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Podcast: Season 2, Episode 2 Transcript (Jodie, Motion Graphics Designer at Sky Creative / Sky Sports)

39 minute read

In Episode 2 of the THIS IS HOW podcast from Season 2, we spoke to Jodie who works as a Motion Graphics Designer for Sky Creative / Sky Sports. You can listen to the episode here but for those who fancy a read, or might be hard of hearing, the full transcript is below.

Will You’re listening to THIS IS HOW, a podcast about people forging digital careers for people who are taking the time to figure things out. 

Zoe Whether you’ve just left school, college or uni or you’re already in a job, but you’re not really feeling it, we’ve made a podcast series full of tips, ideas and free advice from people who have been on similar journeys, changed things up and gone on to work in digital roles with some of the most interesting brands in the UK. 

Will I’m Will Stowe, proudly from Hackney an area shouldered to those around me. I work for Sneakers as a co-host on Sneakers Live, we have regular live streams to talk all things sneaker culture. I also write poetry, make music and throw parties in my spare time. 

Zoe I’m Zoe Mallet. I’m a life coach and radio show host. My coaching focuses on helping people figure out where they are, where they want to be, and then we work out how we’re going to get them there. I also have a radio show on Foundation FM which allows listeners to message in with all their problems. And my guests and I offer our professional advice and tips live on a mix with some bangers. 

Will So we’ve got Jodie here today. Hello. 

Jodie Hi (laughs). 

Zoe Jodie is a motion graphics designer at Sky Sports, and we are really excited to be talking to her today. And as always, we are kicking off with Will and my favourite game of this season, two truths and a lie. So you’ve prepared two truths and a lie for us. And then we’re going to try and guess what the lie is, because we know that kind of helps people get to know you a little bit better. Will and I have both done this to each other, and everybody that’s been on the podcast, has, like, played it quite safe. And I definitely didn’t play it quite safe when I did my two truths and a lie, so I’m hoping that somebody is going to come up to my level. 

Will I’m really good at calling out liars. So, Jodie, I hope you’ve got good ones. 

Jodie We shall see (laughs). 

Zoe So what are your two truths and a lie? 

Jodie OK, so first one, I love horror movies. Second one, when I was younger, I wanted to be a Formula One driver. Third one, I can play the piano. 

Zoe I think the lie is the horror movie. 

Will It’s kind of difficult because I feel like the traits you have in terms of your skillset would mean you can play piano. People I know that play piano are really intelligent. So I’m going to say the horror movies. You said it too blase. 

Jodie The lie was I can play piano. I cannot play the piano. 

Will Aah, you had us on that one.

Jodie I would love to be able to play piano, but no. No, I love horror movies. And yeah, when I was younger, I did go through a phase of wanting to be a Formula One driver, which was definitely my dad’s influence. 

Will What’s your favourite horror movie then? 

Jodie Oooh, maybe The Conjuring, really good one. 

Will I knew you were going to say that. That’s so funny. 

Jodie Really? 

Will I was just about to say, have you been to the area in Enfield where the house of The Conjuring is? 

Jodie Oh, no. Yeah, Enfield haunting. Yeah, that’s the second one. But the first one is about a haunting of a family house in America. 

Will OK. 

Jodie Yeah, that one. That one’s my favourite. The second one is good though. 

Will Is it linked though? It’s linked, right?

Jodie Yeah. They link. So, like, basically the films are about a couple who’s a clairvoyant and a priest who go to different, you know, supposed hauntings and they investigate them. They were, like, a true story. 

Will Yeah. 

Jodie And they went to those two houses so they made movies, or James Wan made movies based on those. So yeah, he is very good at what he does.

Zoe What, and they’re based on true stories?

Will Yeah, the house is like, a real thing in Enfield. It’s a really haunted house. 

Zoe Really?

Will Yeah. Shall we go, after the podcast? 

Zoe Yeah (laughs). Team away day! OK, so before we jump into it, can you explain, what is a motion graphics designer? 

