The Colourful Multi-faceted World of Mono Ghose

An exciting new addition to the NERD Productions family is Mono Ghose! He grew up playing sports, reading books and watching TV, sometimes too much. But, without a particular taste for science and math, Mono stuck to exploring his artistic side, and here we are.

Interested in football, gaming, reading, and quietly being urged to play the piano, which he never enjoyed, Mono inadvertently fell in love with the Spanish guitar. 

Having Indian heritage, Mono considers Indian storytelling and film tradition a formative part of his upbringing. It’s also a source of his passion for travelling and a diverse perspective. Adding to his already colourful heritage, growing up in the UK and having the experience of being an outsider meant, by will or circumstance, I didn’t have to follow the crowd, which helped me develop a sharp outside-of-the-box thinking and broadened my cultural awareness.’

Mono graduated with a MA in Scriptwriting from Goldsmiths. He studied the best filmmakers from around the globe and learned how to structure and write screenplays across various media. The takeaway was seeing the film as a language for the first time, which has drastically changed how I approach the art form.’

His first industry experience fell on a two-week summer school at Publicis Advertising Agency in Baker Street, London during his Bachelor studies. It was an intensive introduction to the world of ad agencies and how to plan and manage a campaign from scratch. Focused on account management Mono quickly gravitated to the talks and sessions with the creatives, which is where he got the first insight into what was the real direction and this is where he wanted to take his career.

One of the most important lessons he took away since the beginning of his directing career was how to deal with failure and rejection.Whether it’s a pitch, sale or script feedback, I learned to see it as an opportunity to develop my skill set and resilience. It’s also a good test to see how badly you want this as your career including all the ups and downs.’

Mono’s first professional project was a spot for Selfridges with BMB Agency. It was a 60-second spot he directed to advertise Selfridges’ new personal shopping ‘Wonder Room’ area in-store. It was his first big spot and he remembers how everyone waited patiently for Mono to call action, which he eventually did. It was challenging to juggle the different stakeholders from the agency and client-side while maintaining a creative focus with actors and crew. ‘ This balance is something all directors must go through and is a technique I’ve come to excel at and enjoy. ‘


Like nearly every director, Mono had his life/career-changing moment when his short film ‘Lost Bullets’ was long-listed for Oscar. It opened a lot of doors in Mono’s career and got him in front of some industry heavy hitters. The story still resonates with people today and stands up in terms of cinematic quality to other leading shorts.

In directing, Mono loves working with talented people to craft and tell great stories.

I want to achieve impeccable storytelling, draw tight performances and create atmospheric, stunning visuals to match the narrative.’ To keep himself fresh and caught up with everything in the industry Mono watches a lot of ads, good and bad from all over the world. Not hitting the skip button on YouTube and varying his tastes, for example: keeping up to date with exhibitions and art galleries, music, world cinema, NFTs and gaming. 

The creative industry, like any other, is full of good and bad. Mono is not a big fan of the “traditional” route to becoming a commercials director. This is changing with directors coming from other disciplines and backgrounds. The industry could also take calculated risks in storytelling and casting.

On a positive note, the creative industry has never-ending opportunities to tell stories across new formats and media. I’m excited about working with brands open to fresh ideas and storytelling methods.’


Everyone takes their inspiration from somewhere, for Mono, some of it comes from his favourite director Bong Joon-ho. His movies are on the list of those you want to watch again and again to see what’s running underneath (literally in ‘Parasite’) and feel like you’ve been in a filmmaking masterclass after it’s over.

Outside of work, Mono likes keeping fit, reading, playing the guitar and indie games when time permits. Apart from directing, Mono takes time to perfect his travel photography, creating his own game and poetry. He also particularly enjoys the following creations that you might take a note of:

Film: Bong Joon-ho. His stories are thought-provoking and original. 

Ridley Scott. A master of blending visuals, music and story to create iconic cinematic moments. 

Books: George Orwell and Milan Kundera: 

They write in an accessible style which is also ironic, prophetic and timeless. 

Gaming: the creators (Playdead) of the games ‘Inside’ and ‘Limbo’. These indie games show how the atmosphere and a mysterious style with little to no dialogue can carry an entire story.



