1 Dec 2018
Job title: Producer/director
Industries: High-end TV
Louise Say began her drama career working in stage, while making short documentary films. Since then her TV producing and directing credits include Robson Green Extreme Fisherman, Prison: First & Last 24 Hours, Ross Kemp Behind Bars and Les Misérables.
Louise, who is based in Glasgow, began her career in theatre 20 years ago after a stint as a lieutenant in the Royal Navy. But alongside working in stage, she was making short documentary films which won her a break into television. A successful career included directing Robson Green Extreme Fisherman, Prison: First & Last 24 Hours and Ross Kemp Behind Bars: Inside Barlinnie.
Her interest in drama was revived, however, when she became involved in Tron 100, an artistic network based at the eponymous theatre in Glasgow. It was this that persuaded her to apply for the Creative Skillset [now rebranded as ScreenSkills] high-end TV drama new producers programme.
She was placed on Les Misérables which proved ideal as it offered an opportunity to use her personal passion for history with experience including detailed dramatic reconstructions. Producer Chris Carey of Lookout Point quickly realised her potential and she was made second unit director as well as co-producer – working with dozens of extras, live firing with cannons as well as VFX and green screen.
She said the masterclasses that were part of the new producers programme were “amazing” but the climax was the placement, shooting Les Mis in London and Belgium in 2018 on the kind of budget rarely seen in documentaries. Yet without the financial support offered by the High-End TV Skills Fund scheme, the production could not have afforded to take the risk and have her on board.
It was a unique opportunity. I’ve been in the inner circle of problem-solving,” she said. “I can’t think of any other way this would have happened. I thought my drama ship had sailed.”
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