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Media Masters with Paul Blanchard
welcome to media Masters series of one-to-one interviews with people at the top of the new game by Terri white Empire 2015 timeout North America where she led the New York and Chicago auditions an award-winning editor with 19 years experience she has worked for publishers on both sides of the Atlantic including womanandhome Maxim hot list and lifestyle as a writer she's been published by gratsia Q red and L and A broadcast career includes a regular appearances on Radio 4 talk radio BBC sky ITV news and thank you for having me does everybody say that well.
I'm still in shock at all the list of all of those achievements.
I've already got an early awesome things.
Congratulations, thank you very much, and I've always had a kind of all consuming psychotic ambition me to you got ability as well as I have to work harder.
I've got unlimited intellect and capacity for Rational thoughts but I'm a grafter tell you what I think it's one of the most underrated things people forget and I know that right so it's always going to the value and the importance of grass think it's a combination of things that is telling it is look.
There's a lot of looking well, please also really being prepared to put the hours in and put the working I think especially being added her in this day and age it may be not as glamorous and hands off as it once was small valley resources.
I've always been a very handsome, but you've just got a graft and I think graft underpins everything Grafton grit the problem is everyone says they Grafton
Employ 13 people and I find a few people over the years where I've had them thinking they rafters and it turns out that the opposite and I think they believe there is something you might have 6 hours a day does a hard day, but I think it's important to say that you can graft and have balance.
So I've never been good at balance.
I've always been 16 hours a day working the weekend didn't really have much for a personal life for most of my 20s and early 30s, but you know it's easy when if your kind of things in your creator.
It's really easy just to ignore that entire part of your life and instead completely be consumed by which then becomes identity which then means you give more to work it becomes this kind, but I actually the last few years.
I've become a real kind of advocate for balance, but what I do think is as a team leader and other manager and as an editor.
You have people of varying kind of Ages working for me you have to be an exemplar you have to be an example.
There's no point me saying go home.
Have a great life like coming refresh the next day and then sitting at till 10 at night because that is a terrible example and I don't think any editor should be kind of expecting that level of at their desk working from their team either and I think it's probably time in my life when I really believed.
It was all about the hours.
That was all about how much time as putting it in and I think part of that actually Wi-Fi working men's Media for years and I was absolutely but the only way I could be as well regarded as the men I worked with was to work out minus granddaughter, but the comparison has been made before which was I thought if I work longer hours if I dedicate myself much more then I will.
Level playing field with them because I knew that I really wasn't because I was a woman or a girl really at that point.
I'm really proud of my business is 70% female it might be a sexy things to say to a bit crap.
I mean empire Empire is probably 64th.
It wasn't I was very very heavily male very very heavily Mail which probably doesn't surprise people it's a film magazine.
It's a specialist magazine my friend magazine your favourite.
You are in fact a man self defined as a man.
I think that balance in office is really great and have to say I have worked with some men who may be went as committed or as didn't take it seriously women have always the women who work for me but always been super focused super on it needs a generalisation of but there are also three men who work for me on Empire
The hardest working most talented group of people I've ever employed and I think that's because of their genuine love and passion for the subject we can create a special versions podcast without that in and then we'll just block their IP address of they get the edited version to read that you can imagine that you were only ever going to track people who genuinely passionate about it was why would you be a half-assed film journalist passionate about it or you're not really for the money or the fame All The Comforts of any of those things everybody who works on Empire we are such a weirdly disparate group of people but the one thing she nights of is a fierce love and passion for film and everybody's different.
We've got like and Geeks of one type in one corner and it's a completely different type in another corner.
But that unifying love and it is to the bone.
Love is really really what gels together as a team and I think that's what you feel on the pages of Empire do you don't really cos I think everybody is just a human being but the only one time.
It's happened was when Steven Spielberg was coming to the Empire Awards Steven Spielberg as well.
Steven Spielberg the man flesh and blood in a pair of shoes standing in front of you by Steven Spielberg have not been my most impressive move but we did invite him to the Empire Awards many times over the last 25 years which is how long it would have been going for and
Wasn't able to make it and he was kind of the one holder who would never had through the doors and we wanted to give him the Legend of which is the biggest on and play a gift at the Empire awards and we kind of put the asking and we waited months when my mum said months went by and I remember where I was when I got the phone call.
I was in it was when the snowstorm hit in December 2016 1671 of the studio publish this saying Stephen can make it.
Can you let me know when I can you let me know what you should wear and I was like you slightly and then he actually entered the room so he was flying in and he was going to make it in a really kind of tight timeframe and I was wearing a piece composed coating it with Chris Hewitt or associated.
And in my pee so go seems to be a big is 90 minutes away.
I heard the voice of God in my ear giving me, like those news anchors do but with you no like cinematic icons and remember Chris within the middle of probably this really nasty joke when the word in the event seems just walked in the room.
