Gemma lys Cooper

Tags: Assistant Producer, Location Manager


Associate Producer, Location Manager

The multi talented, Gemma Lys Cooper, shares her advice with 

We have just one qustion, where's "Closure?" xx

I've just left school, now what?

Don't be put off

"no thanks - we'll keep your details on file" ...just keep writing to them

Be prepared to do anything

That is ANYTHING needed on a production, with a smile, there's no job too small. Be passionately dedicated. Show initiative. Give attention to detail. Keep positive and in good humour. Don't be stressful or snappy with others. Be patient and calm when stressed people snap at you.

Be honest with yourself, with what you know and don't know, but be prepared to find out - quick. Watch and learn from those experienced around you. Be confident, not arrogant. Be thoughtful. Have ideas - share them. Try and get to know everyone, on a production, and what they do, make them remember you (in a good way), remember their names, chances are you'll meet them again.

Do thorough research when going for a job interview, about the production company and its producers. Grasp opportunities when they arise. Make tea, and clear the cups away too! Don't fixate on a problem - just help find a solution.

Get perspective

TV production can easily take over your life, but try and keep it in perspective. 

How did you get your first job?

I wrote endlessly to production companies, trying to gain work experience, while I was doing my '0' and 'A' levels and then later, when i was studying for my degree.  After my 'A' levels - I ran away with a rock and roll French Circus - called Archaos - for a few years.

My first work experience was on a Channel 4 sit-com called 'Desmonds', with Humphrey Barclay Productions. Once you've had one work experience credit, its easier to get more. More 'free work' ensued, eventually leading to a paid job as a studio/edit runner at London Studio's, where i made lots of contacts.

After graduating, I landed a job as a researcher with Action Time, on a live daytime show, called 1 to 3. I then worked for LWT/Granada - as a researcher on Blind Date, for 2 years. This was a super time with a lovely team. 

Was there a 'Big Break' moment?

I guess it's when the same producers / production company keeps employing you. But actually my big break was when i moved to France and had children! I now work freelance in the South of France, as a Location Manager and sometimes producing.

I have a company called LA FILM MACHINE, making corporate films, documentaries. I also provide production services for companies filming in France. I feel like I have the best of both worlds. 


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