MEET: Charlotte Ward
Owner and Creative Director
Walking out the door without your camera is a forgivable action. Less so, when part of the reason you are walking out the door is to take photos of someone.
Luckily for us, we were meeting Charlotte Ward, the Creative Director and Producer at Patos Productions. We therefore rounded off the interview with her letting us borrow her (much more impressive) camera. The patience of a saint, we tell you.
It was a suitable ending though really - because that sums up who she is. Entrepreneurial, prepared, and always with a camera in hand.
Tell us about yourself?
My name is Charlotte Ward and I’m currently studying History with Innovation at the University of Bristol. Alongside that, I have decided to set up my own production company where I create short promotional videos in a documentary format. It was inspired by my summer spent in Barcelona for a production company called OTOXO. It was absolutely unreal and I just fell in love with the industry. I just realised that so many people are running creative projects, setting up businesses, and their stories really need telling.
Do you think this is especially relevant for creatives?
Without generalising, I think that a lot of creatives don’t necessarily know how to express themselves in a way where everyone understands what they set out to do. Of course, the aim is to express what they want to do and how much it means to them. I love being able to distill their information into a clear story.
What work are you doing right now?
At the moment I’m working with the Brigstow Institute which is a Uni of Bristol Research Institute. They’re currently working with Bristol Zoo and researchers and I’m basically helping them make a promotional video for them to take to conferences.
Who else do you tend to work with?
A lot of my client base are creatives or young business owners who need to have a way of showing their story. It’s about distilling people’s stories so, for example, for the last story I edited something down from 1 hour to 2 minutes. I just love it, you have to really know and understand what they want to bring across which is a skill in itself.
What else motivates your work?
I really love what I do and I really want to work full time doing this but, more than that, I just want to help people. I think this skill I have is so useful for the modern world, especially with social media. Everyone is trying to do it and I feel like they feel they should be able to do it because they have their phones and it can film but it’s actually more difficult than people may assume. It’s about having a creative eye and learning about the technological background.
We agree. So, in an ideal world, where do you see Patos Production going?
Well, it’s mixed. In my hearts of hearts, I would love to build this up to a business. I am a businesswoman as well as a creative so I’d really love to launch this into a big career. The dream is to be more managerial. I love doing all of these little bits and it’s absolutely key that I know what I’m doing. I could never tell someone what to do if I didn't understand it myself. I also don’t want to lose the core ethos of what I want to do so, really, I just want my career to go where it leads me.
Does your work convey a particular message?
My work conveys whichever emotional message the client needs it to convey. So at the moment, the character of my most recent video is so passionate about her work, she’s almost tearful, so the emotion I’m conveying is passion. But, saying that, I’ve also done a video for a homeless charity and, for that, the emotion was gratitude. Emotions are always at the core of what I do.
Speaking of emotions, what has been the happiest moment of your career so far?
There’s two of them. One was when I premiered a documentary that I had made with OTOXO. It was a proper premiere in the cinema and it was so intense and stressful but just incredible at the same time. After the premiere, someone from the film was crying telling us how we had conveyed his life so well and for someone to do that was just precious. The other moment was similar in a way. I showed my half-completed video to one of the teams who had hired me and it was unfinished, bit of a mess, and he was so impressed. That was amazing.
It strikes us that you’re very much the business and creative head of Patos Productions. How would you define your version of creativity?
I’m actually one of those people who doesn’t regard themselves as creative because I’m quite scientific and analytical in nature, but I also think that anyone who chooses what to wear in the morning, who puts their makeup on, who writes a text even, that’s creating. It just so happens that my type of creating is storytelling.
So when you’re not doing Patos Productions, what are you up to?
I just hang out with my friends, go to the pub, and do more of this! My hobby is video production so that’s more my business now! I also absolutely love reading too, especially fiction. I’ve just finished my favourite series which is called the Shardley series, it’s all about a tudor lawyer and of course, I love Harry Potter, but who doesn’t?
Of course. So, aside from Harry Potter, what’s your favourite piece of Art?
My favourite piece of Art is probably a painting of Emma Hamilton. The reason I love that painting is because it’s of my favourite historical figure. She was the mistress of Horatio Nelson, as in the admiral. She started off as a prostitute on the streets of London and she worked her way up to being Lady Hamilton in Naples. She basically ruled Naples, and then she ran off with Horatio and became one of the most famed women. She was like Diana; it was that level. Plus she did it all by having these provocative paintings done of her. I just love how she had the daring to do that
And is there anything you do that you know is different to most people?
I really take on and listen to what people want. I know that sounds really vague but I really try and figure out what people want and what they’re trying to achieve, so whether that’s just socially and a friend is going through some relationship drama and I want to figure out what is actually going on or whether it’s within my business, I don’t look at things small scale. I always draw it out and see how everything fits together.
Ok, last question...When you’re feeling down what’s your best way up?
I’m a very happy dancy person so I call all my friends for a group chat and we drink some wine and dance around the kitchen.
We know Charlotte is a busy lady but she’s keen to collaborate so get in touch and we’ll link you up. Until then, why not browse Charlotte’s portfolio? You can look on her website here