Meet Tara Saunders, Director of Studio Operations

09/07/2019

How did you start at London Studio?

I graduated from MA in Computer Animation and the Lead Artist from the Getaway came to my graduation show and offered me a job.

I was offered a job at the BBC on the same day and had a heavy decision to weigh up between working in TV or Games. I chose games because I loved the mix of art, design, and tech and have not regretted it since.

What does your role entail?

My background has been working in the Art department and creating animation for games. Now I am part of the studio management team and manage aspects that support the day to day running of the studio. I work on developing the studio to better itself and run projects that develop our people, environment, and culture. This includes operational activity in the areas of HR, IT, and Finance.

What do you find most exciting about your work here?

No day is ever the same. I love supporting developers to be the best creatives they can be, and the game team environment is an awesome and challenging place to be.

What had your career path looked like over the years?

I started as an animator working on the Getaway, an action adventure game on the PS2. I went on to lead the Cinematics team on the sequel Getaway Black Monday before building my career around art leadership and management. I then became the Studio Art Director and was responsible for running the studio art team working across multiple projects the studio was working on, this included being responsible for all the planning and resourcing of our projects from an art perspective.

What’s the best bit of advice you’ve been given?

Ok, so this isn’t advice I’ve been given but it’s a quote I read some time ago that has really stuck with me and had an impact on my career. Mark Twain wrote that ‘Comparison is the death of joy’. I see many people fail because they focus too much on what others are doing, and work too hard to try to get themselves noticed. You’re better to focus on your own work and being the best person you can be. It more often than not leads to success and being noticed.

Your most memorable work moment?

I have two – presenting the Art Direction for Wonderbook Book of Spells to JK Rowling and having an opportunity to discuss how we would represent the world she had created in our game. The other is dressing up as a cop and being driven around London in a stunt car as part of the Cinema commercial for The Getaway. Neither of these were an average day in the studio!

What is it like to work in the heart of central London?

I love coming to work in London, as our studio is in the creative heart of Soho surrounded by great galleries, bars, restaurants, and shopping. You will never be out of lunch options or places to meet friends after work.

If you could describe London Studio in a few words, what would they be?

Welcoming – Supportive – Awesome.

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