Lastly, ‘I’m sure, like most artists, I’m driven by the impulse to create a great piece of work that resonates both with the audience and personally.’ We hope you enjoyed an insight into who Mono Ghose is and are looking forward to seeing what NERDy things he creates in the future.

New Signing at NERD: What Rachael Olga Lloyd Loves 24/7

Rachael Olga Lloyd at work - cover image

Exciting times at NERD! We had a chance to catch up with our latest signing creative powerhouse and stop-motion director Rachael Olga Lloyd. We spoke to Rachael about everything and anything under the sun, we hope you enjoy getting to know her as much as we did!


Growing up as a very British kid with a relaxed Christian upbringing Rachael was always a cheeky one with an overactive imagination. Art was one of Rachael’s obsessions; she would make up fantasy stories, draw creatures, witches, and unicorns as a creative outlet. Rachael even had her own little club called ‘The Creepy Club’ where she would tell horror stories at her local school to anyone who would listen.

All these fantasy and horror stories made for a fun childhood and Rachael grew up as a mixture of extrovert and introvert, often switching between those two. Happy-go-lucky, she’s always in touch with her inner child and that’s apparent in her work. She’s both her own harshest critic and her biggest fan!

Rachael kicked off her directing experience back at the university where she was studying Animation and her group of friends won a pitch to make a film for Fair Trials charity. It was her first job as a Director. Getting into stop motion was kind of an accident, allowing her to discover experimental stop motion and realise this is something she wanted to explore. Learning the craft is a continuous process and she always learns something new on the job (as well as discovering things on YouTube as she started out). “Make make make” is the approach Rachael stuck to to perfect her technique and create the stunning films she shares with the world.

The first job for Fair Trials showed Rachael that she can do what she truly loves and get paid for it too. A pivotal piece of work for her was the first film: The Lonely Mountain. After making that it felt like all the pieces fell into place and she understood that animation was what she wanted to spend her life doing. As an artist, she always tries to push her style towards something new – this time, music videos for Frances were a chance to explore her craft even more. Exploring one’s personal style and applying it to their commercial work was the ideal way for development.

As a stop-motion director, a lot of craft is done by hand and this is what Rachael enjoys the most. Seems like a perfect situation doesn’t it? She calls it ‘therapeutic and rewarding as you always have a physical thing to show at the end for your time spent.’ Stop motion involves a lot of problem-solving like making the idea into reality and finding physical things that reflect exactly what you have on your mind which happens to be ‘the most rewarding part of the whole job’ for Rachael.

Speaking of the nature of the job, uncertainty, when the work is slow, does bring its own insecurities, however, Rachael would hate to be a 9 to 5 person. The free time allows her to push her personal style and technique which always comes in handy for any project. Keeping herself fresh and open to new experiences, she enjoys hanging out with industry friends, attending festivals and building connections with people on production.

We see a lot of contradiction when dealing with stop motion: ‘I always find it really sad when stop motion becomes so honed and perfected that most people don’t even know its stop motion!’ and for that reason ‘stop-motion is one of the hardest mediums to use so why use it unless you fully utilize what is so unique about it; the handmade feel and the imperfections.’

We always get excited about stop motion and it is very refreshing to see more and more stop motion animation spots where ‘stop motion being released that is new, different and not aimed at children.’

As in any industry, there’s always space for improvement and ‘green lighting and encouraging more experimental and varied animation is appreciated. There will always be a lot of the same stuff being recycled as it is safe and lucrative. But more risks and pushing boundaries would help. ‘

Being inspired by women in the industry, Rachael feels ‘women directors who have smashed through that cautiousness and have the complete confidence to believe in themselves and their work, and that inspires me a lot as I have had a struggle with it myself.’

Outside of the animation world, Rachael is very much a multi-dimensional individual who likes to hike, watch TV series (Korean dramas) and play computer games. Professional passion still doesn’t go away when thinking about free time as she enjoys all different handcrafts, collecting home pieces during her travels and cats!

Being inspired by Tom Rosenthal and Keaton Henson, Rachel’s taste in music, again, helps her explore different themes in her work. On a nerdy side, ‘Surprise, surprise, I’m a massive nerd. I love gaming in my spare time, RPGs, board games and DnD if I have the time.’