I'm sure it was some kind of really craft like childish like joker something so quick as Steven doesn't hear this and then he came up on stage accepted the talks about his love for empire and that I have to say that was the one moment in my entire career where I was like what I remember that because obviously quoted environment in in the magazine will be quite touch without because it wasn't generic la platitude Hollywood nonsense.
It was real and could tell it was heartfelt, and it would it was there was detailing there about what he loved about the magazine.
I've been fixed frankly it's one of them really special things about Empire that I've never really experience on any of the other brands.
I've worked on in the same degree which is those relationships with which go back decades people with supported through the years films with kind of been invested in from the start sandylight Edgar Wright for example who was been really is the magazine since his very first film even though we gave it one star initially Fistful of fingers.
I don't think you for giving up for that, but those are really important the magazine that isn't to say you can kind of be impartial when it comes to the film because we are even if that creates a difficult conversation, but it does mean is there is an intimacy and trust between you and that person.
That's why we get a great great access.
It's why they give us so much of their time.
You're not talking about 20 minutes and a drum kit room.
You are talking about proper solid time often in their home in Los Angeles wherever they are.
Will be the only people in the world on set all of that comes from the trust and the love that exists between empire and they still make good you clearly passionate about movies and passion about cinema, but that doesn't necessarily mean you like every movie.
I mean I mean I like a most of the films in The Conjuring universe.
What about the most recently? It was a bit sure it will go and see any other sequel that they make James Bond and it's just old techniques like a book Fein office elf making a big bang, but it's all paid my money to say that because it's scary the tapestry right and that's what I mean when I talk about the different kind of tastes and sensibilities on Empire is I like my son type film to I'm obsessed with Shane Meadows so I think it's one of the greatest working filmmakers John Waters if the Simpsons with him in it there a Blue Inc in his cultural footprint is everywhere.
I have very similar tastes, but then the rest of the team have they are very similar tastes in?
Auntie love and no in-depth every single film every single, it's to insure as a team.
We have a patchwork of expertise and knowledge and passion that means we've got pretty much every Tarantino's interesting to me cos I think most of us was a genius.
I think he's clear genius.
I love watching it, but I wouldn't want to have dinner with him because he clearly is a bit of a dick in my you and I would rather you know.
I don't want to separate the art from the artist when I've got no desire to be around him.
I think if you are a film nerd or any kind of film obsessive.
I think you would love to fit in a room with Tarantino for 2 hours because you know just look at his body if we look at the references that making craft comes from a place of love and obsession and I think that would make him fantastic company and I'm sure it's not messaging dating.
I haven't no we just sent our feet.
So he went to do the cover story on Once Upon a Time in Hollywood he went in the Edit suite with Tarantino's.
Spent a few hours with him did a big Empire 30th celebration future with him that he was very generous with her time and again.
You know we were there any who was the second editor of Empire on the only three podcast by Barry mcilhenny.
What does the voice of course supported Reservoir Dogs when it first came out so that's a perfect perfect example of the kind of links back to Empires Legacy of filmmakers.
That's why I think so unique is it the sort of Robert Redford doesn't have lunch with you, but like an up-and-coming actor will be desperate to have lunch with you.
Is there like a level where or refusal?
Things anyway because you want to take you to lunch because I want you to be on my side.
Try and subliminally when you are we are very strict to Empire and I'm particularly very passionate about editor independent editorial integrity.
We are a consumer magazine for film fans.
We are not a trade publication for the film studios and distributors.
That is a really important distinction that means is there has to be certain processes in place to ensure impartiality as much as possible because let's be fundamentally the job of Empire is to say if you got 15 quid on no reason to know if you have 15 quid and you're going to go to the pictures this weekend.
You weren't dead all week and we're going to tell you where to put that money and actually that film is shit and we gave it.
Because we really like that filmmakers our readers would never ever ever forgive you so those things at Empire of course a relationship to people have viewed a certain director or resetting actor multiple times, but there are so many rules of things like you know if somebody has a particularly close relationship with the director.
They're not allowed to review their films.
They have a particular dislike for Rosanna I would never put them on a genre film that they automatically going to have a bias towards we double review pretty much everything if it's a 1 star or a five-star.
I personally see it to validate that Review because they're at the opposite end of the spectrum and a 1 star review can be incredibly harmful and so we need to be sure it's absolutely right and all these processes.
Do you get death threats from people that you've won starred?
Three or four years maybe even longer they have lived it.
They have breathe it is everything to them.
They fundamentally believed in it and also somebody else believes in it to put a shitload of money into it if we're going to come along and say it is so abysmally bad.
