Dame Philippa Harris spoke exclusively to us for the Michaelmas 2020 issue of Bin Brook. Here's an excerpt of the article:
Tracing her development from a Robinson student to a high-level producer, Dame Pippa explained in detail what her day-to-day life is like. While some producers mainly focus on finances and budget management, she aims to be a ‘more creative producer’ who has a role in ‘shaping the story (...) from the outset’. This involves working closely with the writer and choosing a director to work with.
Recently she has been working on an adaptation of John Fowles’ The Magus and when looking for ‘the perfect person to direct it’ she reached out to Johan Renck, who had just been hugely successful with his drama series Chernobyl. This, she said joyfully, was one of those situations ‘when it slots together very easily’, as Renck immediately agreed to come on board. Dame Pippa spends her time doing what she calls ‘rallying the troops’ including cinematographers, editors, composers and costume designers in an industry where there’s ‘never enough time’ and ‘never enough money’.
Despite the multi-layered network of troops involved in creating a film or series, being a producer means ‘you’re one of the few people who stays right through the whole production process’. Indeed this post-filming involvement is one aspect she thoroughly enjoys, noting how ‘settling on the right imagery to use on the poster’ and ‘working out what the ads should look like’ is a fascinating part of the job.
Click on the image below to watch the whole interview, or read the full article here.