Founder stories: POD LDN’s Adrienn Major is pioneering women in post production

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Adrienn Major is the founder of POD LDN, a female founder, in the traditionally male-dominated post production sector of the creative industry

She is pioneering a more efficient post-production model through her company POD LDN.

Major oversees a global team with offices in London, Dubai and Budapest and she has worked in virtually every element of the film production process, from traditional video production, photography and broadcasting to producing for global brands such as Google and LEGO.

We wanted to know how she’s changing the industry from within and creating more opportunities for other women to shine within the sector…

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Adrienn Major, POD LDN

You set up POD LDN – what have been the main challenges you’ve faced in doing that?

“The main challenge was changing my mindset and mentality from being a producer to a business owner.

“I had to approach everything differently, change my priorities and realise that I had to focus on sales as my number one priority.

“It wasn’t an easy switch, as it was all new to me.

“Once we grew a bit more, another challenging period came when I needed to create a structure and delegate to teams.

“As Daniel Priestley of Dent Global mentioned in a recent episode of Steve Bartlett’s Diary Of a CEO podcast: ‘The transition from a smaller team to a larger one often involves changing recruitment strategies, such as moving from hiring ‘rebels’ to more professional and specialised employees.’

“And this is exactly what we experienced. There is a lot of testing and learning involved in this growth phase.”

What is the gender balance like in your industry?

“Post-production is predominantly male-dominated. I think that’s because it’s wrongly considered to be technically focused.

“Bringing more women into post is a cause very close to my heart. I want to inspire the next generation, so that many more women join the industry.

“I hope this is something that I can directly influence through POD. We’re always trying to involve more women, whether it’s hiring or enrolling them on our freelance database.”

How easy is it for women to be seen and heard in senior positions in the industry?

“It has improved a lot recently, but it’s still lagging way behind in my view.

“The very few women in senior positions are outstanding and amazing, but I hope there is increased visibility for females in leadership positions going forward.

“Some roles like editing, animation and colour grading are becoming more common among women, but in areas like CGI and VFX there are still so few sadly.”

What is the state of the post-production sector right now?

The Hollywood strikes were felt across the industry, and I know lots of people are still out of work. But I think it’s slowly getting back to ‘normal’.

“I also hope that recently announced support for the UK film industry through tax relief will help to boost production.

“As for advertising, I think clients are still quite cautious with their ad spend, and the rise of brand-side, in-house studios and agencies is affecting the current landscape.

“A common trend we’re also seeing though is clients’ desire to be efficient, while increasing their capacities globally. This is a great landscape for us and it’s what we thrive in, so luckily we were not affected by the issues I raised above.”

You’re on a mission to ‘revolutionise the world of post-production’ – how are you tackling that?

“Previously, post-production was considered a slow and complex process with lots of technical terms and rate cards that were difficult for non-producers to understand.

“I really set out to simplify things and create a new way of working with a hybrid post-production model to suit the needs of the industry, at a flat rate whenever the client needed it.

“Post-production is super important for today’s content needs but it can be tricky to navigate, so I believe that being on demand, with transparent prices, gives our clients confidence and assurance.

“The way we utilise our external artists is another innovation I should mention. Before launching POD, I found that post-production companies didn’t necessarily want to highlight that they used freelancers or external partners, but I see this as a positive.

“We have tapped into a truly global pool of artists and we’re proud of it. We know how important diversity and representation are in every sector, and how much it brings to our culture.

“It helps us stand by our promise to our clients, which is to always provide the right solution, and work with the right person for the project, whether that person is internal or external.”

What are the main challenges facing the sector?

“There is an increasing need for rapid content production to satisfy the many channels brands need to serve, particularly in online and digital. And that’s a challenge for clients and agencies.

“Many just don’t have the budget to hire all the post-production skills they’d like in-house, and even if they do, they may not have enough work to justify hiring multiple specialists in full-time roles.

“Other than the volume, the main challenge is cost. It’s a less popular topic in our industry, but I believe it’s an important one that affects every business globally.

“We find that cost is probably more important than ever before, with clients under immense pressure to increase efficiency and save costs across the board.”

From films to TV and radio, streaming and social media, where is most demand coming from right now?

At POD LDN we see the most demand for digital and online content.

“We work on lots of adaptations, whether it’s just simple versioning or more complex market adaptations.

“I think these kinds of projects are often seen as a headache for a client or agency, but in reality, these are the assets that are crucial for a brand to reach audiences across platforms, mediums and markets, so if we can be a partner and make the process easier and smoother, it makes a difference.

“In the past year, we have started to pick up a few feature films and TV projects. It’s really satisfying and amazing to work on something that’s long-form and that so many talented people collaborate on.”

 

content-production-original-Image by imageworld from Pixabay
Lights, camera, post production: Demand from brands has broadened says Major.

How does new technology like AI fit into how post-production is changing?

“AI is a powerful tool, and it’s speeding up processes, especially in the early stages of projects. It cannot, and I believe will not, replace human creativity though.

“But as I’m a big fan of efficiency, I do think it can be used extremely well in the right workflow, it can help almost every project in some form, whether it’s using a placeholder voice-over in an edit, or using it to help ideation in the visualisation phase.”

Who inspires you most in your approach to running a successful production house?

I’ve been inspired by creative leader and ex-Senior Director of Marketing at Google, Nishma Patel Robb, since I met her earlier in my career, I’ve been in awe of her ever since. Nishma’s professional approach is inspirational.

“I would like to mention industry expert and entrepreneur Clare Randall, the founder of Clare Randall Consulting. I really admire her commitment to bringing value and expertise to her clients in the world of production.”

What reading matter is on your bedside table right now?

I’m really into psychological books at the moment and when I went home to Budapest recently, I bought a few books in Hungarian.

“I’m currently reading Toth by Noemi Orvos, a lady who has done really exciting research into intergenerational trauma.

“Her books will be coming out in English in 2025. It amazes me what our bodies carry on cellular levels and how we can work with what we have ‘inherited’.”

How do you switch off from post-production work?
This isn’t always easy, my business is such an important part of my life. But building an amazing team over the past few years has allowed me to take a step back without having to worry about projects for a few days at a time.

“When I’m taking time off, I love travelling. I find it easier to snap out of work mode if I change my environment. This might just be spending the day in the countryside where I can explore, or see something new.”