We're going to give it one star that is something that we cannot do likely and it's very rare you end up in that situation because most films of that wouldn't ever get married or would not get shown once they have been made somebody would work out from seeing the daily saw something that it wasn't right and why I sent the reviews actually change people's Minds cos this is my place of warmth in a place of every huge respect what you do, but I remember reading your review of the new Ghostbusters a couple of years ago before I read it.
I knew I was going to see anyway, so he wants it did matter what you said cos I wanted it to inform it, but in another sense.
He didn't say I was going to go and see anyway in any fact you work and have hit the nail on the head really which is that it was an admirable effort enjoyable.
And you know that was just a bit patchy but will still worth seeing on a plane.
Are you know and I will watch it.
So what we find is that people use reviews in one of two ways one of which is so they already have their opinion of what it's going to be in that they going to go and see it, but they want us to reassure them that they're right and the second one is they are genuinely unsure so they will go.
There are three for this weekend.
I could say and if there is an Avengers endgame out or something which is kind of a dead cert and they will use the reviews to filter out which one they say we know that empire reviews do have an impact on can take because I refuse travel way beyond UK audience would get me using the reviews and then the red 5-star trotted out and I will go and see that then and I would have never considered it but for that and you know where to start if you want if you're thinking something is solid with your money.
He's got a 2 star review that is going to give you pause when you are spending your own money.
That's a reality and actually reviews of become more important not less important in terms of Empires Brand and there's a lot is it less important because there an hour so many people with so many opinions you know the complete digitisation of Media especially filmedia where everybody can have a blog and a platform in an opinion.
I personally I'm a huge fan of the democratization of any kind of voice.
I think a monolithic voice in any culture is kind of dangerous that also means that you go to the editorial safety Empire that there's something that you actually respect and I'll Legacy has become more and more important so the fact we have been around thirty years the fact that we have usually got it right with a few you know absolutely papers, but we have usually get it right people have trusted us for a very long time or average subscriber has been with us and minimum of a decade to decade.
Is that is like a relationship based on trust and so I think that trust has even more value in a kind of phonetic digital culture.
We have now when it comes through to actually for me.
They've become a more core part of the empire and it's frustrating when I think of Bond Skyfall such a great film and I was going to see that anyway and then Spectre I thought was going to be great and you pre warned me that it was actually a bit shit really.
I'm not feel terrible for because I wanted to I love Daniel Craig wanted it to 60 but other than the opening.
It was a load of crap is all over the place to buy Spider-Man 3 thing and we have to be the people willing to say that other that's not my favourite thing is to get you know five people from the office who have got impeccable kind of critical eye and we go and see it together and then we're in a WhatsApp group together and we.
How old is kind of different floors were they all the stuff? We think is great there is so much river that goes into a final review never just kind of tossed out a minutes notice and without doubt that triggering without that trust.
What does empire have fundamentally I mean what fascinates me as well as and this morning with a clean shave their critics journey, but you know there was the journey in that narrative where critics would become too cruel and silicon with was able to leave and you know much as I've made Philip French you know God Rest his soul blah blah.
I grew up reading Observer thinking why don't you ever enjoyed any movie whatsoever and I stopped reading him because every day every film was just the unit was just slated in my view Leonard maltin descending the only review I had when I was growing up and he was clearly very clever erudite man that would analyse the film but he didn't have that the absolute sense of you no warmth Enthusiasm for the medium that you guys.
That's why I loved it and still love Empire but with some fans first and foremost before way critics right, so that's the lens that we view everything through we hope everything is going to we never go into a film going off got a better fish it we go in with a absolute genuine.
Hope that it's going to be great but if it's not we are also prepared to be the people like the film front and go guys.
This is really not prepared to be disappointed, but there was definitely the kind of you know acerbic critic who enjoyed deconstructing a film and pulling it apart and and and I enjoy it but I think it's You Forget Who You writing for which is you are writing for the average person who's going to go and put their money down in the pictures and you're not writing for other critics.
That's the fundamental thing.
Also as I said before that is somebody his work.
I think you have to be able to stand by everything you write on a page if that director walks in a room tomorrow.
You should be able to look at him or her and say to somebody at this is what I felt like didn't work.
I think this kind of detachment of writing something quite cruel and quite personal or productive and then kind of sending it off into the ether and saying job.
I think people forget that there are human beings involved in it and that actually who are you writing that for because fundamentally are you writing that for yourself and for people like you or are you writing it for film fans? Who have to keep a lot of Secrets I mean for example you have you get an advance.
Copy of a Specter for example.
I mean everyone you months in advance that clearly Christoph Waltz was going to be Blofeld for going to say who's the quote unquote secret in the world, but then you must see that and then you might have to write a story speculating whether he might be Blofeld knowing that he is so how do you balance that because of many many films?
Don't want to be told that spoiling you even though you're speculating you actually no that would be weird in any other form of June as well, so I find a lot of India because I spend time with the studios in Los Angeles I go over a few months.