Jodie So motion graphics designer in a nutshell is basically like a graphic designer, but you’re making it all move. So you’re, sort of, taking a core design, which we still do. We still make stills of things then make them look, you know, however we need to, you know, high quality, but we’re always considering that motion side of it. So we kind of take- that’s kind of the step one is the still side of it. And then the step two is then ‘how’s it going to move’? So if you’ve got maybe like a sting, which is kind of like a little graphic that comes up in between, if you’re watching the game of football, someone’ll score and then there’ll be a little graphic that comes up saying ‘goal’, and we will design them for the channel. They’ll have like, um, the Premier League colours or channel colours and we’ll have a sheen on it. And whatever the sort of brand elements are to it, which get updated season to season. We, kind of, do different things for different tournaments as well. And then, yeah, the motion graphics side of it is making it all move so it can be anything from the logo animating to any kind of moving element of it. So, an underlying coming on or a shape coming across the screen or anything like that. 

Zoe So who is it that then takes all of your graphics? I mean, when it’s like a live football match, for example. Is it the editing team who are there on the day that then put the graphics into the TV? 

Jodie Yes. Yeah, yeah. That makes sense. Yeah. So we have like a day to day kind of inbox, which we deal with all the graphics that go- like, smaller graphics, really, that go out onto the TV, and we… So there’s a team for that that will go and code it all in. And then for a larger kind of projects, we put them all on to like a server of stuff. So we have like a whole saved server of everything. So like, the stings I was talking about, there’ll be a whole set of them for each channel saying different things every goal or analysis or whatever, and they’ll all be saved onto, like, a server, which they then take and then use and they time it in.

Zoe So like, this has just literally, like, baffled me. Is there literally somebody who’s sat there at the computer when someone scores a goal, and they’re just like, “quick, grab the goal- grab the goal graphic, let’s put it here!” 

Jodie Yeah. So have you ever watched, like, a film where you’ll see a gallery of like a TV show? I’m trying to think of… I think it’s called Morning Glory with Rachel McAdams, where she plays a producer of a TV, like a morning day, sort of, ‘This Morning’ TV show. And she’ll be sitting there on a mic, telling them what to do and there’ll be other producers. And they panic because something goes wrong and they cut to commercial and there’ll be someone sitting in a gallery, literally. 

Will So people talking into people’s ears and stuff. 

Jodie Yeah, yeah. That kind of thing. There’ll be, like, a gallery behind it all, and those graphics will come on as and when they need them too. So it’ll all be set up. So on a Friday, what happens is, between, say, maybe three o’clock or five o’clock, they’ll be like, oh, we haven’t got this. And we’ll get loads of emails come through, going, ‘oh, we need this thing and we need this image’ so that they’re ready for the weekends. They have everything that they need and they can just chuck it all in.

Zoe And then can you, like, break down what the, kind of, whole process is. So are you all like, your whole team sat there, they’re drawing things out, you’re thinking about ideas and then you move it over to illustrating on a computer? How does your work, kind of, flow from end to end? 

Jodie I mean, there can be a million different projects all going on at the same time. And there always is loads on. But, say like when we have, like a title sequence idea, which is sort of arguably one of the most creative things that we can do in the department, in that, we have a brief, but we can go as crazy with it as we want to and, kind of, get really creative and think of lots of different ideas. 

Zoe What are some of the sorts of things that people would have seen walking around, in the newspaper, on the telly, that you and your team would have produced? 

Jodie Yeah. So obviously, if you have a Sky subscription, you’ve got Sky television, there’s bits of everything. If you have the sports channels, you know, cricket, everything that we put out, our team would have designed, thought about how it’s going to be, colours; everything would all be from our team. Out and about in the street, we have… so if we do a campaign maybe for Formula One new season or Premier League, we have a campaigns team that’ll put out all posters and billboards. Sometimes moving, like in Liverpool Street they might do, like, a moving one. And in newspapers loads of print ads to, kind of, support the television ads. And then obviously on general television there’ll be ads, but not so much, if that makes sense. So you’ll see them across online as well. 