Having followed through Rachel’s story, we see her being always fulfilled by exploring her own style, inspired by everything around her and forever eager to explore. Her passion and drive for her craft make her a perfect match for NERD’s roster, and we could not be more thrilled to have her join our talented team!

NERD’s Airwick ‘Breath of Nature’ wins ‘Best Animation in a Commercial’ at BAA 2022

AirWick

Our photoreal film took the ‘Best Animation in a Commercial’ award at BAA2022 last Thursday. Crafted in collaboration with Havas London and directed by Peter S., this nature-inspired commercial made a lot of noise since it first aired last March. Its incredible high-end animation and whimsical sounds take the viewer through a sunny garden inspired by the director’s local flower market.


One of the most magical features of this spot was the focus on sound design to create a Zen zone that we are witnessing virtually. To accompany the mood of the commercial our team focused a lot on the pace of the animation to dissolve movement and create tranquility of the piece.

Our Executive Creative Producer, Milana Karaica (who is soon to have a lovely baby boy) and Director Peter S. accepted the award on the night:

The rest of the team joined to celebrate:


NERD’s team is incredibly grateful for the recognition of hard work and talent. We are proud to be a part of the community like BAAs as they are the only awards to recognise all forms of animation and reward the work of both new and established animators across all aspects of the UK Animation scene, from student work to commercials, children’s entertainment, short and experiential films, music videos and new technologies.

Women and their allies at NERD on IWD2022

NERD has always been a creative bunch full of diverse talent with strong values at our core and we are on a mission to help our industry be a more diverse & inclusive one for all!


We’ve seen the power of diversity and varied perspectives in our own NERD team and talent roster – more than 75% of our squad is female – but wouldn’t it be great if we could live in a world where this number is not something impressive, where it is just normal? For us IWD is all about breaking the bias, supporting the underrepresented and being surrounded by the proud allies of women!

At NERD we believe that our differences make us stronger! This International Women’s Day we would like to share our thoughts on what this day means to each of us:


Margaux, Social Media Assistant :

‘IWD lets us reflect on the successes of women throughout the years. This is the best day to celebrate and appreciate everything women have achieved and are still trying to achieve.

At NERD, we celebrate women everyday. We celebrate the talent, the passion, and the dedication of the beautiful women that are a part of this team.

The IWD has never just been celebrated one day out of the year. It is celebrated everyday because in every day, there is something for us to celebrate and appreciate in the women around us.’


Lydia, Head of Talent & New Biz:

‘I’ve worked in media sales for over 20 years representing some incredible female directors. At NERD it is so exciting to see so much female talent rising up in animation & live action. A great example to young women making their way through what was a male dominated industry. Keep going girls!!!  I am excited about what is yet to come #wehavegotthis’


Maria, Head of Talent & New Biz Europe:

“IWM is a good moment to remind us of the huge importance of feminine presence in leading roles in society. 

We will always need the equilibrium of masculine ideas, but with all things happening in the world right now, it is evident that the planet Earth is urging for the compassion, sympathy, loving essence of the feminine forces. The world needs us now as leaders!

NERD’s team, including our executive producer, Milana, is a reflection of what compassionate and mindful leaders are, even in a tough industry as advertising could be”


Ira, Creative Producer –  proud ally of women everywhere:

‘International Women’s Day is a great time to celebrate all the courageous and persevering women of the world who endlessly strive to do good and make the world a better place against all odds. 

I see it as the perfect opportunity to be still and reflect on all the women who’ve shown me love and helped me become everything I am today. My heart goes out to my mum, my grandma and all my titas (aunties) and ninangs (godmothers) – today is for you!


Viktoriia, PR Executive:


‘On this day I would like to say THANK YOU to every woman who made a difference in my life. International Women’s Day is after all, just like any other day – a reminder to show your love to everyone and everything around you. I love being a part of a strong female community and on this day, I am insanely grateful to be working in one myself!’’

Shay Hamias, Animation Director & Talent Mentor:

I love finding opportunities to make change happen in the industry, often by simply helping clients discover the importance of inclusion and diversity. I find there’s a benefit to everyone involved!