We see advanced Materials to decide what covers we want to do over the next year which films and we think like most promising and I think it's really important.
We keep it under nda and spoil spoilt little shoes a real thing and I will say we should never I'm very cautious about spoilers and I always say we never write anything in a review that you genuinely loved discovering for the first time you looking because we are robbing people of that experience and this will be the next question is trailers do that all the tablets with Terminator 2 you know the first third of Terminator 2 was which one is there to protect her and the trailer give it away.
You know the t-800 has been sent to protect.
I think I'm
Did you hear from the readers a lot that they won't watch some trailers if they are really really scared of being spoiled.
They will just not watch the trailer at all some people say to me that they buy them and they save the cover feature for after they seen the film so some people use it to get them excited for the film.
That's coming out and then no spoilers in our features, but some people they save it and then they open it as a treat after they've seen the film to see how it fits with what they've just say it and I think our job is to respect the experience of the Cinematic experience for me has never been more important than it is right now when you put all this of a noise in your actual life, which includes social media which includes all of the things competing for your time and attention like it's like Amazon Prime like Disney plus.
You know within the next year then the cinema is a singular unique immersive experience unlike anything.
Tell me where else you go and you turn your phone off.
Hopefully unless you're a psychopath for up to 3 hours and you just give yourself over to the story.
That's been told on-screen.
I think it's one of the most beautiful human experiences.
We still have and so for me everything that we do have to be about protecting that cinematic experience.
I know me starting a question single.
I'm not a psychopath immediately identify as many as 1, but I agree with you people who use phones in cinemas are Psychopaths and kill Em All the lights so bright as well end up doing the typing the touching but I can't this is my problem is I've no tension outside the cinema and forced to turn my phone off in the cinema at home and sometimes triple screening the film is on but I'm on IMDb on my phone to him.
Where do I know the actress from? What's what she been in not paying attention to the dialogue, but I've probably got my iPad up as well and I'm on Twitter following the actor.
Very quickly check in the news to see what's gone wrong for me is the difference between the cinema and watching something at home and let you know we launched pilot TV stick TV magazine and we are huge respective.
What is happening in television especially is the single biggest change to film and entertainment in the last two decades and it is but I think what's become more clear over time is the panic about.
Oh my god.
It's going to Rob from cinemas.
People are going to pay to watch films.
Just none of that is actually been born at London's mentality and never cancelled Netflix but it is me what they're on streaming service.
I'll have that as well.
Let's be honest.
So you won't stop going to the cinema know what you what you have because the experience had become so as you say you're sat at home.
You're watching the telly but you open out your on Twitter I do exactly the same thing but when I'm in the cinema.
I give myself over 100% and that's what I think make some complementary experiences rod.
Is they are so different and yeah feel your timing of in really meaningful way anyway, we know that actually the hours.
They're spending watching great shirts which is how I define has gone up and up and up and up.
They've not said I'm not going to go and see that the pictures because I'm just going to wait for it to come out on Home and in 6 months.
That's not the mentality at all, but they will watch something and then they will go to the cinema and watch Avengers endgame.
All the souvenir or whatever film was taking their fancy that we have some pet it's because you're not I I despair that I love The Lion King for example.
I don't understand why the allies obviously know where they've done a shot for shot remake of it with photo animation because it's already made her sit on a money and I get that but I've got no interesting and it's James Earl Jones still other people have been recast.
Fascinating Superhero movies are popular because teenage boys have the money I get that but I don't interest me about fantasy good actually when you look at the demographics behind Superhero movies it isn't seen anybody that's interested and it's actually women so cinema going so the cinema going public is made up of 51 and that's what people forget if they always go you know these are the people who are going to the cinema 51% of the cinema going audience are female and when you look at something like Avengers endgame.
They are hitting every demographic.
I think it's really gone from you know the 90s where comic books were for a certain type of basement dweller and all of that kind of have something like Avengers endgame and Avengers infinity war that came before it Captain Marvel black panther these are Shakespearean tales of love and family and Betrayal
With some of the best special effects we've seen in film and they are imbued with so much heart and so much kind of Incredible production values at the same time.
These are actually have this huge appeal to so many people but fundamentally I think it always comes back to the same thing which is cinema is an escape and that's not an escaped kind of a yourself escape to discover a new world.
It's in escape to consider a different reality it's a mistake because it's too hot outside and Forest of Dean head and it's everything it's just the chance to stop crying for an hour and a half an object business.
I don't cry and I cry hysterical stop feeling emotions in real life, but I'm prepared to for the movies back on what you mentioned earlier Studios actually like because it must be kind of symbiotic relationship.
You do need them, but they also need you and if you know if you if you give us a film A 2 star review even though it's honestly held andinos editorially right as you believe that that's got it affect their bottom line to produce the film and he got to start with you quite apart from feeling defensive and hurt that someone had said what I done.
