Nov 8, 2011

14. Endy Hedman. Head Producer at W+K Sao Paulo.

Endy Hedman, the head of production for W+K Sao Paulo, describes moving to Brazil as "super hard," though maybe not the most eloquent term, one that I can completely understand. The move from Wieden and Kennedy's Portland office was the hardest and possibly the most rewarding and opportunity filled thing he's ever done. He spent four years of his life studying Spanish in college only to arrive years later in Brazil (so close yet so far) where he didn't know anyone, didn't speak the language, and where production is run completely different than in the US. The benefits: the art direction is unreal and the graffiti will blow our minds. I say: lets go.

This is Endy:

Ok, that's how Endy depicts himself on Facebook.
This is Endy in real life (with Kaz Ishii):

Why we like Endy: His LinkedIn lists his activities, under his education, as only 'paella club.
Why we don't: (Except for we think this Christmas stunt may make us like him more).

During a Skype conversation that I thought may last an hour (if I was lucky enough to steal him for that long) lasted over two hours. His stories about the projects he's worked on, the people he's worked with, and the locating he's worked on, would blow your pants off! They also made me both immensely excited and incredibly terrified to dive into this career.

Just so we're all on the same page, this is the man who produced one of my favorite Nike commercials (second only to Naked Running Camp):

Most recently, he created yet another wonderful spot titled, Never Stop Running, for Nike Running

Now that we all know the kind of beautiful and inspiring work that Endy has made for us, we may continue. Though the equator separates Endy and Hayley Goggin (Senior Producer W+K PDX), they both have a similar view on producing; it's more than a job, it's a way of life. That's the corniest thing he said during our entire chat, but it was worth repeating.

His journey started in Central America, where he back packed for months college. Eventually, after the money ran out, he arrived in LA where his production-assistant friend landed him a job moving furniture in and out of a production house. That job turned into a PA position, which eventually led to the always coveted WK job in Portland. This is to say that one doesn't need to study production to become a producer.

Now he's leading the charge in Sao Paulo. Last week, Endy hired a 22 year old man who grew up with little money and took nothing for granted. This man attended a Brazilian creative production school and walked into Endy's office with an intense life story and a documentary. When Endy's hiring, he looks for personality and intelligence, and according to him, "You can know eight languages but if you can't communicate, you're screwed." This may be the best advice of our entire talk, and I'm guessing this doesn't only apply to producers.

Once you're hired and have been around long enough to be trusted, the producers responsibility on set is to get the right shot. The producer must be a proactive liaison in every situation, no matter if on set or in the boardroom. 

Endy explains his "GOLDEN RULE" (listen up folks):  Make sure everyone is okay and that nobody loses their shit, and if they do lose their shit, then calm them down. Sounds reasonable to me, somebody has to do it.

Endy says: This job is like the big roller coaster at Six Flags, but it's the fun one, not the one that makes you want to throw up (except for now and then).

What Endy loves:
Anonymous Content
Hungry Man

Thanks Endy!

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