I usually suggest considering portraying women as heroes, and not just picture-perfect glamorous models but actual women with real body types, skin tones and gender identities. Advertisers and agencies are slowly but surely catching onto the benefits of being more inclusive and forward thinking but it is also our role as creators to help shift perspectives, spark new ideas and allow hearts and minds to grow in love and understanding.


Milana, Executive Creative Producer & Founder:


‘I never had female role models in advertising, I also didn’t notice more than a handful of ethnic individuals in senior positions or those that came from ‘non-traditional’ backgrounds. Bearing in mind that I’m all of those things, my inspiration stemmed from many male-dominated meetings and my fondness for craft and filmmaking.

Together with our male counterparts – there is no reason why we can’t make the industry a more equal one for all talent! As a woman, I don’t want to take away anyone’s opportunity, just an equal chance to try for the same.’

This IWD we are celebrating NERD as a female founded business and pledge, once again , to empower and support women. We encourage you all to celebrate this day or simply say ‘Thank you’ to all the incredible women in your network, from partners and family to your lovely clients and team members.

All illustration by Esther Lalanne.

The Black Cop: a villain, a victim and a hero. 5 Questions we asked Director Cherish Oteka

Exploring the complexities of identity, authority and community with Cherish Oteka, director and producer of BAFTA-nominated “The Black Cop: a villain, a victim and a hero.

NERD: Gamal’s story is about the complex challenges that ethnic minorities sadly have to face to this day. How did you come to know Gamal’s story, and when did you realise that this was something that everybody needed to hear?

Cherish: I first heard about G when I attended a workshop for LGBTQ+ people of colour. During the workshop there was a breakout session to discuss role models within the community and G’s name came up. While I didn’t actually know the details of his story at the time, I reached out to him to generally make contact. G and I built a friendship from there and along the way he shared details of the challenging parts of his journey. He was keen on sharing his story in the hopes that it could help and inspire other people. I knew that this was an important story of overcoming self-hatred and that is a universal journey that could connect with audiences.

NERD: Gamal is proud of who he is and has taken ownership of himself, his past and his identity – all of which he now uses to help better the lives of others. How has his story impacted you personally, and what impact do you think it will have on others?

Cherish: I hope the impact of hearing G’s story will be the same for others as it was for me. While G’s story is shocking and triggering in parts, making the film and meditating on these themes have been healing for me. His story provided an opportunity for me to reflect on pivotal moments I’ve had with my identity and the impact they have had on me. I think everyone can relate to being told directly or indirectly that there are parts of who they are that aren’t good enough. The intention behind this film is to make conscious what is largely unconscious when it comes to self-hatred.

NERD: Race and gender identity are common themes in your work. How do you tell stories to people who have so few touchpoints with the issues facing minorities?

Cherish: Identity as a whole is an area that I am interested in and we all have a sense of self. My approach to storytelling is to tell specific stories in universal ways. In that way, whether someone can directly relate to the struggles of marginalised communities or not is less relevant. It’s ultimately about the emotions that drive our collective experience of humanity and those feelings transcend race, sexuality, class, gender etc.

NERD: There’s a clear exploration of identity, as well as a rallying cry for equality and inclusion. Why did you choose to centre the story of an individual rather than a group of people?

Cherish: G’s story alone touches so many important moments in recent British history. From the Black communities’ resistance of oppressive policing, to the push for LGBTQIA+ equality and the aftermath of the West African ‘farming’ phenomenon, where white families took care of Black children outside the remit of local authorities. There were so many important touchpoints in his story alone that allowed us to speak to several bigger societal issues. Because of this, I didn’t feel like we needed more voices to tell this story. Some of my favourite films are ones that tell big, complicated and nuanced stories through one persons’ perspective and that is what I sought to do with The Black Cop.

NERD: Gamal’s story is inspiring but heart-breaking. Do you have a message for all the young people of colour out there who are silently internalising many of the same conflicts that Gamal faced growing up?

When we think of racism or any other form of bigotry we think of the big events and give little attention to the daily subtle comments and actions that can negatively impact self-esteem. I want us to acknowledge those events, the impact they have and begin or continue a journey of healing.

