The Creative Industries have grown to become a major part of the South Wales landscape – creating world-class TV and Film productions, nurturing exciting talent across many different skillsets; and launching many rewarding careers for people from all communities.
Richard Moss has forged a fascinating career that’s taken him from Runner and multi-award-winning Editor, to Founder & MD of Gorilla Productions. Along the way, Rich has worked on everything from sport and fast-turnaround events through to documentaries – and he’s passionate about widening access to the wide variety of careers available, explaining how his own journey shines a light on what is possible….
“A Ponty Boy who came to Cardiff to be a Runner”
“I started my own career in a rather classical way – a Ponty Boy from a Valleys comprehensive who came to Cardiff to be a Runner. It was the late 80’s, the days of heavy technology and expensive boxes, when most productions were largely reliant on videotape editing. There was already a vibrant post-production industry here, but the type of work we were doing back then took three or four edit suites, whereas today it’s being done in 100 or more suites. It shows how the demand for content has radically increased – and it gives you an idea of how opportunities in the industry have grown too.
“If you shine and give 200%, people will mentor and support you”
“I did as much as I humanly could in my early days, asking all the questions, sleeping on couches at work, always going the extra mile in whatever I did, moving to London at the drop of a hat. You’ve got to put 200% into everything you do. You’ve got to shine and be positive every day, engaging with everyone and everything, always asking ‘How Can I Help?’ People in this industry react to enthusiasm and will give you the time and support you need if they see that you mean it. There were many great finishing editors who took me under their wing and mentored me, and that quality of support and encouragement is something I see here today in all of the Welsh Creative production and post companies.
“I’ve watched our scripted drama become very, very good on a world stage”
“I’ve watched some parts of our industry in Wales, such as the scripted drama side, become very, very good and established on a world stage. That all goes back to Dr Who making Cardiff its home – and it shows the importance of being able to reference a headline production. Companies such as Bad Wolf and Urban Myth have subsequently become a game changer – we’re all seeing the benefit of that – and I’m expecting good things from the new ‘Seren’ studio development too. The COVID crisis has shown that we can continue to control things in a studio, even in a pandemic, and that bodes well for the high-end drama we produce here – and the new skills our people are able to continually learn, with players like HBO and Sky coming to us with new tech and new processes.
“It’s not about getting more budgets. It’s about getting more opportunities.”
“The non-scripted side of our industry has been hit hard by COVID and needs more balance. We need to look after our incumbent production companies, because they’ve always been the ones who have grown and invested in the local talent. In that context S4C and the Welsh language productions have been vital to our cultural and creative credibility -providing the platform that’s allowed us to develop the high-end capacity. This business is all about getting the Commissions – and I still think we could have a louder voice in that process. We have great companies, but we need to open up our ability to get more UK-wide and international commissions. It’s not necessarily about getting more budgets, it’s about getting more opportunities.”
“You can go from Assistant to Editor to Main Editor over three years”
“We have decades of experienced talent here in Wales. Now we need to build a production pipeline that allows our people to grow. We need returning series where we can mentor an Assistant in Year 1 to be an Editor in Year 2 and then Main Editor in Year 3. It’s that consistency, rather than the feast and famine, which allows us to grow the talent. And we need to be widening access to include everyone too. I’m in regular discussions with our HR Manager about this and talking right now to Urban Myth Films in Newport, who are running a big diversity event this year. I think it comes down to ‘getting out there’ into all the communities, meeting people and telling them ‘We Want You. We Really Want You. Come & Talk To Us.’ That’s the best way to improve diversity in our industry; and that’s why I’m such a big fan of the work being done by Screen Alliance Wales.”
“Get in there, find out what you enjoy, and see where it takes you.”
“I sometimes look back to that young man in Ponty and wonder what words of advice I’d give him. Originally I wanted to be a graphic designer, which led me into storytelling, which took me towards becoming an editor. It rarely goes in a straight line. So my advice to everyone is simple: ‘Get in there, find out what you enjoy; and see where it takes you’.”