Will I think you ought to take it back now, and go all the way to school days and figure out, you know, where this all started and, you know, what were you into when you was in school? I know you spoke about the Formula One, how you went from there to this?

Jodie Yeah, I can’t remember how old I was when I went through that kind of phase. But, yeah, in school, I think I’ve always liked art. Not in the way that I view it now, but in terms of painting, being creative, you know, in school you’re always doing little ceramics bits or papier mâché and that kind of thing. And I always was very much into that kind of thing. I’d much rather do that than I would English and science, that’s for sure (laughs). And yeah, from school, really, I was into like secondary schools, into dance sports, that kind of thing. Sewing, all those kind of random things that you don’t ever touch again when you get older. But yeah, I was always into the creative side of stuff in school and then sports and dance, which to be fair, I think at the time might be sort of in the early years of secondary school I would have said that I probably would have gone down that route just because I was more into that than I was into art. And then as I got to GCSE stage, I kind of changed. I don’t really know why, other than I think my mum had a picture of a lady’s face, like a sort of artistic painting. I never asked here where she got it from, it’s this is really old picture, a small one, and I just always liked it. It was a lady’s face with a cat, kind of, blended into her hair and a bird coming along with a moon in the background. And I just sat down one day my room was like, oh, I’m just going to copy that, like, draw it, like, make a version of it, like, draw it. And I did. And it came out like, I was like, “Oh, OK, I can draw, I’m alright.”(laughs). I was like “Hmmmm, wait a minute!” (laughs).

Zoe I love that energy. “I’m good!” 

Jodie Yeah. From there I did drawings of celebrities and pets as family and friends presents. So for presents, like for my dad I drew him like Elvis Presley or like Steve McQueen, that kind of thing. Just as gifts. And pets and that kind of thing, which I don’t do at all now, which is a shame, really but- (laughs). But yeah. So that’s really what got me into art, and then from there, that’s what made me consider it as an option, like, college A levels. And then, yeah, went for it, went to college, did art in college and then we… So, my course at college was art in that you did the core side of it, like portraiture and landscapes and a bit of animation bit of everything, photography as well. And then in the last year, you could pick a route and the routes were fine art, fashion and graphic design. So you got a bit of a taster for all of them. And then you could kind of then go on with the rest of the year for what you like the most. And I picked graphic design. I think the reason why I didn’t go down the fine art route so much is I didn’t like giving away the drawings I was doing, which was silly, really. Like, for family and friends I was like, “yeah that’s fine,” but I wouldn’t want to do it as a…. I don’t know why, but when you paint something, it’s quite personal. It’s something that you can only do once and the way that you do it, that’s it, it’s final. And whoever takes that is, like, I don’t know, it’s sort of special. Whereas when it’s digitalised, it’s something that you can, kind of, reproduce or you can copy and make my versions of. I don’t feel as bad about giving away. It sounds really funny, but that’s the way that I looked at the time anyway. So that was my, kind of, interest in the graphic design side of stuff. So, you know, logos and things like that. It just went from there, really. 

Will It kind of sounds like all the pieces were always there. Because you said, like, you know, you was into sport, you liked art, dance, expression kind of things, basically. So it’s like, in different parts of your life, these things were kind of, like, screaming to come together, basically in a weird way. Really interesting. You kind of covered it already, but I was going to ask, like, you know, what was you thinking about career wise within your teens and then going into your 20s and what were the pivotal moments basically? 