It wasn't that great but I also think that's cost me a million dollars over yeah, but I think they know you know after 30 years.
They they understand what it's what it's about with empire and I think they trust us to be speaking from a place of truth from a place of no Agenda and it fell apart from what we genuinely sing we have amazing relationships with the studio's because you know the issue.
That is out on stands at the moment.
We have all of the new joker film Joaquin Phoenix in one image released by Todd Phillips director on Instagram like 9 months ago or something there has been nothing.
Apart from the trailer and we were the first people in the world to speak to both of them to get brand new never before seen pictures which one all over the internet and almost caused me to have that people there is a a relationship because there is value on both sides, so they know if they come to us with a world exclusive like that.
We have our princess station in the UK but then we have our social retail social platforms have a combined Rachel 1.6 million hour podcast which is huge which we just got a highest ever figures for a spoiler special which was almost half a million downloads are weekly episodes get on average $70,000 loads, but the entire ecosystem of Empire is a huge powerful beast so they know we won't have decided films good yet, but we are going to really dig into what makes it.
Exciting because we only put films undercover we think too exciting what makes the film unique.
What is the filmmaker trying to do? What is the actor trying to do? What is so singer in special? What is going to make me part with my money they also know that when it comes time to review the Joker the fact.
We've had the world exclusive has no bearing on what review that yet as you say that doesn't mean they're going to be happy with it, but they understand that that's the nature of the relationship and the only way this relationship works is for that mutual respect and trust to be on both sides.
What did you feel when you are appointed editor? Did you feel a sense of excitement but also you know if you're going to take risks and do anything meaningful than any job with does the chance of meatballs it up? Yeah, I mean I would that time out New York when I got this approach from empire and the first I wasn't sure and I was quite happy in New York
New York free it was a massive kind of challenge weed made it from a pay for print bag into a full multi-platform brand we shifted everyone from working on print only so it's been this huge job and I didn't think I was quite done with it, but Mark dinning and it's temporary thing for 8 years and I knew that this might be my only chance to edit empire and that's why I couldn't get out of my head.
I was like if I say no to this now, because I want to spend another year in New York or whatever then this opportunity may go to somebody else who also stayed in that job for 8 years and then it may be done and then I may never get the chance to edit Empire so I kind of grabs it and then the fear really started when I landed back in London so I landed on the 3rd and starting work on the Monday and the team and had quite a difficult time there been an editor just before me you hadn't had stayed I think a year and so being quite a lot of Change
And before that have been a very stable team with with a very long serving editor, so there's a challenge immediately and also I had a very specific view as how I wanted Empire to change which I personally felt that it could be more diverse that it could be more representative of everybody who loves film my ambition is that empire is a place for anyone who loves him regardless of gender so there is a long-standing tradition in UK magazines of specialist magazines.
Are you film magazines music magazines magazines.
There is a unifying factor in the audience like there is a unifying factor in the time that you define factories everybody who engages with Empire where they buy the Maxim that they go on social work.
They listen podcast come to a live event.
They are passionate about is a one that beat about movies and that should be the only defining Factor so we've worked really hard as a team tube.
More female writers and increase them but by several times there was only a handful of half a handful maybe when I joined to cover that up.
I would never recovered so films that were considered for a female audience films that were by female filmmakers films like just probably wouldn't have the attention that were prepared to give them now and I felt really significant shift, but the risk of that.
Obviously is that your current audience feels like you're no longer speaking to them so I thought it was really important to keep the kind of basic DNA of Empire which is our commitment to amazing film across the Blockbuster and indeed spectrum.
How you the best most compelling true story about how the film was made in what makes it fucking brilliant and why you should see it and that our Commitments that doesn't change but we have become.
Open church in terms of what films are good in the Empire Universe which filmmakers are good in the Empire Universe which writers should be in the entire universe so broadening that has been a challenge and I feel like it's something with only really kind of done properly in the last year, but I think it's been really important in terms of making Empire feel like a film brand.
Do you ever get political with the journalism? I mean like pretending to me too movement is giving women in the movie industry and much greater boys.
Do you think the battle does the Casting Couch is not something the Empire should cover because I actually genuinely don't know as a reader when I want an invite to cover a mean in a sense.
It was important topic then pass me doesn't want that.
I'm not going to get any joy from reading it.
I might as well be miserable reading about that in the New York Times for example or I don't know and that said that's a genuine question something we really struggle with when me to kind of hat.
Times up happened and I made the decision that actually Empire never covers any kind of personal details of actor filmmaker sewing any other interviews we never mentioned anything married have kids of them got kids do they want kids? How do they juggle their kids and their career obviously that's the question.