Want to see more from Cherish? Tap here.

Bossing It: Staying Calm During the Tough Times with Milana Karaica

Our founder and creative executive producer on working like an animal, accepting failure and partying like it’s 1995.

Milana is an active diversity and a passionate equality advocate. Having built a successful diversity-led production company, Milana champions innovative and forward-thinking company culture, focusing on empowering and nurturing accomplished as well as young talent and talent from non-traditional backgrounds.

What was your first experience of leadership? 

After being a runner for a while, I landed a cool new job – Office Manager at a busy production company in Soho. Sounds like quite a boring job if the title is anything to go by BUUUT.. I had a team of amazing runners to help me pull off the most random, eccentric production tasks as well as incredible parties, team bonding trips and sometimes even the most bizarre requests. No day was ever the same, no task was ever the same. It meant always being on your toes, continuously learning, meeting new talented people and partying like it’s 1995 every single day! 

How did you figure out what kind of leader you wanted to be – or what kind of leader you didn’t want to be? 

This job meant that I had to interact with producers and EPs on our day to day.. They had their crew, I had mine and we had to come together to make a job happen. 

It was here that I first got the real taste of amazing leaders and also simply horrific ones too. There were those that were kind, polite and open to sharing their knowledge with others on the team regardless of their social background or what role they played in production. On the other hand, you had those that would talk to people like they were dirt on the bottom of their worn-out trendy Converse trainers! It was painful to watch, listen to and simply be in the same room with. Even though I had only little say at that point in my career, I often clashed with those individuals, perhaps even when the situation didn’t involve me at all as I just could not stand unfair behaviour! I knew I wanted to be different from them, power or no power, I did my best to be supportive but straight up at the same time, both with the ones who were mistreated and the ones that were favoured.

What experience or moment gave you your biggest lesson in leadership?

Being a young EP and getting so ahead too quickly! In my eyes I had the right to be there due to my relentless work energy and never saying no to a random all-night task or an unexpected challenge. With that came the need to prove myself though, to my peers whom I left behind, to older colleagues and specifically those that didn’t like me for many personal or subjective reasons – like being too young, too ethnic, or just for being from Croydon! 

I worked like an animal, day & night. Missing family gatherings, birthdays – doing conference calls at funerals… yes, I did that! However, with the recognition and praise came the ego as well. There was a point where I started to care too much about myself and the unfair treatment I was getting, even in this position and actually forgetting that so many others had it the same or worse, but had much smaller voices than I did. 

Did you know you always wanted to take on a leadership role? If so how did you work towards it and if not, when did you start realising that you had it in you?

I think three weeks into my first job in the industry I knew I would run a production company one day. Not because I wanted to lead, but because it really pissed me off how things were being managed from a clique and classist point of view and I wanted them to be done differently, based on merit and talent.

What are the aspects of leadership that you find most personally challenging? And how do you work through them? 

I hate having to let people go! It’s never nice to have to let someone go so I always try to empower people to see why they may be better at something else or be more suited to another adventure. It’s not fair to keep people on if they are not the best version of themselves as they are wasting their own time too, not just yours. 

Have you ever felt like you’ve failed whilst in charge? How did you address the issue and what did you learn from it? 

We all fail! Sometimes you don’t notice a team member is down and struggling with something, be it personal or work related. Sometimes you don’t initially pay enough attention to a problem or an unusual friction between team members. I believe it’s all a part of the process and if we couldn’t learn and improve continuously in our industry, then I would just quit! It simply means it’s got to the point you don’t care enough anymore.

In terms of leadership and openness, what’s your approach there? Do you think it’s important to be transparent as possible in the service of being authentic? Or is there a value in being careful and considered? 

I think honesty is the most important element of any successful relationship. We value this in our personal relationships so why not in our work collaborations? I’m not saying to share your every thought and worry, but to bring transparency while coming up with suggestions is always appreciated whichever side you are on.

As you developed your leadership skills did you have a mentor, if so who were/are they and what have you learned? And on the flip side, do you mentor any aspiring leaders and how do you approach that relationship? 

