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Meet the… sales executive

Pixotope's Kate Watson talks about how her job lets her go "behind the curtain" on major virtual production projects, and why now is the perfect time to get involved in the media tech industry

Kate Watson, sales executive at Pixotope
Talk us through an average day in your role

I think I can speak for almost everyone in this industry, no matter their role, when I say that no two days are the same! This is particularly true at Pixotope, where the sheer diversity of potential applications for our solutions means that we have such a fantastic variety of clients and projects. It certainly keeps my day-to-day activities interesting as a result. 

My favourite part about my role is sitting down with clients and learning about their projects. Many of which become mainstream newsworthy events – I always feel privileged to have been allowed behind the curtain. Of course with some of these projects the clients can often have a feeling of apprehension as to whether or not they can achieve their desired outcome. Therefore, it’s rewarding to be able to relieve some of that stress and build the clients’ confidence in this outstanding technology. 

As salespeople, we stay with the client all the way through training, installation, showrun and beyond. This means not only are we able to assist the customer success team at every step but we also get to see the brilliant and magical finished visuals. That is about as much job satisfaction as you can get. 

How did you get started in the media industry?

Whilst I don’t have a particularly interesting anecdote here, this is perhaps the way a lot of people like me might be inspired to get started. I was a huge fan of films, especially seeing the visual impact of them on the big screen and I would go to the cinema every Tuesday night. I realised early on that I was a sociable person and therefore sales, where I get to interact with a number of different people on a daily basis, became a pretty obvious choice for me career-wise. When the graduate scheme I joined had a role that involved working within virtual production for the film industry, I applied immediately. As soon as I joined, it became apparent that I was in awe of all things visually exciting, how they were created, and the numerous creative possibilities. From there my interests expanded and I became involved in many different types of media, which I love. 

What training did you have before entering the industry?

Absolutely nothing! As you can imagine, this did mean that it was certainly a steep learning curve from day one. I was thrown in at the deep end and whilst it was difficult, this would have been a much bigger challenge if it wasn’t for the passion and sheer enjoyment I have working in this industry. However, there was still an immense amount of technical knowledge I had to wrap my head around in order to succeed in my role. This takes time, but a key thing I realised very early on is that everyone is still learning. This industry is constantly changing with new technical innovations and developments, so there will always be a learning curve for everyone. It is important to be curious, eager to learn, and open to continuous self-development, especially working with a company like Pixotope which is at the forefront of this technology. 

Why do you enjoy working in the industry?

I have grown to love all things AR/VR/XR and the industry has been everything I thought it would be and more. I believe strongly in our company mission to democratise these technologies and make these amazing solutions more accessible to everyone. Not all productions can afford expensive systems and setups, and this shouldn’t be a barrier to creativity at all levels. I enjoy being part of an organisation that wants more people to have access to this amazing technology and has the infrastructure to train, support and help them. In particular, as part of our Pixotope Education Programme, designed to give students access to virtual production tools and connections to industry-leading experts, I have had the chance to visit universities and higher education establishments to discover their goals for virtual production education and how we can help support that. It’s inspiring to engage with and hear from the next generation of talent in the industry and to have a role in supporting their career journeys. 

What piece of advice would you offer someone looking to explore a role similar to yours? 

Don’t be afraid – although it is scary! There is a lot to learn if you are just starting out, especially in an ever-evolving industry, and of course, that can be intimidating. However, there are so many materials and tools available to support you and now is the perfect time to get involved. You just have to have the willingness to learn. The most important thing is to be passionate and interested: the rest can be taught.