’t expect me to work on.
Was it what you expected: I had absolutely no idea what Creative Production was before I worked here. I started a couple of years ago as the Creative Production Intern and was lucky enough to be asked back into a full time roll within the team. I had worked in production previously, but this was completely different because before I was more in the TV area of things. It’s much more hands on than I had initially thought. You’re always dealing with different teams in the office, so you get to know everyone really well and know what they all do which is nice. And I didn’t realise I would have had so much involvement in the decision-making side of things and creative input - I can suggest new products and they’ll actually go for my idea which is amazing. It’s exceeded my expectations.
If you could work in another department, where would you be: I’d work in brand partnerships or artist relations because I think it’d be interesting to see the post- production side of things.
Written by The ERIC Team
Brought to you by Warner Music Group
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