Getting time to talk to Georgie – who left Hurtwood back in 2002 – proved to be well worth the effort. Busy at work on her successful Media production company, she nevertheless took time to share her path onward from hard-working A level student to becoming the proud creator of Lovelove Films, and to offer lots of invaluable advice to those who are just setting out.
A big enthusiast for the Hurtwood experience, Georgie is remembered with great affection from her time here by many of the old hands, for her lively and energetic approach to the world. Her thoughts on her time in the Surrey hills? She recalls a complete sea-change in attitudes. ‘I never really enjoyed school,’ she tells me. ‘Ask my mum – she used to have to drag me out of bed.’ But coming up the drive to Hurtwood, she recalls that she had the sense that this was going to be a whole new chapter, and her success since leaving certainly seems to confirm this. What does she think made the difference? ‘It helped me really focus on my passion for producing content… I had the most incredible access to technology and teaching.’ She identifies the fact that she had ‘the best start anyone in the media industry could ask for,’ adding emphatically, ‘I think Hurtwood gives any young person the springboard for entering the creative sector.’ Time to look at where this has taken her, her particular path and outcome.
The early stages are intriguing and recognizable as well as impressively honest! Chaperoning her younger sister in her career as a model, she found herself questioning key styling decisions on a shoot, and mentioned this to the photographer. Asked by him if she thought she could do better, ‘I said “anybody could”,’ happily admitting that she was indeed ‘a cocky teenager.’
The outcome proved to be her first real break: ‘The next thing I knew, I had a call from the editor of a magazine asking about my styling experience.’ She had none of course, but she ‘totally blagged it, landed an interview… bought loads of magazines, crammed (her) brain with fashion-speak’ and landed a job with a magazine that ‘had a million copies in circulation.’ And so it all began. Georgie sums up succinctly how she got up and running. ‘I think it’s just going for things. I think as a woman we sometimes doubt ourselves. I say jump in and have a go!’ Sounds like spot-on advice.
Jumping ahead with her career, when did her greatest challenge, creating and running her own business, begin? When she was made redundant from another production company apparently, when she was 25, and having gained clearly plenty of practical experience. She admits, with great honesty, to being ‘really naïve to the actualities of running a business.’ But in spite of it being a ‘steep learning curve, fueled by too much coffee and Red Bull (don’t mix the two, it’s not pretty), the clients came, the team grew, and Lovelove Films is now almost 10 years old.’
The company has a really impressive website, displaying a mesmerizing flow of its highly varied creative output and contrasting modes of communication and entertainment and is based in beautiful Bournemouth. Georgie quite rightly positively bubbles with pride and enthusiasm for the many strands of her flourishing business and Lovelove’s achievements. ‘We have recently signed a distribution deal with Aardman Studios (the team behind Wallace and Gromit, and Chicken Run). We have also created animations and graphics for an array of television shows: SAS, Who Dares Wins, BBC Films, Williams and most recently EasyJet: inside the Cockpit for ITV.’ There is clearly so much range and potential, with music videos, ‘for platinum-selling artists’ no less, and lots of work, interestingly, with and for ‘fellow Hurtwoodians.’ The future is looking particularly bright for the company, with a shift of focus more overtly towards children’s TV. A particularly exciting and unfolding project is called Pop Paper City, a pre-school series which is ‘a vibrant 3D craft show with adventure, set in a place where dreams can become reality.’ I’m hooked already (with grandkids in mind, of course) but with the emphasis in each episode being on ‘doing as well as viewing’ and combining imagination and practical creativity, it sounds like a totally winning formula. Even without having met her, it seems to me that Georgie has a real eye for the zeitgeist, for winning ideas and making them happen. Looks like close work with Aardman is very much the shape of the next few years.
So what particular advice does she have for kids setting out on their careers? ‘Always look and ask for opportunities. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.’ She generously identifies Hurtwood as ‘A wonderful and creative environment,’ which has provided both ‘some of the best years of (her) life’ as well as ‘some of (her) dearest friends.’ She has clearly turned all her opportunities to extraordinarily successful outcomes, and it has been illuminating and frankly delightful to hear Georgie’s creative journey. Take a look at www.lovelovefilms.com and you will see the strength, range and quality of the company’s output. It is truly impressive – just like Georgie herself.