I have had a few people to look up to over the years and some of those have let me down which is always devastating while others inspired and motivated me more than I expected. I mentor a lot of young and up & coming talent and always treat those as friendships and close relationships. You really have to get to know a person to be able to see their strengths & weaknesses and how to help them get to be the best they can be. It’s a big responsibility!

It’s been a really challenging year – and that’s an understatement. How do you cope with the responsibility of leading a team through such difficult waters? 

Its not my first rodeo, ha! Sadly, I have had to lead teams through tough times before and that is one of my strengths – No matter what life throws at me, I just produce my way out of it. Staying calm and motivated in times of adversity is the best team bonding exercise you can ever ask for. You will be better for it and come out the other side with wonderful friends and more experience to add under your belt.

This year has seen the industry confronted with its lack of action/progress on diversity and inclusion. As a leader how have you dealt with this? 

As a change maker in this specific area it’s been a fantastic year for my talented Directors, Illustrators and Photographers! They are finally getting the opportunities they have been side-lined for in the past for unfair reasons and they get to have a bit more of a spotlight.

How important is your company culture to the success of your business? And how have you managed to keep it alive with staff working remotely in 2020? 

As a company that represents diverse talent, we have been a global company since our first day. Working remotely has not really meant that we have had to change a thing about how we craft. Our company culture is the only reason I started NERD, so it is the key to what we do, how we do it and why – every day! 

What are the most useful resources you’ve found to help you along your leadership journey? 

Other passionate and creative people!

NERDy Work Secrets from Lydia, Head of Business and Talent

As a production company that represents diverse talent and crafts for global clients, NERD Productions has always been progressive in everything we do! We had mastered the WFH concept way before it became a thing we all now call ‘the new normal’.

The creative industry never sleeps and we need to be at the top of the game, producing and creating inspiring visuals. To our team production is all about human connection and relationships, this is why we have Lydia. She is a ray of sunshine and that one person who always brightens up every room she ever happens to be in. We spoke to her and she shared her secrets of working and nailing it at NERD!

We hope these thoughts give you an insight into what it is like to be a NERD and rock the world of production!

  1. Our talent pool is where the magic happens. I feel motivated when I watch our directors shine, see them grow within their skillset, and the spark in their eyes when they receive the next script to work on.

  1. The importance of maintaining relationships is what numerous lockdowns have taught me. It is important to gain but also maintain those relationships with our creatives, friends, and producers. We like to have casual chats and catch-ups with our clients and talent. Good relationships always lead up to a fantastic job in the creative industry!

  1. NERD is a bunch of very creative people and we thrive when we receive exciting scripts. As a sales rep, my day-to-day life consists of lots of calls, emails, knock-backs, and cancellations. This line of work is extra rewarding, especially when you secure another wonderful project. That being said, receiving inspiring, creative scripts is one of the main points that makes me excited about work!

  1. NERD Productions is a big family. The past year has proven how close we all are and how important it is to be there for each other every step of the way. After all, we are all in the same boat and we sail together! The culture at NERD is what keeps me going – regular catch-ups, Zoom coffees, virtual parties, and that general feeling of belonging and care.

  1. Last but not least is running. This is one of those activities when I connect with my body, let it flourish, and nurture my mind. I like to get a good early morning run at least 2-3 times a week. What is better than a sense of accomplishment and endorphins early in the morning? Ready to crack on and keep winning! 

Whole Earth ‘WE’RE WITH YOU THE WHOLE WAY’

We’re proud to announce that our latest TVC for Whole Earth goes live today! This collaboration was made in peanut-buttery heaven as we love the brand’s creativity, heritage, patriotism, love of sport, and dedication to making the Earth whole again. 

There is nothing more we enjoy than using our creative skills to craft visuals for feel-good brands that have sustainability at heart.

Milana Karaica, EP.

This film was a true collaboration with creative agency Isobel featuring Joe Fraser, Holly Bradshaw, Helen Glover and Zoe Smith; four outstanding Team GB athletes living the Olympic dream and training relentlessly for the upcoming Games in Tokyo.