Jodie Yeah, I think when I was sort of the early stages of high school, I imagined maybe dance because that was what I was into at the time. Sports, that kind of thing. And then, yeah, when I was in the later stage of GCSE level, I saw it ask just art. I just knew that I liked art. And then when I was in college and graphic design come about and I could see that side of it, I sort of thought, “OK, maybe I could design book covers or DVD covers” or, you know, sort of silly things you see in your room. Yeah. And then from then, you know, as you get into college and uni, your world opens up into actually how in depth you can actually get something. And yeah, from college I would have never thought I would go into motion graphics. I remember talking to my brother who was doing animation, that kind of thing, at the time, and saying that I just couldn’t understand keyframes. A keyframe is, like, if you’re animating something, say, a text coming in, you kind of put a point in for where it starts and where it ends. And that’s the key frame. So you’ve got one point to another and then that makes it animate in. And I could never understand that. It was just not something that I could get my head around. I was solely posters, flat logos. That was it. And then when I went into uni, I did a little bit more of it and a little bit more of it, and then eventually I ended up doing it full time, which is a bit different to what I thought it was going to do. But yeah, I would say from school, not really thinking too much about art and then the end of school, thinking, “OK, yeah, this is probably the right kind of career move for me”. And then college being like, “OK, maybe graphic design”. And then uni, I was like “right, graphic design”. And then end of uni, “motion graphics!” So yeah, it’s slowly little jumps into where I am. Yeah, it kind of just happened in a way. 

Zoe How did you know that, like, motion graphics was for you?

Jodie I don’t know, really. So really, the only thing that I can think of that made me consider it as something that I was capable of doing, in a way, because, like I said, with the keyframes thing that I did briefly in college. We just covered it. My tutors at my college were really good in that they taught us a lot in, you know, not just cool design kind of elements, but, like, the programmes. So I got, not quite familiar with that, but I knew about it. And then right at the end when I was doing my final major project, which is the big project that you do at the end, that you have at an exhibition; alongside that project we had a workshop sort of module, and one of them was 3D motion graphics. Was it motion graphics? It was called something like that. And I was kind of dabbling between that and doing the typography one. And I was like, “hmmm, when am I going to get the chance? I’m at uni, you know, pay all this money, when am I going to get the chance to do this again?” And yeah, I didn’t expect much. I just thought, “oh, I’ll just learn it.” You know, “I’m just going to take the opportunity” and ended up loving it, got really into it, went a bit mad with my project, did more than I should have done and just really got on with it. And at the end of it I was like, “OK, right. Alright. Hang on a minute.” I didn’t think much about it, to be honest, after that. Graduated and was very set on going into doing an MA in advertising, just because I thought that that was something that I was most into. The advertising side of stuff. And then right before I started, I just second guessed it and was like, “I’m not quite sure”, and decided not to do it. And then Sky sports came up and obviously this emotional side of it. And I was aware of that, and just, because I had that project behind me, I thought, well, you know, “maybe I’m OK with this, or maybe I’m just alright,” just because I gave myself that extra bit of knowledge at uni, which I think is really important. As and when you can pick up any kind of skill or if someone’s going to teach you something if you’re at uni and there’s a project that you’re not quite sure on; I mean, it’s different if you absolutely hate something, and, you know, it’s not for you then fair dos. But, if there’s something that maybe you’re not quite sure on, you just got to do it and see because you just never know. And it was very much like that for me. And when I interviewed, you know, they looked at that project and saw that I could animate and had that kind of mind to make things move. And that’s a big plus for someone that’s going to be a motion graphic designer. The 3D side of it obviously not so much important, but obviously it was a 3D project, but they could see the motion side of it, in it. And yeah, that was kind of, where I made those decisions. Ended up in the right area without, kind of, thinking about it. 

Will So the take away from that is follow your instinct. Take a risk. Stay in school. 

Jodie Yes, stay in school (laughs). Yeah, totally. Yeah. Take risks where you can. Just, sort of, trust yourself. No one knows better than you what you do and don’t like, and at the same time, if you don’t know, try it, you know, you never know where things can end up. 

Will You’ve been listening to THIS IS HOW created by Nominet and Livity, your essential resource for finding a path into digital careers with the brands you love. Head over to thisishow.uk to listen to more episodes and discover free training and advice to help you land your dream job, and also give us a follow on Instagram @thisishow.uk to keep up to date with the regular tips and resources to help you on your career journey. 

Zoe Do you have any advice for somebody who is thinking about getting into this kind of industry? They may be like, they hadn’t or didn’t do graphic design at uni and they’re looking for spaces that they can kind of learn more? 

