Young Gun: Bastion Films production manager Paige McLaren

27 August 2020

Our Young Gun profile takes a look at some of the young talent across the advertising, adtech, marketing and media sector in Australia. It aims to shed light on the varying roles, people and companies across the buzzing industry.

Today we speak to Bastion Films production manager Paige McLaren.

Time at the company:
I started out in January 2020 and my seat was barely warm before COVID-19 hit and since then I have become quite the pro at hot desking! A total of almost eight months now at Bastion Films and it’s seriously my fav job to date!

How long have you been in the industry?
Around eight years but floating amongst different facets of the industry.

How did you get here? Was this always the plan?
Haha how much time do you have?

To top line, after a gap year in the UK with a dream of being on Getaway, I studied journalism at Monash Uni in Melbourne before escaping the cold to Hawaii where I worked in PR and casting on Hawaii 5-0. I returned to Sydney and got into fashion PR which took me back over to the states, running fashion shows in NYC. After all the models and mayhem and fashion not being my passion, I landed back in casting where I eventually slid into production and where I plan to stay.

It’s been quite the ride!

Who is your right-hand person?
I’m actually the right-hand person to the fabulous Poppy Jones, the senior producer at Bastion Films who has been the most incredible mentor to me.

What’s the best thing about the industry you work in?
NO DAY IS EVER THE SAME! That’s what keeps it interesting! There’s no such thing as a ‘one size fits all’ model in our industry and you have no idea what you will be faced with when you wake up each morning. I thrive on the challenges that each job brings and I especially love learning from my superiors. It’s an unbelievably unique, fun and rewarding industry! (Plus, industry events are lit)!

And the biggest challenge?
Being stung with 3am call times lol! Why do we even sleep?

Whose job have you set your sights on in the future?
The CEO’s – der.

Where do you turn for inspiration?
Definitely Poppy Jones – she is a seasoned veteran in the industry having worked across and created herself many films and TVCs. She has gone above and beyond her duties as my boss, showing me the way through this wild industry!

Also, not to sound too corny, but my parents have been a huge influence on my life and provided me with the best opportunities and helped to pave the path that I am on now. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.

My favourite advert is:
Volvo XC60 - Moments

I remember coming across this ad whilst helping a director with a treatment and it seriously tore at my heart strings. It’s beautifully shot, emotive and has a narrative that draws you in. I’m a sucker for feel good spots.

Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you?
I competed at the 2004 Athens Olympic trials for swimming – didn’t make it obvs as you’d know about it!

In five years’, time I'll be:
36 and fabulous, although we’ll say 35 as we’re skipping 2020, right?

I would love to be a senior producer, have worked on a film, doco and created my own TVC. Go large or go home!

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