Women In Design feat. Molly Richmond

We’re excited to introduce you to Molly Richmond, a talented freelance Video Editor and Director. In this ‘Women In Design’ interview she shares fascinating insights and wisdom from her time working in the design sector, as well as her thoughts on the importance of role models.

The purpose of article series ‘Women In Design’ is to feature, showcase and share the reality of being a woman in design. We gather and showcase stories, career journeys, as well as advice and wisdom. 

Could you please introduce yourself as well as your background?

My career journey started when I found myself in that strange transitional period in my life, I’d just finished my A-Levels and felt a little lost in what direction to go in next. My peer group had all decided on university but I was slightly hesitant on returning to full-time education.

Luckily for me, I’ve known since I was little that I wanted to work within the Video Industry – It was just working out how to get there. After doing some work experience in an advertising agency, I was advised by a few different people to find a low-level job and work my way up instead of going to University – as regardless of education, most people seem to start as a runner or assistant.

I found my first job as an Apprentice Edit Assistant at a Bristol creative agency, helping across many areas of the business but primarily in post production – Managing the data process, going on shoots, assisting talented editors and getting as much training as possible. It was a great introduction and allowed me to understand all the moving parts of production. After 3 years of climbing the ladder (and being a sponge to learn as much as possible), I worked in another agency focused on Technology & Gaming in Bath during the pandemic, then onto London for a short-period before taking the leap to freelancing.

I’ve now been freelancing for over a year and had the opportunity to work with exciting clients like Netflix, ITV and purpose-driven documentaries. I’m really proud of how far I’ve come, freelancing can be unpredictable and tumultuous but I’m enjoying the journey so far and excited to continue growing.

I’ve now also begun offering directing and cinematography alongside editing, I’ve already had the opportunity to film and direct some short films for local Bristol businesses and have more exciting projects lined up.

In an attempt to capture some of the Wisdom you’ve gained as a woman in the design sector so far, what are 5 “stand-out things” you’ve learned that you’d like to pass on to your peers as well as the future generation of talent within your sector?

The main 5 things I’ve learned as a woman in this industry:

1. The importance of saying no (as well as yes). I adored my first job, learnt so much and worked with brilliant people, made lifelong friends – However, I burnt out super quickly whilst adjusting to the pace of the industry. I think when it’s your first job in your dream career, it’s easy to get caught up in proving yourself and climbing that ladder. Work/life balance is so necessary to keep you healthy. When you’re starting out it’s easy to get pushed into lots of different roles, I learnt to start saying that I don’t have the capacity, do I really need to be in this meeting and trying to align my work to my career path. Obviously everyones got to pull their weight and I think you can be seen as slightly difficult if you’re not a Yes Man but there comes a time where you have to start respectively pushing back because no one else will do it for you.

2. It’s important to have people from different backgrounds at the table.

3. You’ve got to already be embodying that job before you get offered the job.

4. Training your creative eye. It’s easy to get lost in jobs but it’s important to keep inspired that will not only benefit future jobs but also help you create your own style/niche. On a personal level, I’m looking out for more industry events like short-film screenings, networking events and talks. I’m also trying to transition into documentary-focused work so switching my trashy evening TV into watching documentaries and paying attention to shifting video trends. I’d really recommend following ‘Bounce Cinema’, a short film festival showcasing films from diverse communities and making a better future for film.

5. The importance of community. Not seeing other people as competitors but as mentors and teammates. Only positive things come from supporting each other, especially when you’re freelancing – you’ve got to create your own community. I’m incredibly lucky to be surrounded by other creative freelancers. We give each other advice, support, a space to vent and inspiration. When I first started, me and a close friend created our own weekly team meetings where we started the week off chatting about projects we had coming up and it just makes the whole freelance experience slightly less solo.

What is your take on the importance of role models?

Having people to look up to that you can relate to on a personal level, is so important and gender is part of that. It can be really daunting at the beginning and it’s easy to get lost within a company whilst you find your feet and form a direction but having someone who’s been in a similar position to you, to guide you is invaluable.

A really good piece of advice I’ve learned is how to shift your perspective on jealousy. By removing the bitter connotation and seeing it as a lighthouse, showing us what we want.

You’re never envious of something you don’t truly desire.

Thank you for your time Molly!

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