Jodie Yeah, totally. I mean, I don’t think that necessarily having that specific education in something would necessarily hold you back. If you love something and you’re interested in it and you want to make a career out of a specific… whether its graphic design and illustration or the production side of stuff, there’s always scope for getting in the industry. There’s lots of people that become runners or something for TV, at Sky, and then, you know, there’s a job that comes up. You know, maybe a production coordinator and then you get to be a producer or something. You know, there’s definitely little ways in and design as well. We have an internship programme at Sky, which is really good. Bringing in young people, who don’t necessarily have to be people that are specifically in design or have to have a design degree. They come in, work with the team or maybe a few teams as well, and get the gist of different things. And then, yeah, if you have an interest in something and you can do it and you get on, even if you’re not… I say ‘you can do it,’ but even if you’re someone that has that kind of eye for it and you want to do something, then, yeah, I don’t think that that necessarily is going to hold you back at all. 

Zoe And what advice would you give to somebody who’s interested in art and they want to start thinking about potentially learning some digital skills. How would they begin to start that process? 

Jodie So if you’re someone that, you like art, and I suppose it’s kind of at the stage I was, when I knew that I like art, but I didn’t like giving my art away, I kind of was thinking, “oh, OK, what about posters, what about sort of the digital sort of stuff.” I think that if that’s where you’re at, but maybe you’re not quite sure whether you want to choose it uni or college or whatever stage you’re at, or maybe, you’re in something else and you want to re-educate yourself, either way, I think that if you get online and have a look at tutorials, have a look at, you know, there’s always ones with companies. Maybe Disney, even, where they’re breaking down how they made something, you know, and talking through the process of something. And you’ll get the storyboard artists and they’ll talk you through the process of exactly what it is that they do. You know, that will give you an understanding of what it is and maybe that will then help you into deciding something. I think that, unless you’re in a course, you’re not going to get that training other than watching tutorials. And I feel like, you know, it’s not necessarily needed, but I think that having those people to talk to is important. Even if it is education or in industry or whatever it is, I think it’s important to have those creative minds doing what it is that you want to do. So maybe consider an internship or short course or something so you’re not quite going into the university kind of side of it, but you’re doing a course where you do get that design education, sort of, but you know, you kind of dabbling in a little bit just to give yourself a little bit of a knowledge base into what that would be like and what you would actually learn. And then you can take that through. It’s kind of hard to say, if you like art but you’re not sure, but you haven’t ever done it before. You need to do it to know, right. So if you can’t do it or you’re not in the industry or not at uni, and you’re kind of not sure, try to find everything about it. Books, tutorials, things like people talking about Pixar or something, so that you can get that information as much as possible without basically doing it. 

Will All right, cool. So what are some of the softwares, people listening, would they need to be, like, more familiar with getting into motion graphics? 

Jodie Yeah, I mean, definitely After Effects. If you can, if you’re at college or uni and they have like a free student version, or, they’re are free trials, I think, but they’re quite short, which is annoying. But yeah, After Effects would be the main one, for motion graphics. I’d say it’s pretty key, yeah.

Will Is there any that are accompanying to After Effects that you would include as well? Or would it just be After Effects? 

Jodie Yeah, really, it’s just After Effects. I’d love to sort of say, “oh, this is really other great thing that’s free and you can use, and it’s amazing,” but yeah, it’s really just After Effects. Yeah, it’s sort of the number one industry software that motion graphics-wise is  the best thing that you need to sort of, if you can, get your head around and learn.

Will You spoke about a YouTube channel, School of Motion. Would you say this is where you get your new skills from? And then, if it is, where do you experiment these new skills?