We ask women and all of our stories are about the film's our job is to celebrate films so we talked about doing how what would a feature on me to the movement look like and instead what we decided to do because it wouldn't fit with them Paris is currently if we discussed it on the podcast so when it happened being pretty we spoke about it Helen O'Hara he's already two at-large and appears on the podcast we all felt very strongly that the podcast is back conversation and that was a place for us to discuss.
What would happen if it was relevant in stories in terms of the way film was made or where it was made we tackled it within that and then when it came to the Empire Awards that year I felt that we should do.
Thing as a a show of Empires commitment to being part of that change so our partner that year was times up the UK Arms of times up who were trying to on a very grassroots level make things better for all women in all different Industries and we had representatives of times up there on the night.
They gave a speech from the stage people actually Ambassadors those women in that room saying those things was absolutely vital and you really felt that make an impact in the room.
You really really did and a lot of the male filmmakers wartime stop pins and people were incredibly supportive whether anything has really changed.
I think some of the kind of horrific elements of it.
I don't think you could get away with anymore and literally the prolific offenders like Weinstein
Save any money and there's nowhere to run and there's nowhere to hide and there is more of a willingness to allow women to discuss those experiences what I think.
It's still a challenge is getting more female filmmakers part of the reason that women were putting those positions if because all of the men in positions all the people in positions of power men so it kind of goes without saying that you put more women want women are running sets if more women are kind of their deciding which films get Greenland who works on them and how it's finance then those positions where women can be abused manipulated is hard for that happened in the dark anymore, but we haven't seen is a sudden you know optic in loads of female directors getting there films made.
I think that's so much longer kind of problem.
I'm going to take a lot longer to sort out because that fundamentally is about the way that women stories of you the way that people assume certain stories won't cells so that old thing about.
Well films by women about women men won't want to see them only certain types of women will see them you already limit yourboxoffice the commercial arguments that have held back people of colour and women and queer filmmakers for generation kind of an issue until there is true kind of representation in the studio's and in terms of Cruise and in terms of people being elevated to positions of power we won't see fundamental lasting change think you'll see somebody like able to burn who is one of the most inspiring directors working today and I've just set up a company and organisation to help platform because of colour you see people like that in that is Real change and that's where it's gonna come from is people saying enough and you know you look at somebody like and pre-law.
Who famously on Captain Marvel demanded kind of females head of department and she wanted female journalist to interview her she got so much sit on the internet about that very angry man who said no, it's not understanding equality for going to say I hate it when why men the middle of money even try to think what they know what it's like to be discriminated against because they haven't been discriminated against when you're not you're not depressed much are very nature you can't be and marginalized as I like any form of discernible Talent people like making very practical things happened which is saying I will do your massive billion dollar Marvel movie if you hire female heads of department if there is parity across this so that is how change happens by asking for very real world.
And I think the more of those people who can it should be their responsibility, let's be frank but who can and feel able to really prepare that agenda forward.
That's how change will start to happen.
How do you handle it when you can have have to revise movies and criticism of certain TV shows in Context I mean for example unit on a lighter note I think the Godfather 3 I watched it recently we watched it and yeah.
It's not as good as well because it's not actually terrible.
It's only terrible because he was so shocked that it wasn't as good as 1 and 1 and 2, but then you actually look at more serious things like like Ace Ventura pet Detective absolutely love that film Jim Carrey insane, but there's the incredible amount of transformer in it the bottom line is that lowers hang on is actually Ray finkle and that the transgenderism is actually part of evil look at Chandler in Friends you know his mother was transgendered and doing making the most ridiculous jokes offensive so you're only going to trick a man by revealing your penis is it?
Winds now they even found out for me back in the 90s.
I think you can't cancel whole generations of Culture because times of change but I do think it's essential you do as a responsibility is to frame in contact if you're going to discuss it now so to acknowledge that actually that was problematic.
We did something on the Crying Game actually play the game music placement euro when he discovers you have to if you're going to reassess things now which we often do you have to frame it within the context of of where we live now more civilised more human Society and one less less horrendous.
I would actually say if we can talk about the film.
Don't kind of you.
No talk about the fact that he drugged raped a teenage girl then.
I think we're being horrendously horrifically irresponsible.
I do not believe we should be giving any platform in any way to somebody like that I
Is fundamentally against everything Empire stands for but this is the odd thing and I don't think there's a right answer cos you're always going to alienate people with whatever decision you make so they probably have with someone likes a gallon for example is there are actors working today that defend him and those that say I don't want anything to do with him.
So it is obviously quite a divisive character, but I think there is a difference between people who've been a thing and people who have been found guilty like lansky or a standing trial or it and I think it becomes a moral and ethical conversation when you run a brand like Empire which is if we continue to platform.
What does that say to the women who pick up Empire what does that say to the men who pick up Empire what does it say about what our priorities are of course? We're about selling magazine.
