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Industry Insights: Lauren Hockings

Why do you think you are Vice President, Global Creative Marketing at Studiocanal?

My role allows me to do everything that I find interesting and inspiring about working in film; being creative in the most strategic of ways, originating Global creative marketing campaigns including trailers, posters digital, understanding the nuances between the various territories and working with some great creative minds in the industry.

I’m fortunate enough that my career has allowed me to work on a whole range of films and TV across all genres which is what keeps it so interesting; from big family movies like Paddington 2 and The BFG through to TV properties, such as The Adventures of Paddington, and across a range of foreign language titles as well.

What’s your elevator pitch to describe the kind of films you like working with the most?

I enjoy working on films that allow me to challenge my approaches and provide scope to think about different ways to reach audiences. That includes films of all shapes and sizes, from franchises like the Paddington films to more arthouse, foreign language offerings. I’m lucky enough to work across them all!

What is it about such material or teams that you find the most inspiring?

With so many films coming to market, creative materials like trailers and posters can really help set the film apart. It’s becoming increasing more difficult to reach audiences today however I enjoy the challenge to create something that really cuts through the noise and sells the film in way that audience take note.

If forced to give one tip to new people coming through what would it be?

Be friendly, work hard and make the most of any opportunities you get! Learn as much as possible about how the industry works and take an interest in all aspects of what you or your team are doing, not just things that are most glamorous or fun. Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask for advice, everyone started somewhere and so you will find most people are more often than not willing to help.

And what pitfall would you say is essential to avoid in your sector when starting out? (You can be general about film or specific to your area or both)

Be willing to learn and don’t pretend you know everything already. Working in film is very different from studying it so be open to all opportunities and disciplines within the industry, listen and observe those around you and ask as many questions as you need to. Finally, never underestimate the power of hard work.

Tell us about where you come from and how it filters into your work?

I grew up in a small town in Essex, where it felt like there was nothing to do but go to the local independent cinema. I ended up seeing a lot of movies (good and bad) but it meant I knew from a young age that I wanted to work in this industry. Being so passionate about working in the industry for so long means I appreciate and enjoy my job even more and feel lucky to do what I do.

What frustrates you about what you do?

I’m lucky enough to really enjoy my job so I have very few frustrations. A challenge that is, for me, inherent within the creative process is that it is often very subjective, and people have an instant personal reaction to creative materials you are developing. This means you often get comments on the creative that are the personal opinion of those individuals, rather than thinking with the audience in mind or based on any substantive evidence.

How do you overcome this?

I try to always present the strategic creative approach, reiterating the audience you’re targeting and make sure I’m clear on how the creative underpins that. You must be confident in the approach you’ve taken but also open to good suggestions and ideas that could help make your work more effective.

Do you believe in the ‘female gaze’ and what does that mean to you?

Absolutely although I don’t believe there is a singular “female gaze” however I do think men and women broadly have different perspectives. All viewpoints are valid of course but I do think the industry needs to do more to ensure there is an equal representation between male and female viewpoints.

Parting shot – Why are programmes like FUTURE LEADERS IN DISTRIBUTION important to you and what does gender equality in film and society mean to you?

The programme has been fantastic! Being able to develop new skills, hone existing ones and share experiences, with such a talent group of women has been extremely rewarding and incredibly refreshing. It’s really important for us all and the future of the industry that these schemes continue!

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