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Meet the… senior product director, motion and production graphics

For Pixotope's Gideon Ferber one of the great things about working in broadcast is that you can come from any background and have had very different experiences from your colleagues and can still be pretty awesome at what you do

Gideon Ferber, senior product director, motion and production graphics at Pixotope
Talk us through an average day in your role

In my role, it can vary quite dramatically. I might start a given day with the Dev-Ops team, working on the roadmaps and products and deciding what we want to develop next. Then I’ll work with UX designers to start to visualise those ideas and make sure that what we just discussed with development is possible and how it will affect the user. Next, I might work with sales on potential deals and future plans, followed by meeting the marketing team, to make sure our external messaging translates back to the planned roadmap. Sometimes I’m even out in the field meeting customers, listening to their feedback and passing that back to the relevant teams. Of course, this all happens over days, weeks, and months – that’s what I like about product management: you find yourself collaborating with all the different departments in the company at all times. It forces you to approach problem-solving in many different ways.  

How did you get started in the media industry?

That’s a funny story actually – I guess I started by accident! Previously, I had my own company where we were working on 3D visualisation and graphic design. Then my twins were born and I wanted a more stable job. My wife actually responded to an application on my behalf and sent in my CV, and a recruiter reached out to ask if I have experience in broadcast. Well, I had knowledge of Maya and 3D software, but not broadcast. A month later, they called back for an interview and I got the job! I have since held positions at a number of companies, including Ross Video, disguise, and now Pixotope, so it clearly proved to be a gateway to the industry. I think ultimately, although I didn’t have the broadcast experience, I had the right skill set that could translate into this industry and role. 

What training did you have before entering the industry?

Graphic design is where I have had my official training; I was a teacher for 3DMax and AfterEffects. This really paved the way for my career – I have worked primarily with broadcast graphics ever since I entered the media industry. Other than that, having my own company really helped me develop a lot of the skills I use in my current role. I had to work with customers, do my own sales, not to mention taking care of the actual technical and design work. Unintentionally, I covered all the bases I would later need in my roles. That’s what you do as a product design specialist – a little bit of everything. 

Why do you enjoy working in the industry?

It’s one of the most dynamic industries in the world –  it’s amazing to be a part of it. In what other job can you cover everything from elections, esports, the Olympics, the Super Bowl and the World Cup? And not to mention that in my specific role in the industry, you’re always on the lookout for new technology and the next big thing. You get to work with amazing people, and be at the forefront of development to pave the way for huge changes in the industry. 

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

You need to be able to handle the requirements coming from all directions because you’re jumping between a million things at any given time. Also, I know it’s a cliché but you also really need to be able to listen. You’re working with so many different groups inside the company that you need to be able to listen and understand what the requirements of each individual group are in order to be able to prioritise and structure things into tasks as a result. But if you can do all that, then it’s absolutely awesome. It’s not a role you can just jump into, but it’s definitely a role you can grow into as long as you have these skills. That’s another thing I really like about this role, it’s more inclusive: you can come from any background and have had very different experiences from your colleagues and can still be pretty awesome at what you do.