Fundamentally, we are a brand of integrity of passion of heart and a real kind of we do have a sense of ethics and good at the core of us and when it comes to plants that is a matter of opinion that is a matter of what's right and wrong on Twitter do you get abuse as a female editor didn't really have it before empire have to be honest and I think there is something in a woman being part of a brand that is traditionally bloody winning how dare the edit a magazine and sweet because I have the word feminist in my Twitter bio and they said what the fuck is a feminist doing anything a block on mute.
What's your choice? I used to try and respond to every time reason with them.
Insult me or if it's really bad I blocked but last week is a prime example so I was out for drinks with an old friend of mine from New York film critics from Time Out and haven't looked at Twitter for an hour.
I picked up my phone in the all these tweet saying you all for misogynist.
Don't be so horrible.
You're blocked and I was like what the people involved don't want to tell me but we put a video up we were discussing some of it was me Chris.
And James Dyer from empire and cystitis and a guy is coming and said something which apparently was really disgusting and misogynistic about me to me and then they kind of God like retaliated and offended me and he'd ended up blocking me then he blocked blocked you as a woman on social media especially a woman.
Something like film which is a male space you get a you get a lot of comments about how you look you get a lot of comments about presuming your stupid or you don't know as much you get a lot of people as I say upset that you claim your upset you there is that but also the thing that gives me hope and joy is the actually the majority of people who I speak to you on there including a huge number of lovely Empire readers.
Who are male a really lovely just want to talk about film.
Just want to ask me like what they should watch just want to like shit shit with me and they are really warm and really brilliant people and there is just this awful minority and it doesn't it does make me Everytime We put video of every time something when my pictures up.
I'm always conscious that somebody is going to say I look fat.
I look ugly not because those things bother me but because I know.
My body and how I look is the easiest thing to attack and it's a thing as society that we because that women have been told it's the kind of most hurtful thing can be said I braced myself when I last novel came out because I knew you'd be horrible comments and one that was particularly hurtful because I told her not to look who's a picture of an someone who is this man.
You know I think they thought they could afford it now, but at the time it was DPF for lent.
It's interesting how you can rationalize as well because I can read reviews of other people's Books and know that there's going to be divisive you going to get some haters and when is my own book on my wife spoke to the crushed we doing a tweets kind of a long we were talking to people on a Saturday night about watch that night and a guy come on a third will you to shut the fuck up you both look like dogs dinners anyway one guys tweeted something really horrible to me and I just said can you not do that is?
Was that oh, sorry I didn't mean it.
I didn't mean it and I think that moment I became human being to him.
Not just a woman on the internet that he could say something horrible to absolutely amazing the people think that you being edited in instinct and passion and you can have got making a decision and all that kind of data and Analytics then you'll have it your disposal we get tons of Analytics and stats on This podcast in tomorrow if you can disappear on ass because you think what is the median average point when people stop listening On podcast 32 and more people listening in the US in that particular.
I know so much about anything actually he's give me the inside at all.
I think you can beat mad by data, but I think it's been a really valuable addition to an editor's toolkits.
So when I saw nobody really cared about data.
I mean sales fundamentally it wasn't about that.
It was about what you and your team thought and how you
The rise of digital and social and pod means that you can track everything that's happening all the time I went through a phase when I was at time out New York where we had very aggressive digital digital growth and I would like obsessed with Analytics I was tracking traffic all day.
I had daily target weekly targets and I become so focused on those KPI's and those metrics ice shelves my instincts and ice shelves the bit of me that is he became a human algorithm that down to my team and I think it was actually one of my biggest failures in that job until they missed my boss of loved it because the traffic went through the roof and you know I was probably working my team too hard.
I was probably pushing them too hard.
I wasn't really allowing them to do work that they felt was important because the only definition of
That I was going by was how much traffic is it going to bring in so it was a really great of mine and I think what I forgot is editors or editors because of who they are how they react how they think how they feel and how they know they're audience that is something that is deep down buried inside your guts and the best editor is Harnessing that and shaping it with data so for example.
I thought there was an opportunity and I recently design to thank you to have more conversations films on at the moment Empire goes.
We're gonna talk about the film.
Just before it comes out.
Then we review it then we don't talk about it again until how many however there are all these amazing conversations going on the podcast around write your own release and the spoiler specials.
We were doing was getting regularly over 100000 download each episode.
It was not then every single one with like knocking it out of the park.
When is clearly a massive appetite for that said one of the challenges? I said the team was how can we create that conversation point in print and I think it's the first time at Empire we've ever taken something that successful another platform and use it to inspire the magazine issues with the other way round and we use up data and locked up the stuff.
They love the most executions.
They love the most the timings they love the most and we use that to do a print strategy however.
We then went into a room and designed some beautiful print pages with a particular payslip particular rhythm and a particular kind of granular analysis about them and specific navigation between the points and all of that was kind of making it fit for print.