Jodie Yeah. So with School of Motion, it was something that I used as a tool when I was a junior, to kind of, get my skill set up so that I could work on projects and understand how those projects were put together. And also the team would sit down with me and be like, “here’s this project. This is how you would do it. I’ll teach you how to do it.” And then I’d go away and be like, “OK, so he did it this way.” And then online I’d look at different things and they’d show me a little bit more, and a little bit more. And as you start to do more projects, things will come up, the problems will come up. And you’ll be like, “how do I do that?” And then that would be what I would turn to. And that was one of the channels that would always come up for something that, you know, even in simple ways of how to do something or maybe in a different way to how I’d done it originally, an easy way even. And I would then take that and then use it. Or also just for fun, just to, kind of, explore and look at different ways of working, I’d look at that channel. It’s just great, I think, for people that already have a good skill set and people that also don’t understand it at all and come from scratch. And you just can visualise things very well on that. And they explain it very well. You know, how to get from A to B of something and understanding it, but in its simplest form as such. And then also there’s more complicated stuff to it. So there’s, sort of, that room to grow. It’s just, yeah. It’s just a really good channel that I’ve used. It’s always cropped up, if you know what I mean, throughout being a sort of amateur as such to being more professional. Like, we do a really quick project for Soccer AM, called Top Bin, and the first time I did this project, I hadn’t done this before. So what you have to do is you have to track the goal box of it. So you get a piece of footage of a clip of Harry Kane scoring, or whatever, at the weekend, and they want to put, like, a fake bin in the corner. So what we do is we track the bin, er, track the goal, sorry, and then put the bin in the place so that it always follows the goal. So it looks like its on the goal, if that makes sense. So you do tracking for it, which is done in After Effects but I’d never done that before. But it was just that simple little project, and now I know how to track, if that makes sense. So I’ll then use that in future projects. So I did a promo, a couple of months or so ago and I tracked the Man City badge in the circle in the middle of a pitch, and I would not have known how to do that, had I not done that project before. But if not, I would have Googled it, or maybe it would have come up in a different project that I did. They kind of go hand in hand in a way. You learn on the job and through other people showing you, and then if not, you go online and you figure it out or you find something that helps you learn how to do something. 

Zoe It sounds like it’s an industry that’s very fast paced. There’s always something new to learn. You’re never going to get to the point where you know everything, you’ve learnt everything. There’s new things coming up, so you have to be really on it. 

Jodie Yeah, yeah. I think it depends on the project as well. So what you would do in one way for a specific project, it might come up that you are like, “OK, I know how to track. I’ve done that for that project. But now I’ve got a track that I’ve got to add this and I’ve got to do that with it, and then there’s this specific footage that has to look a certain way, or animate in a certain way. And you use, but it in a different way. So you’re adapting your skills as well as getting new ones at the same time, and working through your workflow of how you might approach something. Looking at something as a problem and being like, “right. This is what I want to do with it. How do I do it? Well, I know how to do A, and I know how to do C, but I don’t quite know how to do step B. So I’ll go and look that up. Or, “OK, someone’s spoken to me about that,” and you just, kind of, work through.

Zoe Would you say you have to be quite a curious person then, to be a motion graphics designer? 

Jodie Yeah, yeah, I think so. You have to, kind of like, as well as being curious to learn and curious to, kind of, work out how things work and be looking at something that’s moving. I’ll be thinking, how is it moving? Have they done that? And I think unless you’re doing that, you’re never going to understand how to build it yourself because you’re not trying to break it down already in your head. And you have to have an understanding. Obviously, if you’re young and you’re in school and you see something, obviously you’re not necessarily going to know exactly how it’s done. And, you know, you’ve got time to, sort of, learn and grow if that’s what you want to get into. But if the curiosity’s there, that’s definitely a good thing because you’re already thinking about it. You’re already trying to work it out and therefore you’ll then learn from it, because you’re seeing it as sort of an inspiration kind of thing. And then five years later, you’ll be like, “oh, that advert that I watched, you know, that I wasn’t quite sure on, now I know how to do it.” I think that as a designer as well, you need to be someone that takes in information in that, when you’re talking to people, you’re constantly learning from them. You know, it was funny, actually. My dad loves everyone. He was talking to me about it, and he was, sort of, telling me different things, that even though I’d done research on, I just wasn’t aware of, that he remembers from when he was younger, when he went to go see something or whatever, and he’ll have a chit chat to me about it, and I’ll just sit there and just try to take as much from it so that you then become informed. So when you’re talking to that client, or you’re talking to whoever it is that wants that type of sequence done, you become as informed as possible and therefore can then design based on what you know. You just know it through and through. There’s obviously a learning element to it but, you know, like you said, you can’t know everything. But yeah, if you’re someone that kind of is curious, is looking, is listening, that’s massively positive, yeah. 

