Danika is a producer at The Mayda Creative Co. with a passion for transforming creative visions into reality. She attributes her success to her mentors, but those who have worked with her know that her innate problem-solving abilities and love for the production process are what set her apart. With a diverse portfolio spanning commercials, music videos, short films, social content, cinematics, real-time animation, and VR, Danika's ability to anticipate team needs is invaluable to every project she tackles.
LBB> What first attracted you to production - and has it been an industry you’ve always worked on or did you come to it from another area?
I’ve always considered media as my hobby - going to movies, watching new shows, going to concerts. I knew I wanted to work in the creative industry but wasn't sure in what capacity. One of my first internships was for a content department at a commercial production company and I’ve been here ever since.
LBB> What was your first role in the production world and how did this experience influence how you think about production and how you grew your career?
As an intern, I started out shadowing different types of roles from camera operator to design to CG artists but I quickly realized that I had the most interest in live action and specifically producing. From there I became a runner, then a coordinator and then Associate Producer. Eventually, I made my way up to Producer. I love commercials and short form content as they are relatively quick turnarounds so you get a chance to work on a ton of different types of projects. I learn and grow from each project I am involved in, which I find really special. I learned everything from my mentors.
LBB> How did you learn to be a producer?
I started out by coordinating on commercial shoots. With that role you really get to see the in’s and out’s of production; you are involved in all logistical aspects. As I grew, I became a production manager and would shadow the producer more closely. At that level, you’re able to be closer to the creative and see the relationship between director, client and production company. Being involved in the treatment/bidding, pre-production and on set for the projects, I learned what makes a successful team. As a producer, you really learn by doing, so I am extremely grateful for my two mentors (the head of content and a producer) for pushing me and giving me the opportunities to try new things.
LBB> A good producer should be able to produce for any medium, from film to events to digital experience. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Why/why not?
I think producers intrinsically all have the same sort of brain. We keep the train running no matter what, but we are all experts in our fields for a reason. Each medium has its own set of challenges that don’t necessarily cross over to the other. If you are a producer at heart, you can do anything with a bit of experience/exposure to any field.
LBB> What’s your favourite thing about production and why?
I love the team effort, the fast paced nature and the endless possibilities (within budget lol). The creative is the forefront but it takes a large team of people to make those ideas a reality. It’s amazing to watch a team problem solve to help the greater vision come to life! I love when you get on set and you see that everyone is passionate about what they do and are all working towards the goal – it’s magic!
LBB> From your experience what are the ingredients for a successful production?
Enough time, good communication and a solid crew. When you are crunched on time, the end product suffers as well as morale for your team! Keeping positivity and having fun even in the most stressful times gets everyone through it.
LBB> What’s the key to a successful production-client relationship?
Complete transparency! We are all working together to create something extraordinary no matter how big or small, so if you aren’t transparent with each other the end product will suffer. So being fully transparent about practicalities with your client is always so important. Teamworks makes the dream work!