The first day of the digital producers lab was over a month ago now, but it remains vivid in my memory. Which is a good thing, as I’m about to write about it. 

It was a bloody great day. I was a bit nervous (similarly to Sarah Leigh) before arriving, but as the day went on, I got lost in listening to people’s introductions and presentations on projects and work and forgot about the niggle of self-doubt. Which was nice. The group is brilliantly diverse in its make up and hearing insights into everything fromimmersive gaming and tv show apps to the stories of objects and circus touring was incredibly inspiring.

I started a new notebook (it’s a lovely marrowfat pea green), and by the end of the day I’d written down all these thoughts and ideas sparked by everyone’s presentations. Not that they’re legible (the digital has definitely had an impact on my handwriting). But the one note that I wrote in capitals and underlined was PEOPLE ARE GOOD. I’m not entirely sure what sparked that note. It may have been when David Massey shared his millionaire shortbread with me, but I think it was because I was overcome with the sense that the thing that’s most exciting about producers in the arts – is the way they can facilitate the surprising, the surreal and the significant by bringing together people and places and stories. No matter how different people’s work was from my own, there was always something insightful and relevant – some new idea to scribble in the notebook.

So I think I get it now. I get how this peer to peer learning is going to work and why ACW, NTW and Watershed have put us together. It’s about sharing and collaborating and opening up doors into our practices and our experience that we ourselves may not even realise has value for others. Add into that some visiting speakers, provocative questions and the great falafel place near the watershed, and next week should and probably will be, excellent.

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