Jo Kendall is a Senior Producer and has been part of the Powerhouse family for around two and a half years, but there’s much more of a story to tell.
Can you tell us a bit about your experience and how you got to where you are today?
Let’s go back 38 years to the start of my career as a window dresser for a large department store. I had just graduated from an arts university in South Africa, where I grew up in the sunshine (hence my 6ft frame).
This took me on an exciting journey into the world of film and photography in fashion and homeware. I’m very lucky to have been able to produce and direct many projects, in studio and on location, in such a beautiful country.
As my career progressed, I became interested in travelling. So, I took a year out to see as much of the world as possible and experience all the different cultures that lie within.
This brought me back to my birth country of England where I worked for a large mail order company as a producer/director. That came with the perk of getting to travel around the world on fashion shoots, working alongside high-end fashion photographers and models.
Having worked for almost 15 years on studio and location shoots in fashion, I was approached to work for an agency to look after a big player in the food retail industry. I welcomed the challenge!
There began my love of food imagery. I enjoyed 15 years of managing, producing and directing for various food retail brands. I also turned my hand to food styling (and very successfully, I might add). That’s what brought me to Powerhouse.
How would you describe your role at Powerhouse?
Put simply, I take any concept and turn it into a reality.
I work very closely with our creative and commercial teams to make sure that every project that is assigned to me is launched successfully. This involves arranging and agreeing budgets, assigning crew (in-house and freelance), and overseeing all elements of pre-production, production and post-production right up to release.
What does a typical day at work look like?
No day is the same! It could be product cut-outs, coordinating a full set-build for Christmas with stylists, or even organising a full crew to shoot a brand film on location abroad.
But that’s what makes it a dream job – being challenged to produce different projects with exciting briefs while meeting budgets and tight deadlines. It’s a real buzz to deliver a great piece of content to a client at the end of a project.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
I just love to see happy clients. Client satisfaction is something I’ve always strived for, and it gives me a great sense of personal achievement too.
Plus, there is nothing quite like the excitement of seeing a project go live and be shown to the world. That comes from working with such a wonderful group of people every day.
What is the best thing about being part of the Powerhouse team?
Without a doubt, it has got to be the people and the culture. It’s so reassuring to feel supported in everything I do, whether that’s work-related or a personal matter.
I feel so fortunate to work in the creative industry with like-minded people. It may sound cliché, but every day really is a happy workday.
What advice would you give to anyone aspiring to work in your kind of role?
Not to steal Nike’s thunder, but just do it – you won’t regret it.
How do you spend your time outside of work?
In a ‘normal’ world, I love travelling – seeing new scenery, meeting different people, experiencing other cultures. The ocean is my favourite place to visit.
Friends and family are really important to me as well (I have twin daughters). You’ll often find me entertaining others and showing off my cooking skills. That, or listening to rock music!
Have you got a favourite food?
Anything with cheese.
But, if had to choose a cuisine, it would be traditional English food – think bangers and mash, a full English breakfast, or a Sunday roast with lashings of gravy, Yorkshire puddings and all the trimmings. Mouth-watering!
Can you recommend any unmissable books, podcasts, TV shows or films?
I adore musicals! Moulin Rouge is one of my favourites, and Passion of the Christ really stirred my soul.
For TV, I’ll happily watch anything about nature, animals or Africa. You can’t beat a good foodie programme either. Although I do have to make a confession: my guilty pleasure is Say Yes to the Dress.
I’m not a huge reader, but when relaxing in the sunshine on the beach then I will pick up a good thriller, crime or true story (such as Ice Man).