Embracing the difference: “Nothing beats the feeling of working on a live production”, says Sunset+Vine producer Flo Cooke

One career highlight for Cooke was working at both the Olympics and Paralympics in London 2012

By Flo Cooke, Sunset+Vine producer

I love that every workday is different in this job. Whether I am working on a live production or in a more coordinating producer role, it is never the same.

Nothing beats the feeling of working on a live production, even if it can be extremely stressful and all-consuming. Non-live production also can be really rewarding whether that is scripting a magazine show or setting up a shoot in a remote part of the world at short notice. I personally enjoy both the editorial and the organisational side of being a producer.

Over the last two years I have run a number of projects, leading a team and producing content and programming. I spent the first seven months of 2022 overseeing all the video content we were creating for the Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham. This involved setting up shoots worldwide on a weekly basis, overseeing the edits, liaising with clients, and ensuring that regular delivery deadlines were hit.

It was a bit mad, but I really enjoyed leading that project. For the Commonwealth Games itself, I worked as the gymnastics producer. The last part of the year was taken up by football and rugby both for Prime Video. I produced three Autumn Nations Series rugby games in in November while also overseeing all the pre-matchday shoots and matchday access for all Prime Video Premier League games in October and then again in December. The projects have been varied, interesting and fulfilling.

I also loved my role as the Channel 4 highlights onsite producer for the 2019 Cricket World Cup, this involved filming links at every England game including the final. I was just back from maternity leave and it was such a brilliant job to come back to. Other highlights include working at both the Olympics and Paralympics in London 2012 and Rio 2016.

To do this, I’d say just work hard and don’t underestimate yourself. Do ask for help and advice. Don’t worry if you do make a mistake, especially in live production where it can be a stressful, high-pressure environment. Also, it is important to know that it is possible to work part-time and be a producer.

Following the dream

Growing up I was a keen sports fan and always wanted to work in sport in some capacity. I began to look into sports broadcasting more seriously while at university. I studied Geography and Spanish before completing a Masters in Multimedia Sports Journalism in Madrid.

My first proper job was a three-month internship at Eurosport in Paris. The long hours and hard work paid off when I was offered an AP role on a short-term contract. The contract kept getting renewed and I ended up spending a brilliant three years there. It was an amazing experience working in such an international environment across loads of different sports.

“It is important to know that it is possible to work part-time and be a producer”

I have always worked in sport. After a stint at Premier League Productions, I then moved to Sunset+Vine to work as an assistant producer on live sport and magazine shows at the newly formed BT Sport.

After working across a number of productions at Sunset+Vine the opportunity became available to move to the content team to work on developing and growing the team and their output.

Loving the challenge

I think the role is well suited to my skillset but it’s also a position where I will be challenged and need to continue to learn more to do it well! The company was also happy for me to work part-time in this senior role.

I have stayed at Sunset+Vine working as a producer on a range of sports, including the Paralympic Games, Commonwealth Games, domestic and international rugby for BT Sport and Prime Video UCI Mountain Biking for Red Bull, a Cricket World Cup and MainSail.

Cooke working on the international rugby for BT Sport

I have two young children which means I’ve had time out for maternity leave and now work part time. Right now, I can’t do long work trips abroad or roles that require a constant full-time position.

The choice has sometimes meant that I have missed out on opportunities, but I feel happy and very much supported by Sunset+Vine in my current situation.

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