The tactile film transports us across the globe to a quirky, sunny and earthy animated rendition of Japan dreamt up by the animation and design team at NERD where we get a glimpse into the lives of our Team GB athletes. We feel their passion come right through the screen as we see them vault, split and heave their way to victory.

NERD’s very own Shay Hamias directed the charming, handcrafted film, his playful sense of fun and whimsy visual approach is a natural fit for the spirit of this film. 

“I had a real blast creating this film! We used hand-drawn animation, photography, cutouts and all sorts of different textures and layers to craft this mixed media universe. The hardest part was probably arranging to film the athletes as their busy schedules, difficulties with access to their usual training spaces and double-safe COVID production measures made for a real challenge!”

Shay Hamias, Director

The creative process was made particularly enjoyable by the agency team who gave us a lot of freedom to explore the best visual ways to bring different elements to life, like when we had to come up with novel ways to incorporate jars of peanut butter into an athletic routine. We also needed to find ingenious methods to get the required live-action footage, including digging up a vintage rowing machine for Helen and figuring out clever ways for Holly to simulate some vaults. Whole Earth generously provided us with an overflowing supply of peanut butter on set – we just chalk it down to the perks of being a production company!

The real fun came after all the footage was captured and we went into post-production as we needed to get just the right blend of smooth animation and organic, crunchy textures for Whole Earth’s lovable, delicious product. We wanted the visuals to be every bit as authentic as the yummy spread itself. Animating the athletes was no easy feat either, but we luckily had help from another NERD director Peque Varela. She perfected their playfully natural cartoon movements and made sure the object tracking was on point.

We were lucky to work with friendly, fantastic, best-in-class talent on every side and we’re really happy with what we’ve all created. It’s always a fun, collaborative process when we get briefs like this from perfect agency teams and we’re always down to cook up new approaches and try out-of-the-box routes! 

The spot airs nationwide from today, if you happen to see it do cheer our team on. Watch the spot here and join the journey!

NERD Productions is a creative production company in London. We represent a diverse roster of hand-picked directors, illustrators and photographers who craft memorable, engaging and award-winning animation, illustration, live-action, mixed-media and photography for television, digital, social, editorial and everything in between.

NERD’s Queer Artists on What Pride Means to Them

#PrideMonth at NERD is a special time when we reflect on our efforts to represent LGBTQIA2S+ community throughout the year 🌈 ! Our goal is to keep increasing awareness of the community, its history and identity. We are proud to represent LGBTQIA2S+ talent and spread the word about everything they do 🏳️‍🌈. This year we will be sharing a brand new series of posts called ‘NERD’s Queer Artists on What Pride Means to Them’ updated every Wednesday till the end of June!

Ira Giorgetti

Pride month is a time when people from all creeds, backgrounds and beliefs come together to uplift one another and celebrate the things we all hold in common. It’s a time of gratitude, of love, of peace and of hope. A time to unite and appreciate how far we’ve come in our fight for a more equal, diverse, inclusive and representative world. 

Pride By Ira Giorgetti

I find Pride month is a great time to reflect on my work and how it relates to, engages with and enriches the lives of others in the community. Alongside my commercial work I love to collaborate with other queer artists and discover the interesting truths and stories people in the community have got to share. My personal project in development titled ‘Transmigration’ was inspired by all the brave and amazing queer folk I’ve crossed paths with and gotten to know over the last couple of years, many of whom I met at Pride! 

Pride by Ira Giorgetti

It’s important for LGBTQIA2S+ people to celebrate their individuality, spirit and history as well as an opportunity for the entire community to come together and unashamedly be who they truly are. Celebrating Pride and diversity and the spectrum of sexuality gives everyone an opportunity to expand their thinking and grow more accepting of the people they share their cities with. It’s also a great time to just have fun and uplift those around you, some of whom may be going through more than they let on.

Ira is a London-based creative producer and photographer at NERD Productions. See more from Ira here.

Roman Bratschi

Pride means to me to be who you are and do whatever you want without living in fear or shame! I’m grateful to live my life as I want and always have the support of my friends and family.

Roman is a 3D Illustrator and Animation Director. See more from Roman here.

Shay Hamias

With pride month being taken over by commercial companies in recent years, it has lost its origins of speaking truth to power, and I feel less represented by it.