Will Even when you’re not working, is it important to keep, sort of, a digital scrapbook, just when you have ideas generally, just so you kind of keep in the creative mindset? 

Jodie Yeah. I mean, yeah, I totally do that. The dark side to it is that you can’t switch off. Especially when there’s a title sequence going on, and you’re kind of constantly thinking about it. And then it’s like when people say they keep a notebook by the side of the bed, that kind of thing, where you just have to have something to, kind of, put it on paper all the time. Or I’ll be watching an ad for something and I’ll be like, “oh, that moved in a certain way. I quite like that. Oh, we could do it.” Yeah, yeah, totally. Or I’ll write a note to myself or I’ll go online and I’ll find the link to it on YouTube and then keep it. And then on Monday morning, I’ll be like, “right, OK, what can I do with this?” 

Will You just grab your laptop, and like-

Jodie So yeah, I will keep a log of everything. I’ve got, like, a list of different things and I’ll keep notes of stuff. 

Will Sick. 

Jodie And Pinterest is amazing for that sort of thing as well. You can flick through there for hours and find lots of different things and just save them all so that you can then go back and be like, “OK, right. This is the sort of thing I want to look at,” and then it gives you that, you know, the next step to how you can make whatever it is you want to make. 

Will What would you say to a younger Jodie South, who was still dancing?

Jodie (Laughs). I think I’d probably say not to stress so much. Because as much as this industry is so full of creativity and there’s lots to it, and as I said, you kind of got graphic design and art and motion design and television, and there’s lots of different things to it, and you’re always just trying to strive to that next title sequence or that next project or even if its’ just the next day of whatever it is you’re working on. I think that when I was younger, I just stressed about it so much in what I was going to do, or what I wanted to do. I just wanted to just push myself, like, you know, I was just all the time, just work, work, work. And I think that what would have helped me a little bit more, not that I regret any of it, because I think that I saw it like that in that it was important to me, and I think if you work like that, then that’s fine, but I think it’s also good to, kind of, take a break, take a step back and see the greater picture of it and don’t stress the little things. And try to see your career as a nice, like, windshield and you can just see through it and where you’re going to be as opposed to all these little things that all mount up to it that, you stress about them at the time, but they’re not so important. Which I suppose is sort of a bit of a lesson for life, to be honest. But yeah, I definitely would tell myself not to stress so much that, yeah, that would be a good one, I think, for me. I tell myself that now (laughs).

Will Alright, Jodie, you’ve got your CV here is going to go through it. I guess it’s good to just start from the top, you know, and give us your name and your socials. 

Jodie So my name is Jodie South. My social handle on Instagram: @Jodie_South_design, and Behance.net/JodieSouth. 

Will And then could you tell us your career highlight? 

Jodie My career highlight (laughs). This is sort of a fun one, to be honest. So once a year, Sky do like a best of Sky awards thing. So not just on Sky creative, but like a whole company-wide thing, so anybody business side of Sky as well. So like a whole massive award thing. And what happens is you get a sort of two month period and you can vote for people that you think have done particularly well, or worked really hard in a specific project or whatever it is you think that they deserve a shout out for. And yeah, so I was there about a year and a half, it was like June of 2019, and I’d just done that F1 campaign that I spoke about. And yeah, that went really well and I’d done lots of different bits and, yeah, then that happened, and I got quite a few nominations from different people in the company. And it was just a really nice, sort of, ‘welcome to the industry’ kind of thing for me, I suppose, because I’d been there a year and a half and I, kind of, was not questioning anything, but like, you know, this is my career introduction. And it was almost like a bit of a high five. Like, yeah, ‘I’ve made it’ kind of thing, I suppose (laughs).

Will That’s a big moment. A really big moment. 

