A Typical Day in the Life of Grady Britton’s Production Team

That title is a lie. There’s no such thing as a “typical day” for our production team.

Whether it’s constructing a miniature food truck, setting up a bicoastal podcast recording, or counting out plastic building block pieces one by one, our jobs look, sound, and feel different day to day, hour to hour. It’s as fun as it is unpredictable. Funpredictable.

But you came here with expectations. And even though there’s no way to average our experiences, we’re going to deliver. Here’s what a typical day for production looks like:

8–9am
Drive/bike/bus/burrow into the office. Stretch. Schmooze. Check email. Oh, a last minute request from client to resize a print ad. Today. Now. Send some emails, get some answers. Stretch again. Interrupt whatever the designer is up to and have him resize the ad immediately.

10am
The giraffe hat shipment finally comes in, two days late. Half of the boxes are water-damaged and the giraffe hats are carpeted with mildew. It’s fine. You only really needed half of the shipment.

10:15–10:32am
Contact the giraffe hat vendor and let them know what happened. Look over the resized print ad. Looks wonderful. Email the client for approval.

10:33–11:20am
Bedazzle sunglasses onto giraffe hats that aren’t damaged. Andy walks by and asks when the plastic building blocks are coming in. The first train of the day hurtles by the office building. The bedazzling glue seems like it’s adhering to the giraffe hat fabric. That’s good. Leave the giraffe hats alone for now, and plan to take care of the other 200 when you get back. Check email. The client approves the resized print ad. Submit the file to the pub before noon.

11:21–11:47am
Prep for the meeting with Greenspace this afternoon. Do you have the right address? Make room on your phone to document everything.

11:48am
Eat lunch. Early-ish, since you have to leave by 12:30. Commiserate. Catch up on life, new music, that video of the sea otters swimming in slow motion.

12:01pm
Decide to check email, just in case. Yep. The pub actually needs the ad at a slightly different size. Repeat the morning’s process: interrupt, resize, check, confirm, submit to pub. The second train of the day sounds its whistle.

12:32pm
Check on the giraffe hats. Get in the car and drive to Hillsboro. Worry about the giraffe hats. Practice mindful breathing.

1:03–2:35pm
Take a tour of the Greenspace shop and facilities. Marvel at the displays, the lighting, the hand-cut wood. Take a big, deep breath (it’s a good thing you practiced) and inhale that lumber smell. Talk about materials, sustainability. Is this all really recycled and sourced locally? You bet! Talk about specs, deadlines, pricing. The expo is coming up soon, but Greenspace can definitely do it. Negotiate, brainstorm, compromise, collaborate. Get really excited. This is going to be a hell of a booth.

2:36pm
Drive back to the office. How is it not even 3 yet? How is it almost already 3?

3:10pm
Back at the office, everyone looks distracted. People are avoiding eye contact. They’re all playing with… plastic building blocks. Question whether you’re hallucinating or if you need a snack. Both?

3:15pm
Eat a snack. Check email. The pub accepted the print ad. Good. Another train goes by.

3:21–4pm
Call a team meeting. Sweet-talk your co-workers into counting the plastic building blocks with you or otherwise lose their plastic building block privileges. Count and categorize. Uh-oh. There aren’t enough beige cylindrical caps, which means there aren’t enough hamburger buns. Check your co-workers’ hands for missing buns as you simultaneously high five them for the last minute help. Email the plastic building block vendor.

4:01–4:04pm
Stretch, walk around, check email again.

4:05–4:53pm
The plastic building block vendor emailed back. There’s a shortage of beige cylindrical caps because they’re a popular piece among Star Wars fans, and they were last manufactured in 2005. Also, it’s a lot harder to count out 700 identical sets than the vendor first thought. Empathize. Google. Realize this project is a lot more complicated than you anticipated. Google some more. Come across an Italian eBay listing with—no way—just the right number of hamburger buns. Can they do expedited shipping? They can do expedited shipping.

4:54pm
Check on the giraffe hats again. The glue is holding up, but it’s drying white—not clear. Breathe. Another train. Think, focus on ways to move things forward, stay optimistic. Another train—or is it the same train? It’s one of those impossibly long trains. Resolve to figure out the giraffe hats momentarily. Right now, you have to head into a conference call.

5–5:57pm
Podcast meeting time. Thank the producers out there on the East Coast for getting on the phone so late. Discuss tomorrow’s client recording, go over scripts and interview questions. They’ve got this. You’ve got this.

5:58pm
On your way out of the conference room, someone stops you. It’s Eryn, GB’s office manager. She heard about the giraffe hat glue, and she wants to help. If you can re-cut the shapes out tonight, she can sew on a bunch of sunglasses. Is she sure? Yes, she’d love to. Thank her profusely!

6–7:52pm
Cut out 400 pairs of felt sunglasses.

7:53
Call it a day. Pour yourself some bourbon. Feel overwhelming gratitude for your co-workers. Head home, live your life, dream about the world’s greatest trade show booth.

A Typical Finished Project

PS – Curious about the Greenspace collaboration? Here’s how Travel Portland’s IMEX booth became a reality:

  • It was important to create an efficient space and sustainable booth so we worked hard to reuse items from the previous booth we built for Travel Portland. These items included the Portland marquee sign, a directional sign, large monitor, bistro tables, and crates.
  • We planned for a compact, 20’x20’ floor plan that allowed us to use a minimal booth footprint and create a dynamic and convertible space to host both group presentations and individual appointments (at the same time). Many booths we saw on the show floor used more than double or triple the space to meet the same needs. Our approach not only provided savings on materials needed to fill the space; it also saved square footage costs as well as costs for show services and labor.
  • Greenspace built the entire booth in-house in Hillsboro, Oregon. They sourced locally grown Douglas fir to use for the main structures, and Pendleton fabrics—along with other locally made items—for the smaller details.
  • Donuts for the headphones were hand-felted and the yarn bomb table leg covers were knitted in-house at Grady Britton by our amazing office manager, Eryn.
  • Overall, we designed the booth so it could be easily updated in the future for a completely different booth experience. Travel Portland can reuse the large back wall structure and “Welcome” wall as the shell, but give everything a completely different look by replacing the fabric, graphics, images on the monitor and items on the shelves. 

Check out more of our projects on Grady Britton’s Work page.

Post Date
May 1, 2017
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