Inspiring Reigatian: Harriet Rees
Harriet Rees (current parent) is proof that tenacity pays off, having written to a hundred Film Producers before getting her break.
Briefly describe your journey in the media industry
After a brief stint in IT PR, I decided film would be a more fun place to make my career. I wrote to a hundred Film Producers, had tea with three and was offered a job by one. I worked my way up from Assistant to Head of Development, finally leaving to become a Producer. I produced lots of short films and associate produced various feature films before making my first feature film as Lead Producer. I now am producing a slate of feature films and teach producing for the National Film and Television School.
What would you say is your greatest achievement to date?
Snowboarding rom com Chalet Girl.
If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor?
Film Producer, Alison Owen.
What is the greatest challenge you have had to overcome thus far?
Having a baby four weeks before Chalet Girl started shooting in the Alps.
What three tips would you give for staying ahead in such a competitive industry?
- Put a lot of time and energy into building your network and maintaining good relationships
- Work on projects that you believe will find an audience and that you really love
- Be tenacious
What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13?
Be positive, work hard, be kind (to yourself and everyone else).
If you were castaway on a desert island, which luxury item would you want with you and why?
Books! Lots of them, to keep me entertained and take me away to other worlds. And reading glasses, otherwise books would be useless!
What more could be done in your industry to make your workplace more diverse, equitable and inclusive?
For everyone who employs people to make a concerted effort to hire a balance of women and people from diverse ethnic, gender and socio-economic backgrounds. For producers to develop scripts written by a wide range of people, telling stories from different and fresh perspectives. And to make sure that every story we are telling has a representative balance of roles – it’s hard to change the world, but much easier to ensure some of the best characters in your scripts are women, people of colour or from the LGBTQ+ community.