Zoe And can you tell us what your best failure has been? 

Jodie Yeah, so, it’s like what I was saying about how when you’re in a team, or you’re starting out, just get your hands dirty, go in at the deep and I just do it. Even if you fail. And this was one of those moments for sure. So we have a little weekly meeting with our creative director where you can sign things off, like if you’ve got a project that’s ready to go out the door, like, “is it all OK?” “OK, right, out the door.” Or it can be very initial early stage concept work for a title sequence, or maybe you want to show him a set design thing that we’re doing so that we basically make sure that it’s OK, like, above us. And this one was my first one I’d ever been to. And yeah, it’s our creative director and a couple of the other design directors from the different departments. So my director was in there from Sky sports, and then there was one for cinema and one for brand studio, which is like the cinema 3d side of stuff. And basically, you go in there and they chat it through or talk about it or say, yes, no, what needs changing, that kind of thing. And I went in and it was a title sequence idea. And two of the other guys took their’s in and it was me and them. And there’s went quite well, they were fine. And mine was like, “hmm, it’s not quite right. You know, don’t do it like that, it needs to be quite a bit more simple. It’s not quite right.” And I was, you know, disheartened about it at the time, but also at the same time, it was a good learning curve. And I actually remember afterwards, the creative director was like, you know, “well done.” That’s not an easy thing to do. To present your work in front of all those people, you know, for the first time and take a hit as such, and be like it wasn’t quite right. But it was nice in that it showed me how to fail in the industry, and to deal with it and crack on anyway, rather than be worrying about it. You have to take criticism. You have to learn to take it on the chin and sort of see it as, “OK, this is my work. It’s not about me, it’s my work. I’m just going to deal with it.” Tell me I need to change something, and just do it, you know? But yeah, that was definitely my best failure (laughs).

Will And what’s your dream project? 

Jodie So I wrote down the Women’s Super League, which would be an amazing project to work on and is actually going into production now. So it’s going to start, you know, coming about as it gets made. Yeah. I just think it’d just be nice as a woman to have, you know, worked on that. I think that that’s important, to have women having input on women’s sports. It’s just something that means a bit more than the general sports that are more aimed around men or specific industries. It’s women and women coming about and I think that that would just be really lovely to work on.

Zoe Love that, love that. And lastly, why should we hire you? 

Jodie Oh god, this is, like, cheesy as hell (laughs).

Zoe We love a bit of cheese, we love a bit of cheese.

Jodie Oh god. Yeah. So I’ll just crack on with everything and get on with it, you know, sort of good or bad, strive for the best. Take on as much as I can, and just keep learning. I think that it’s important to keep motivated, keep ticking over. As much it’s, sort of, good to take breaks, it’s good to, kind of, even when there isn’t that title sequence that you’re thinking about, to be thinking about design and thinking about what other people are doing in the industry, whether it be a Domino’s Christmas advert or whatever that you’re looking at to inspire you, as much as I possibly can. I try to push myself in looking at different things and adapting and coming up with new things. And, yeah, being as collaborative as possible. And I’ve never been one to shy away from getting my hands dirty and, kind of, going in and working with everybody and a cracking on, yeah (laughs).

Zoe Love that, love that. Will, what are you saying, are we’re going to hire her?

Will So we’ve got a couple of candidates and we’ll probably let you know in about two weeks; we can come back to you. We’ll come back to you on that one (laughs).

Jodie Usually how it goes (laughs). 

Will No, thank you, you’ve been amazing. It’s been great. 

Zoe Yeah. Thank you so much Jodie, it’s been so lovely chatting to you. I’ve learnt so much about motion graphics and I’m sure that all of our listeners have as well. 

Will Definitely. Thank you very much Jodie.

Jodie No worries. You’re welcome. 

Jodie You’ve been listening to THIS IS HOW created by Nominet and Livity. If you’re feeling inspired, head over to thisishow.uk, where you can find out more helpful tips and career advice. While you’re there, you can also take our THIS IS HOW quiz to uncover more about what you’re good at and what job roles could be a good match for you. 

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