When I was asked to write about what pride month means to me, I wasn’t sure what to say. NERD, led by Milana, is truly all about diversity.
I am proud to work for a company that facilitates diversity and inclusion across race, gender and sexual identity throughout all of its projects. I am proud that I get to collaborate with people from a range of diverse backgrounds, and I’m proud that it’s done all year round, not just one month of the year.

Shay is an award-winning Animation Director and mentor at NERD. See more from Shay here.

James Gifford

For me, Pride is about love and acceptance no matter your identity. Pride welcomes anyone who’s ever been made to feel out-of-place or ashamed of who they are. I don’t think self-love should ever be quiet or hidden away, but rather celebrated loudly, proudly, and with open arms.

James is an Illustrator at NERD. See more from James here.

Ian Clarke

Visibility matters. Pride started as a protest, and that protest later became a celebration of all things LGBTQI+. People were initially quite uncomfortable seeing gay people proudly parading themselves on the streets, and refusing to apologise for being themselves. London in 2021 is a fantastic place to be a gay man, I am married to the person I love and society’s recognition of that union means everything.

However attacks against LGBTQI+ in the UK are on the rise again. In other less tolerant countries Pride parades are violently dissolved, with assistance from local police forces. Trans people face discrimination and the threat of violence on a daily basis. You see, although, some of us have legal protection and acceptance from society, many more struggle to be their authentic selves every single day.
Visibility matters. Pride should always remain a loud and proud protest.

Ian is an award-winning Animation Director. See more from Ian here.

As Pride month comes to end, we would like to remind that inclusivity and LGBTQA2S+ rights should be a priority during the whole year, both in your day-to-day life and in the workplace.

Discovering ‘Medela’, directed by Shona Auerbach.

This calming film by our Shona Auerbach was one of the projects this year that has brought the sense of normality and joy to everyone on set and in production! 

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Many mums would agree with us that breastfeeding can sometimes be exhausting. This is where Medela takes over and you can have more time to enjoy a few moments doing what you desire with your little one!

This was a project shot mid-COVID featuring REAL new mums, real people! It was important to bring a sense of confidence and comfort to the set.

Let’s see how Shona pulled it off:

To be honest, I hardly noticed the restrictions other than wearing masks.  I often work with the same crew, we are a good team together, we like each other and that makes a big difference. The team I didn’t know was the agency. We had done several Zoom calls beforehand so I felt like we had spent some time together. That helped us, and I think we worked well together.

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Our Founder & Executive Producer Milana Karaica also adds:

We had to capture that very special & delicate bond between a new mother and her precious little baby, now try doing that during a global pandemic. Our task was even more challenging by the fact that we wanted to capture these special moments by real mums and babies, not actors. As a new mum, myself to a 5 month old baby girl, at the time, I knew exactly how anxious mums can be and what our mums were going through during these unfamiliar times.

This is why I knew Shona was the right person for the job! If we were to get our mums to relax, trust and open up to us so we can be let in on those intimate nuggets, we needed a director that would make the set feel safe and mums looked after.

Click the image to play.

It is such a calming and relaxing film, Shona was working with little angels this time, while previously directing professional actors like Gerald Butler in her feature films.

How different was it this time for Shona?

I think the babies in Medela were great, but it helped because they were with their mothers most of the time, so they didn’t really notice whether we were filming or not.  Filming non-actors is always different and working with children is another type of direction too, so you have to approach it with a more captured attitude.  

Pre-filming, I have ideas in my head on how I would like it to play out but inevitably working with children allows some spontaneity. They are too young to direct in a formal sense and therefore I try to guide them in a direction but I am open-minded that they may give me any number of alternative moments which I have to then adapt to. Although I may be aiming for a particular vision, it may not always be possible because they are not actors, therefore I try to create a space where they can feel as comfortable as possible, allowing me to capture moments. 

Working with actors is different again, I can have an image in my head and how I would like it to play out and with the help of the actor, I can go all out to make that happen.  All these options work for me, and ultimately in the end I am looking for the most natural performances, they are just different techniques of getting it.

Enjoy the film and see more from Shona here.