In Conversation with Toni Newman

Whether an advertising agency/design company needs an in house producer to look after a specific shoot requirements, a photographer requires a producer to pull a shoot together and liaise with the agency on an as needed basis, an interstate/oversees agent needs a producer on the ground in Melbourne to look after things/their photographer, or a client directly requires their production needs sorted, Toni can help. With over 20 years experience in the advertising industry and 9 years at the helm of her own production company, Toni’s network is vast and she understands the need to think outside the square when it comes to production, budgets and crew. Toni is the only person the client deals with and will work with the clients preferred crew or will pull together the right team for the job. Her aim is to ensure all aspects of pre & post production run on time and on budget with the shoot day schedule unfolding seem-lessly; no overtime, no extra costs and everybody happy! Toni has produced/cast/styled campaigns for advertising agencies and design companies around the globe and worked with clients such as Crown Casino, ANZ, Nike, Pacific Brands/Bonds, Mattel/Barbie, Federation University Australia, Australia Post, Business Victoria, GE Money, Country Road, Chandon, Yarra Burn Sparkling Wine, Regional Development Victoria, DeBortoli, Hummer, Honda, Hard Yakka and Isuzu to name a handful.

What inspired you to become a Producer?

I love organising people and ‘stuff’ and making things look good…..if I wasn’t a producer, I’d probably be a wedding planner!

How did you get your first break?

There wasn’t a specific one break, it was gradual……but one of the first bigger jobs I was asked to produce was for Nike NY; their crew from the US were filming elite athletes in Melbourne and they needed everything arranged – talent, locations, accommodation, drivers …. it was awesome! I’m very grateful to all of my clients past and present for believing in the service I offer.

What paths have you taken to get to where you are today?

Many! I’ve done everything; starting as a humble reception at an ad agency, as well as casting consultant, events organiser, runner for film and tv, audio producer, photography producer, wardrobe/prop stylist and hair and makeup artist, motion producer through to producing at an agency. I’ve gathered many skills along the way.

What advice about the do's and don'ts would you give to 
someone looking at working towards becoming a producer?

It takes time; be patient. Anybody can call themselves a producer, but to actually be a good producer, takes time, knowledge, experience and the ability to be very resourceful. Volunteer as much as possible. Watch, listen and learn. Think outside the square. Turn up on time. Be nice to people and use your manners.

Tell us about the projects you're currently working on and what sets Toni Newman Productions apart from the rest of the industry?

I’m in the final throws of agency producing 3 TVC’s and waiting for a bank client to give the thumbs up to an online video I produced/cast and styled. I’ve also been collaborating with a singer/songwriter/musician to conceptualise, produce and style her CD cover and music video which has been fantastic and lots of fun.

As well as being a producer, I personally cast talent (both street and via agents), find locations and do wardrobe & prop styling so I come as a multi-skilled and a very hands on producer. I offer a personal service with attention to detail and I treat every job as the most important job in the world. My clients know that I will do whatever it takes to get the very best result for them regardless of budget; I offer solutions not problems.

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