Mel Klapp

Producer/Production Manager

https://beast.agency/

Briefly describe what you do

 

I am Producer/Production Manager for a company called Beast and we make videos that go online for big brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, Swatch, Apple and British Airways. As a producer I’m mainly responsible for deciding what goes into the video (the content). The content could be the story, the location or the cast. As a Production Manager I am responsible for organising the shoot, the crew, securing permits, licences and managing the budget. These two roles cross over in my current role. The videos we make tend to be filmed either in a studio or on location anywhere in the world!

What made you want to go into your career path? 

 

If I am honest, I thought it would be fun! I attended a career talk at uni held by a BBC TV Producer who talked about working in TV Production and I was instantly attracted to what he described as an exciting, creative and fast paced environment. I really liked the idea of working on lots of different programs and meeting lots of different people. 

Did you always think you’d go into this career?  

 

No, I wanted to work within the Arts but I didn’t know what role that would be. Mid way through my BA in Visual Arts majoring in Graphic Design, I realised I didn’t want to be stuck to a desk, all day every day and then I went to that pivotal career talk. 

 

How does it compare to how you thought it would be? 

 

Working in production was and is everything I hoped it would be and more. It’s exciting, challenging and hard work but you get a real buzz when you are filming on set . You have to start at the bottom and prove your worth, to progress you need to think on your feet, be flexible and always be aware that you are only as good as your last job. I like that, it keeps you motivated. 


How was life at school?

I moved around a lot when I was young and it wasn’t until I was 13 that we finally settled in a small village in South Wales. Once I settled in, I really enjoyed school but not my Headmistress, she had an unhealthy disrespect for the arts and attempted to ambush my artistic direction a few times. Undeterred, I knew I had to play to my strengths and pursue an arts degree. 

How did you get into your career? 

Once I ‘discovered’ TV production, I applied for as much TV & Film work experience as I could. I gained experience at the BBC, took endless ‘extra work’ and then a Receptionist role at a Post Production House in London that specialised in light entertainment. Although this job wasn’t in production, it was a full-time position to pay the bills and to meet endless Producers and Directors who ended up being my ticket into production and some of my best contacts. I took a break in TV production to have my daughters but then I met the wonderful guys at Beast and they asked me to come on board and I literally bit their hand off!


What do you enjoy most about it?

Oh I cannot give you one answer! I love the variety of subjects I get to research and the people I get to meet, whether crew, cast, celebrities or experts. I love being part of a team, it can be quite intense working on set but that strengthens those friendships. Oh and I really love filming in overseas locations! 


What are your ambitions?

Definitely to do more international shoots! 


Tell us a fun story about your work  

We were filming a luxury video in the Cayman Islands, which was beautiful but what we didn’t know until we arrived, is that the island is actually covered in wild chickens! So every day we would be chasing chickens out of shot or waiting for a rooster to be quiet! 

To learn more about this mentor, and about mentoring and opportunities, please contact us at info@thesixteen.org.