"Have a pursuit of excellence, and have a doggedness about it."
I had a fun conversation with Simone Stock, who's an award-winning film and television writer and director. It's very clear that Simone loves her work!
Watch and listen to the conversation here.
Simone's daily work includes writing and directing, and "bringing other people’s stories to life."
But before she was writing and directing her own work, Simone followed her interest in film making by getting an entry job doing food services on film sets.
Next, she was a Production Assistant for small movie projects, and later for big feature films.
Her post-secondary education was at the University of Toronto, where she completed a BA (Honours) in Cinema Studies & English.
Here are some highlights from our conversation:
THINGS SHE LEARNED QUICKLY:
the boss is always right
the customer is always rights
you can never work hard enough.
REFLECTING ON HER CAREER SO FAR:
"I had luck, serendipity."
"being dogged and not giving up at what I wanted to do” got her where she is today;
"I was just so keen. I was never too good for anything;”
when she had an opportunity to advance her career, she saw the opportunity and jumped on it! She was always ready for an opportunity, with resume, and she asked for a chance to talk to the right person about the right job.
In her early film years, Simone worked for big feature directors, and then producers. Realizing that the actors were the “easiest people to work with” on projects, she decided to do her own thing: write and direct her own projects.
“I was good at telling the story, but also good at running the floor. Being the boss, you have to facilitate everybody’s aptitudes and skills in the best way possible, and I like doing that.”
WORK / LIFE REALITIES
"the work days are long. 12 hour days minimum.
you have to drop everything for your work.
when a project wraps up, you find more work through your network, but there can be long breaks between projects."
WHAT SURPRISED HER ABOUT THE FILM INDUSTRY:
"it’s deeply collaborative. You have to rely on each other; (works are a) constellation of ideas all coming together;
a lot of success and getting ahead is who you know, and being in the right place at the right time.”
ADVICE FOR FILM INDUSTRY HOPEFULS:
"have a voracious appetite for others’ work;
watch the classics;
really love it;
go for excellence, whatever that is;”
make a pursuit of excellence and have a doggedness about it;
don’t lose hope, don’t lose faith in yourself. It’s gonna work out. (If something goes wrong) pick up the pieces and keep going.”
This conversation was interesting and I could feel the passion Simone has for her work, and lifestyle (even over Zoom!)
Thank you Simone for sharing your stories and ideas with our audience!
This interview was taped during the COVID19 pandemic, May 2020.