My first year at Blockbusters Gang

This post was written by our Gang HR & Operations Coordinator Anni, who started working with us on January this year. 

It is amazing how much you can learn in a very short time. When I started working at BBG in the beginning of this year I knew next to nothing about film making. My knowledge was limited to this: “There are actors, then the cinematographer, and a huge group of other people working behind the scenes. Everyone’s quite busy.” But I had no clue what exactly it was that they were doing.

I got to visit the shooting of one short film in February. My first time ever on set! 

In the first two months we sat down with all the BBG gang members (I can hardly remember those good old days when you didn’t have to think twice about inviting someone to visit the office!). During those meetings, we discussed about the past year, the coming year, career plans, dreams, and of course got to know each other! I learned a lot in those meetings. I got to meet many different professionals: Costume Designer, Lighting Technician, Scout, Production Coordinator, Caterer, Script Supervisor, Runner and 2nd Assistant Director to name a few! I had never heard about most of those positions before. But it didn’t matter. I was open minded and very curious to listen and learn. Working with people was familiar to me after all.

I think the most interesting thing in every meeting was to hear what everyone actually does – like all the million things you need to think about when making a film (but of which I had never given a second to think about). It was also interesting to hear what the reasons were for everyone for choosing this career and this industry. People had such different backgrounds. Just as it should be, as there are various routes into this industry.

Attending Voitto-gaala with Emma and Iiris, right before the COVID-19 hit us all.

BBG is full of people with a passion for what they do. In our gang, we have people in the beginning of their careers as well as strong professionals with a long background in the industry. What I think links us together is that we all want to improve not just ourselves but also the whole industry – we want to do things right and constantly better. As a very small company, we are agile and able to react to changes around us. When one of us gets an idea, we might start working on it on the same day. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the industry – and us – it took only two days for us to build a support campaign. In only two days we managed to create beautiful visuals (by lovely Tiia Öhman), ordered merches with said visuals on them, wrote a guide on how to create a good CV, and invented a few other immaterial support products, and put them up for sale online. And published the campaign.

Wearing our Support Your Local Gang -bag. I just absolutely LOVE the design by Tiia <3 

One part of my job is of course to communicate with our customers. I get to talk with various production companies representatives almost daily. We talk about the upcoming productions and the customers needs. In addition to the fact that I enjoy following our employees’ career steps, I also enjoy when I get to help our customers and find the right person to work with them. That really excites me! It may sound like a cliché, but the most important thing for me is a happy employee and a happy customer. Really.

Although I am still learning the multiple differences between the 1st, 2nd and 3rd AD, I feel like I’ve learnt a LOT about all the different positions in film making. And the more I learn, the more interesting it gets. Just like every other industry, this too has its challenges, but I hope my work will help develop the industry further.

Talking on a phone with a customer at our new office lounge. 

This year has been one of a kind. The global pandemic doesn’t only stop the productions and make people unemployed, but also affects people’s mental well-being. Let’s be kind and take care of each other and ourselves. There must be light at the end of the tunnel somewhere.