top of page

Till Death Do Us Part...

or until one of us murders the other - whichever comes first…


What’s the saying? “Don’t work with children or animals?” Well, we have done both, a lot, and I can tell you that neither one comes close to the joy and tranquil vibes that come with working with your spouse.



Who ever wrote the original vows you recite when you get married, must have been married before. He knew what would test us...
Who ever wrote the original vows you recite when you get married, must have been married before. They knew what would test us. They knew what we had coming...


Why does this not also carry a warning? Well, I’ll tell you why. Because it happens in a slow and stealthy way; sliding into your life the same way grey hairs and garden centre trips do, and without any consideration of the long term implications or plan. It’s more of a “I’ll just help out on a few bits” and before you know it you are a company director with discussions on shareholdings coming up in therapy sessions and the annual divorce consideration chats. And yet, here we are, 7 years in business, and 20 years as a couple and neither one yet buried under the patio. I consider this a triumphant success!


I’ll never forget the day Richard suggested I work at SubMotion. I was juggling a part time job at the hospital, raising two young children and organising life, while Rich worked away all over the world as a cinematographer. I was doing none of the aforementioned roles particularly well and something had to give. When I voiced my concerns one evening over a romantic meal of Peppa Pig shaped pasta, Rich said “Why don’t you just quit your job and come and work as a producer at SubMotion?”


That night I googled “What does a producer do?”


“The film producer is responsible for overseeing the entire production.”


- Thank you ScreenSkills


Ha, no way! This is basically like being a Mum! Organising creative, demanding and financially unaware people into structure, and making sure they have what they require to make a picture worthy of a spot on the fridge. This will be fun!



children holding a coloured picture.
The competition.


Anyone that knows Richard and I will know that we are quite different people. In fact, we are so entirely opposite in every single element of our make-up, it’s almost comical. If you’ve ever seen Trolls (which albeit a kids film, is actually a brilliant watch - the sound track is awesome), you will have encountered Poppy; the scrapbooking, glitter poofing, annoyingly positive pink troll who lives only in the moment, and her boyfriend Branch: a grey, melancholy troll who plans for the worst and is a pessimist (sorry “realist”) to his core. Well, these guy are essentially us. Chalk and cheese, night and day, introvert/extrovert… we are 100% diametrically opposed.


Yet, when it comes to working together these totally opposing characteristics join together as a team to essentially cover all the elements needed to navigate an unpredictable and chaotic industry. One is creative, one is organised, one is meticulous, the other slapdash. No matter what might be hurled our way, one of the two has an ability to cope with it. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not all plain sailing and marital bliss. When the work is slow, there is no back-up salary. When a project is tough, there’s no coming home and leaving it at work. When one has doubts about the future, this impacts the other. Every rejection, stressful moment or feeling of anxiety is shared - and sometimes, sharing in not caring. These moments are tough, and your partnership takes on a stress load other relationships might not, but it is also in these moments when you learn so much about one another and more terrifyingly, about yourself!


I think this chemistry goes for any close-knit working partnership. Sure you may not chat over scripts, invoices and tax at 11pm in bed (or you may?!), but running a business is a complex and emotionally exhausting uphill challenge, and one that will bring out the good, the bad and the ugly side of anyone involved. It’s how you work through it, which defines the most successful partnerships. For us, we are constantly learning about the intricacies of running a business, whilst also navigating our own individual growth and that of us as a team. And whilst exhausting, it’s also a very humbling and exciting concoction. If you can find this balance, it can truly be one of the most rewarding successes. If you’re navigating the lows together, you’re also riding the highs, and these are the moments that keep you pushing forward, topping up the cup of hope and keep you aligned on the same path.


When working on stressful projects (Maximus, our second short film was definitely one of the more challenging projects to date for all involved and comes to mind immediately!), it’s easy to take out the tiredness, pressure, stress, hunger and anxiety on each other. Not much talking happens, unless it’s essential work chat, and to outsiders, there is no sign you are a married couple. Unless that is, you happen to catch one of those split second all knowing looks between a couple, that is so intense, speaks a thousand words and is so emotionally charged the world sort of freezes for a moment. And if you are privy to this moment, I apologise, the tension is palpable!




image: So much tension...


But - when the project is finished, it looks great, you have a buzzing premier, win an award, attend a festival or something much bigger (sshhhh...all will be revealed later this year!) You cannot imagine doing this whole wonderful and joyous process with anyone other than your beloved partner! Mwah mwah, isn’t this bliss.



Oh yay, it's finished! That was so fun, I love you all so much!!!!! Like childbirth, we forget the pain, ready to do it all again.
Oh yay, it's finished! That was so fun, I love you all so much!!!!! Like childbirth, we forget the pain, ready to do it all again.


And so, you do it all over again, day in, and day out, for years to come! Because, really what else would you do in the evening? What else would you talk about? What do other couples even DO? Doesn’t everyone live like this? This is normal. I’m sure this is normal. This is our normal.


We are on this epic journey of adventure together! Forever!


Gulp.


p.s. As mentioned in previous blog posts, I have a great therapist recommendation, please comment for info ;)



Riding one of the wonderful highs at the BAFTAs.
Riding one of the wonderful highs at the BAFTAs.


2 Comments


Guest
Jun 13

Love the backstory! What a team :)

Like

Such a beautiful read! So chuffed you guys are in this together for theong haul #powercouple 😁

Like
bottom of page