NM Productions is a global production company with teams in London, LA, New York, Dubai, Milan and Madrid. They can mobilize production all over the world and have extensive experience producing beautifully crafted moving images and stills projects both big and small. Drawing upon a wealth of experience across the industry, they provide a flexible, efficient and non-traditional approach to the needs of clients.
Working with a diverse mix of clients means they are able to accommodate any and all types of projects. Their non-traditional approach to each project means they can offer either full production; from creative right through to post-production and asset delivery, or individual modular production, depending on what production requires.
Production Paradise: How do you see NM productions and where it sits in the marketplace?
Anissa Payne: NM is coming into its 5th year and I am really excited about the traction we have started to make. Covid was a tough time for all but I think our scalable, collaborative approach to working really helped us not only survive but also thrive as a company.
I am a Northerner (Leeds to be exact), so our approach is about flexibility, hard work and no bulls**t . First and foremost we are a production company but if you only want production support in specific areas, such as casting or location scouting, we are more than happy to provide that as a stand-alone service. The way we are structured allows us to work with great flexibility and a varying range of budgets. This allows us to function well as a business yet still deliver great quality work and with a great work ethic right across the board. This also applies to our NM network of directors, fixers and location scouts in all the key territories that we produce in globally.
Production Paradise: What gave you the idea to set up NM productions?
Anissa Payne: NM Productions was born out of a want to do things differently. I spent a few years freelancing for a number of production companies, all doing things with varying different styles. I learnt about what works but also a lot about what doesn’t, and most importantly I learnt about what drives me as a person. I started NM in order to provide clients with solutions, a grafters mentality and to provide my team with an environment where they feel appreciated, nurtured and motivated to work. I want them to know they can grow within in their careers here, we’re all evolving together.
Production Paradise: How do you feel about the commercial production model now, in 2023? Do you think the model is shifting/ changing?
Anissa Payne: I think there is a definite shift in the market given the current global landscape both economically and politically. We certainly see budgets being tightened but not necessarily a reduction in the scope of work. There are also of course new technologies such as Virtual Production becoming more prevalent. Another thing we are seeing is a shift in the way Directors market themselves. The concept of exclusivity is becoming less and less appealing. We see all these changes creeping in and are constantly looking at how we can better position ourselves competitively in the market. We still bid on briefs that are Director led, but if we don’t have a director within NM Talent, then our model works well for external freelance directors too. You send us the brief and we will find the right Director for the project to plug into our structure. We are also working very closely with leading agencies on Virtual Production, creating new and exciting ways to approach these different shaped projects. We are working to ensure we maintain a structure and a way of working that allows us to continue to work on such fascinating projects, together with their ever-changing budgets.
Production Paradise: What do you think we have learnt since the global pandemic and how do you think this can benefit our industry now and in the future? (more fearlessness….)
Anissa Payne: The pandemic has certainly shown us how to be more efficient from a distance and how we can reduce our footprint on set. AD Green is becoming ever increasingly important to production and travel is a massive contributing factor.
Production Paradise: How do you and will you continue to nurture your own in-house talent with this fearlessness in mind?
Anissa Payne: I am a massive advocate for jumping in with both feet first and giving it a go, a considered ‘jumping in’ of course!
We have a really tight-knit team at NM and I strongly believe in encouraging all of them to step outside of their comfort zones in order to be bolder and take on more responsibility so that they can further themselves in their careers. We don’t do hierarchy and everyone is expected to chip in and help one another. We ask questions across projects, this helps everyone get ideas and share recommendations helping find solutions for each others’ workload.
Production Paradise: Give some examples of work you’re most proud of that hit all the markers for Fearless production and quality outcomes.
Anissa Payne: The project I am most proud of to date is the one that we did for Citi Bank with the International Paralympic Committee. I spent a lot of time working through the best scenario on that project, going over copious versions of the estimate and talking to the in-house producer at the agency about the best approach for the production. We managed to outbid the in-house arm of the agency and deliver what we think is an amazing and powerful campaign, led by Publicis New York. The shoot spanned over two long weeks and took place on location in Dubai. We coordinated the athlete’s training schedules in order to create the most efficient shoot schedule. We worked through 4 am call times, 40+ degrees heat and during the middle of Ramadan. I would be lying if I said it wasn’t a gruelling project but I’m so proud of what we achieved and we’d jump at it again in a heartbeat.
Production Paradise: Where do you see NM evolving to in 5 years’ time, what would be your perfect outcome?
Anissa Payne: 2023 is our 5th year of business and I am very grateful for how far we have come in that time, not just here in London but also globally in all the other markets we work in. We work with a really talented and lovely network of Directors, Photographers, DOPs and have a solid base of clients. We want to continue the trajectory of growth that we are on, and get NM in front of more clients and agencies, as there are still a fair few doors we want to get through. We continue to drive home that a traditional approach to production is not the only one, and also not necessarily the right one for your project every time.
Production Paradise: What advice would you give your 18-year-old self on how to approach the production working world now?
Anissa Payne: I wouldn’t change anything that I have done, as it’s got me to where I am now. However, I would certainly reinforce my young self to be confident in my abilities and to not let people walk all over me. Production is not for the faint-hearted but it’s also an amazing industry to be part of. You get to meet incredibly talented people, travel the world and create some pretty cool sh*t. To those coming into the industry I would say, do the graft, prove yourself, work hard and don’t expect to hit the top without doing the leg work, and having a couple of sleepless nights. It’s easy to forget how lucky we are that we get to do all of this, so be FEARLESS!
We would like to thank Anissa Payne for taking the time to share her experience with us! If you want to see more of NM Productions work, you can visit their website or member page on the Production Paradise website.