Tony Joo, Head of Production and Co-Founder of NEON, is here to talk all things production. Hear about the qualities that make for a great producer, variation between working in production at different agencies (and brand-side), co-founding a creative studio, navigating being shy and introverted in an industry full of big personalities and loud voices, and how to make your seat at the table more heard and respected when you feel underrepresented.
How remembering how much he enjoyed commercials as a child pointed him towards advertising.
The qualities that make for a great producer, variation between working in production at different agencies (and brand-side), and questions you can ask in an interview to get a sense of the production situation.
Co-founding a creative studio called Neon, and the biggest things he’s learning by running his own shop.
Navigating being shy and introverted in an industry full of big personalities and loud voices, learning by observing what is working and what’s not, and how to make your seat at the table more heard and respected when you feel underrepresented.
What to do when you feel paralyzed on a project.
“I think it would be important to ask how the team is built, and whether there will be mentorship opportunities for you. One thing about producers, we kind of have a chip on our shoulder and we feel like we’re on an island, because we’re always going out on productions by ourselves. Your learnings on how to become a good producer are happening on the fly, or when you return from production and you’re sharing war stories with other producers. So I would make sure there are some mentorship opportunities, whether it’s implicit or explicit there.”
“The more you are asking the producer questions, I feel like the producer is more armed and equipped to go out there and be very reflective and representative of your intentions and your needs. I know that there are moments where folks try to keep things close to the vest because they feel precious about it. I think if you have a good rapport with your producer, you can totally be transparent and vulnerable if you have that trust factor in place.”
“Along the way, I developed a way of kind of channeling people who I respected and who I admired in terms of how they presented themselves and communicated in a room, in a meeting, or on an email. So it was a little bit of mimicry or being a chameleon.”
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Tony Joo is Founding Partner and Head of Production at NEON, a hybrid creative studio in the SF Bay Area. Prior to this, Tony was Executive Producer at Intel’s award-winning internal agency, Agency Inside, where he helped lead a production team of over 40+ globally on storytelling projects that pulled back the curtain on some of Intel’s greatest technologies. Before making the leap to the brand side, Tony worked as a producer in digital, post, and broadcast disciplines at agencies Zambezi, Deutsch, and Goodby Silverstein & Partners for clients such as Volkswagen, Sprint, NBA, HP, Comcast, and Nintendo.