Art buyer and shoot producer Annie Masciavè on commissioning images for Made Thought
Annie Masciavè’s abilities and achievements span a huge range of creative disciplines. Having completed a BA in Arts, Music and Performing Arts Theory in Rome, she moved to London to study for an MA in Publishing. Her chosen career path has since swerved into the territory of image creation and art commissioning, leading her to work with companies such as Asos and Dazed & Confused, as well as fashion brands like Bulgari, Hermès and Beautiful People. Now employed as an art buyer and shoot producer for the London-based design studio Made Thought, Annie is responsible not only for creating visual content, but conducting the entire process of image production – from financial management to researching talent and organising shoots.
Art Buyer and Shoot Producer, Made Thought (June 2018-present)
Freelance Art Buyer, Photo Editor and Producer for clients including Asos Magazine, Porter, Interview US, Dazed & Confused (September 2017–August 2018)
Guest Photo Editor, Asos Magazine (May 2018–June 2018)
Photography & Video Content Producer, Mastered (June 2015–September 2017)
Assistant, Saint Luke Artists, Vivienne Westwood, Marie Claire UK, Vogue India, GQ India, Elle UK, Company Magazine, Tank Magazine (September 2013–June 2015)
MA Publishing, London College of Communication, University of the Arts London, (2013)
BA Arts, Music and Performing Arts Theory, University of Roma Tre (2009-2011)
How would you describe your role at Made Thought?
I simply jump on a project every time there’s any photography or video to be produced by the studio. I constantly research photographers and directors, and check out all the new editorial and commercial work that comes out. I then apply this knowledge when suggesting and commissioning talent for a brief.
Once the talent is confirmed, I work on the shoot production, which means I do everything from managing the budget to sorting out the lighting, casting models, finding the locations and overseeing the post-production process.
What do you enjoy most about working at Made Thought?
I really like the relaxed environment and the freedom I get given with projects. There’s also a very diverse range of clients – much more interesting than doing just fashion.
“You have to think of all the possible scenarios and issues that could arise before anything happens.”
What skills have you found to be essential to your role?
A lot of attention to detail and a forward-thinking mindset. You have to think of all the possible scenarios and issues that could arise before anything happens. You also need to be organised, quick at making decisions and savvy with negotiation and research, of talent, suppliers – anything!
You need bags of patience and diplomacy, and you really need to know your shit about the industry when it comes to commissioning. Lastly, it’s really important that you’re great at networking. Everyone knows each other as it’s such a tiny industry, so it relies a lot more on reputation and personal relationships than anything else.
What tools do you use most for your work?
I just need my laptop, really. In terms of websites, I check most artists’ agencies regularly – Streeters, CLM, MAP, Art Partner, Art & Commerce, but also boutique ones like MiniTitle, Artistry, Swan, Saint Luke and D&V. I also spend a lot of time on models.com to see what’s come out and stay up to date with model rankings and news. Business Of Fashion and The Impression are really good as well.
How I Got Here
How did you land your current job?
I got in touch with Made Thought in April last year because I really liked the work they were doing and I noticed they were producing some imagery.
I was freelancing at the time, so I thought it would be interesting to catch up and see whether they had any cool projects coming up. A few days later I had my first meeting with Jenny, their Strategist and Image Director, then in June I started freelancing on a few projects. I went full time in August.
Have your degree studies been helpful to your work?
To be completely honest, neither my BA or MA helped me get into this career path. There’s so much to learn before you can commission and produce photography – the best way to get there is by interning and assisting as much as possible.
You need to know a lot about the level of different photographers and their agencies, the caliber of the stylists and glamour teams they work with, the editorials and campaigns they take on and how that might affect their fee, as well as the reputation of the client you’re commissioning them for. There’s quite a lot of politics and strategy involved, and also a pretty strict etiquette when dealing with artist agents and model bookers. You can only learn all of that by doing.
“Neither my BA or MA helped me get into this career path... The best way to get there is by interning and assisting as much as possible.”
What about outside your job; are you pursuing any self-initiated projects?
I currently do mentoring for emerging photographers for London College of Communication (University of the Arts London), Mastered and The Dots. I also have a small publishing side project with a friend, under a different name.
Words of Wisdom
What advice or recommendations would you give to a young creative wanting to do the same kind of work?
Get your hands dirty and start interning ASAP!
This interview is part of a series of articles profiling design studio Made Thought. See the In the Studio With interview here.
Made Thought is a close collaborator of our brand partner G . F Smith, which has supported Lecture in Progress since the beginning. You can discover more at gfsmith.com.
Interview by Rebecca Irvin
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