A day in the life... of a Broadcast and Digital Content Manager
Michael Peers joined The Old Vic in 2015 just before the press night for the first show in Matthew Warchus’s first season, Future Conditional. Now on the Eve of Season 3, we caught up with Michael to find out how he became Broadcast and Digital Content Manager here at The Old Vic.
What does your job involve?
My role is focused on communicating the work of The Old Vic (on and off the stage) to audiences outside of the physical building – working with all departments to share the exciting and interesting elements of the theatre’s day-to-day life. This was a new role for The Old Vic and signifies a wider move for theatres to embrace digital technology to engage more people in new ways.
What do you do on an average day?
My main objective for any given working day is to keep the many different projects moving forward whilst working on whatever may be the focus on that day. I could be coordinating a film shoot, preparing material for social media, brainstorming content for upcoming shows, interviewing cast members, meeting filmmakers, highlighting opportunities to digitally capture our work, etc. It’s a predictable thing to say, but no two days are really the same in my role.
Have you always worked in theatre?
I never thought I’d work in theatre! In university I studied Communication Studies with a focus on Video Production and it didn’t seem like there was an obvious move to theatre…until the National Theatre were looking for someone to join their digital team. It was a dream opportunity to make theatre accessible and widen their audience.
Did you have any theatre heroes when you were growing up?
I remember seeing the National Theatre’s touring production of Peter Pan in Dublin when I was a child – my mind was blown. I have a clear image of the Lost Boys’ den that somehow turned into a pirate ship. It was magic!
Which part of your job do you enjoy the most?
When I receive the first draft of a video. This is the last leg of the video production process and it’s always exciting to see the work of, often, multiple people (the filmmakers, the director, cast, stage management, crew, production team, etc.) come to fruition.
What is your best memory of working at The Old Vic so far?
I have had the opportunity to work with some terrific people and have many great memories, but I would have to say my highlight has been Mix the Play. This is an online platform where users can direct a scene from A Midsummer Night’s Dream and decide the cast, costume, setting and music. It was terrific to work with the British Council and digital agency, Flying Object, on the project, where our different expertise combined to create something that I think effectively gives audiences an insight into the process of directing theatre and be fun too.
If you were to offer a young person wanting to get into the industry some advice, what would you tell them?
Be confident in your abilities. You may be in the most supportive of teams but it is always beneficial to be aware of and be confident in your own abilities. And whenever things aren’t looking great I always pull out this one from Oscar Wilde: ‘We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars’. In short, things could be worse.