You want to work in films? Well, not everyone can be the next Danny DeVito, and there are other ways to contribute to a movie’s success. D+CFilm got in touch with Luke Windsor, PR guru of Tartan Films. Oh, and he went to school and college in Redruth, Cornwall too.
What is it that you do?
Luke Windsor: I look after all the publicity for Tartan Films’ releases – be that press, TV, radio or online – which happens outside of London, and outside of the national media. I also handle our films’ BAFTA and awards campaigns, set up interviews, run junkets, and take care of the talent.
How did you get into it?
I studied advertising at Bournemouth Uni, but didn’t really fancy working for an agency. Mostly out of curiosity, I sent my CV off to a load of film companies and amazingly I got offered a runner job at Tartan. I’ve since worked my way up into the PR department.
Do you need special training, or is it more ongoing experience?
A PR degree would not have hurt, but it seems to me that few of my colleagues studied publicity. Most people studied film. I’ve learnt on the job – you become familiar with the journalists through repeatedly battering them with emails, and everyone tends to socialise in the same circles at film festivals, screenings and numerous film parties!
What’s the natural progression for your career path?
In terms of PR, regional tends to be entry level, followed by graduation to national publicity. After that would be department head, and then who knows! Many move onto higher management, or even across into production. One of our upcoming films, Crazy Love, is directed by an ex-publicist (PR veteran Dan Klores – click below to watch trailer).
Have you made, or have an inklings to make, films yourself?
I haven’t made my own films, but have acted in a quite a few shorts! I studied drama at college and university, as well as teaching acting to American kids at a camp for three summers, so I love to perform – but definitely as a non-professional!
What’s your favourite part of the job?
The opportunity to travel a lot, and to meet and work with some interesting characters! I’m off to NYC twice in August, for example, and have worked with the likes of Paul Verhoeven, Cate Blanchett and Julie Walters. It really is a lot less glamorous than it sounds though – the hours can be long, particularly during festivals.
What’s your least favourite?
I’m certain my boss will read this, so I must say I can’t think of anything I’d improve. Witness PR in action!
What are the tips you’d give to anyone wanting to get into the industry?
Watch a lot of films, both arthouse and mainstream, study the marketing campaigns that surround a film’s release, read reviews, and get a degree in a film or business study. Then send your CV to everyone you can (find out who the MD is and send it direct to them) and offer to work for very little cash! Vacancies are few and far between, but persevere as they are out there.
Posted by Capt