Meet the Team: Tom Henneberry

Tom chats to us about his beginnings as a producer, the skills you need to keep productions running smoothly, how craft requires a personal touch, and his love for afternoons spent with friends in the pub

Sunday 25 February 2024

What do you do at Jelly?

I’m a producer – which entails looking after the range of projects that come in. Once we’ve been awarded a job it’ll be passed on to me to schedule, make sure we keep to budget, build the team working on the project and be the person in the middle between client/agency and director/artist to make sure everyone’s in the loop. It also involves having a deep understanding of each director/artist's style and how best to bring them out in each brief, and then translating that to the team on the agency side so the spirit isn't lost at any point.

What experiences led you here? And how did you learn to be a producer?

I had a lot of odd jobs in production before landing my job at Jelly. All valuable experience from being a runner on music video shoots to being a production assistant at a creative agency. These jobs all helped in my development within the creative industry.

But actual learning to be a producer is definitely just gaining skills and experience on the job. You obviously pick up the basic skills and pipeline of production but every job, director and client are different so you’re always learning new ways of approaching things.

What’s the most exciting thing you’re working on right now?

We signed Charlie Toque last year and I’m a big fan of his style so it was great fun working on Polaroid with him - as well as a campaign coming out soon for a brand known for their meatballs (amongst other things). For both campaigns he created these wonderful environments and characters which really keep the audience engaged. Check them out!

What’s the best thing about being part of the Jelly team?

The people – everyone is so sound. You can very much be yourself around everyone which is a lovely feeling.

I also love working with the amazingly talented directors and artists - seeing their work develop through stages of production really does fascinate me.

What’s the key to a successful production-client relationship?

Communication. If information starts slipping or contact becomes minimal then your ship is going to start to sink. Production and client need to always be kept in the loop with next steps so both parties are clear. Keeping this relationship means the cogs can continually turn to deliver amazing work.

What role does production play in making creative content that connects with audiences?

Production brings stability and structure to the process without dampening the creative. Meaning, within the time and budget constraints we want to get the very best out of the brief so both client/agency and director hopefully agree on the vision through each stage of production. There are of course always a variety of different opinions throughout a job, but production keeps the ball rolling by putting everyone’s heads together to come up with solutions which results in the best possible final product for everyone to see.

What does craft mean to you?

Craft to me is the personal and unique touch/vision someone has developed in their chosen outlet. Anyone can do anything they put their mind to, but you’ve really got to craft your skill to shine through the bulls**t.

Your top 3 podcasts/books/albums at the moment?

I very rarely read which I would like to change but the last book I read was ‘Ten Thousand Apologies’ by Lias Saoudi which gives you a great insight into the wild world of one of my favourite bands - Fat White Family. They’ve got new music coming out at the moment also which I’m buzzed about!

The Ricky Gervais Show is a great classic podcast that always makes me laugh. I’ll also dip into Smartless and Off Menu now and again.

What do you love doing when you aren’t working?

I love my friends, they’re like family to me so if I’m hanging out with them in a lovely little boozer then I’m more than content. 10 Guinness please…

I also enjoy drawing stupid little cartoons just for fun. I find it very therapeutic doodling on my iPad – candles lit, Velvet Underground on – bloody bliss.

Or you can find me roaming around a field when it’s festival season. Glastonbury 2024 woo!

What’s the best advice you were ever given? Who was it from?

Be persistent! If you really admire a company and want to work for them then don’t give up. I interviewed for Jelly back in 2016 when I had minimal experience in the industry so they kindly turned me down. But I stayed in touch just gently reminding Jelly that I’d love to work for them until a job opportunity came up in 2020 and I’ve been here ever since.

I can’t actually remember who gave me the advice but it’s a tough industry to get your foot in the door so you have to just keep on going until you get your dream opportunity.