Do you think that movies are having to change as a result of online you know a lot of Spotify self means that the sun has got to get to the catch it within 40 seconds of those people have gone that is actually changing the
Songwriting itself, you know we've talked about the changes in terms of you know multi-platform ing, and the rise of streaming and somebody think that the actual art of storytelling has always been the same as that having to change.
I don't think having to change but I think it's hard to remember what and why it is so for me printer something very very very singular as a story Talent also have a specific song that it seems in a specific way, we set the pace we set the rhythm very very very deliberately.
It's a place for Incredible illustrate their place for luxurious use of photography.
It is the place for long read features a real deep dive granular piece of storytelling on something that may take you and a half to read and these are things that can only be done in print and it's about remembering that's what friend is for and then working out.
How your other platforms compliment it.
I think there was a
Rush and I worked in the magazine that did this worked on maximin 2007.
Yes, I was and we try to make Maxine more like the internet so we dip in an hour and we're gonna make it just like the internet because the Internet is super popular nobody fucking wants an internet printed on some pages if they want a magazine operators and they want the internet operating as the internet £4.99 magazine.
We have to justify everything up any of that cover price when there is so much for a media out there.
I think we absolutely do but that's always the forefront of my mind we fight so hard for exclusive images for exclusive access for real depth in terms of how long we spend with somebody literally any money as you said yeah, and we will spend a year on the story will spend 18 months on a story.
Because if I'm asking you to give me a fiver I'd better make sure that they are getting plenty of return but any great brand in my dream Empire is a one-stop shop for all films that you should be able to get your bits of casting news and see the latest trailers on the website probably on your way to work.
It should be looking at the social feed properly when you wake up to work out what happened overnight in lost something and then the magazine should be a treat that you save and we know that people keep them.
We know that they spend pretty much a month with them the biggest complaint is they don't get time to finish it before the next one comes and then they're behind and then well, that's the unidirectional nature of space-time unfortunately you can't blame for that.
If your Monthly magazine.
It's all to do with the law of entropy the second law of thermodynamics, but we've gamma physics murders was amazing, so we'll go to that section.
What do you do?
I mean, what is a typical week was a typical month? What does the editor of Empire actually like do you get up super early? Are you in the office by 9 or you would not want the office types.
What do you do? I know I'm so this week 1 press for our big birthday issue, so I was at my desk at 8:15 this morning.
I get up very early.
I usually write in the morning.
So I may as well this week, and then I'm there all day unless you yesterday screening that had to go off to for a few hours and I came back.
It's essentially thing in the office working working on Pages so I approve every layout I went with creative Direction that I see Rocky 4 sections the new section at the front the other three sections I read on gallery at least once so I see every patient the magazine usually twice, but always once and soda.
A lot of my time and my special is like it's like my porn.
It's fucking beautiful and that's why I do this job is because they do not call it page craft for nothing.
It is an art.
It is a scale it's something that I've got a date of the last 19 years of my career to I've learnt at the feet of some of the best people in the business and it's everything to make creating a beautiful Page that makes people feel and makes people feel like they're in the best gang in the world that understands and better than anyone else that is 1 added to really wants to do I said lock out with a writer.
I love penis a section lead.
I thought I'd enjoy being edited because of course I was always ambitious when I got into the chair a lot of it was hr.
And hiring and firing and dealing with.
People rather than anything he been my mentor for my entire career my first job with his Secretary and I think I said to him at some point in the interview.
I'm going to be edited by the way before I'm 33 ambitious thing to say of a secretary from the 90s.
So it was that I had a very singular past but he also was not willing to give up writing I love writing it's really important part of who I am and what I do.
I also think it makes you a better editor the thought that the Editors who do not write.
How can you even begin to edit somebody else's work? It's fucking nuts, so those are the best kind of bits of the job of course.
They're a bit you know not.
Because I think part of leading a team is creating a family and with that family comes responsibility which is people can be overworked people can feel unappreciated feel like they're giving everything and get nothing back part of my job a very important part of my job is to make sure that everybody feels supported and that their work is important and that it's recognised so don't think I think it's really important.
I do enjoy your even when you know it's difficult I suppose to bits.
I don't enjoy.
I think it's something I don't enjoy working in Camden last question then you know that you started as a secretary.
We have a lot of people listen sparkasse a journalism students are aspiring people wanting to get into the media there might be a young man listening to something 20 years from now.
What advice would you give them? Do you know what I've often thought about this? I think and I don't want to say this and put anybody off going into my things.
Never been harder than it is today.
I think did I love starting out the sex trade know but there was secretary jobs to be had that enable the girl like me to get into magazines because I wasn't this job like their middle class boys that were coming down from the North we getting and so they were routes into the industry that made it possible for there to be better representation of the massive problem with representation.
I actually think it's getting worse and worse think it's getting lots of visible kind of effort that diversity, but what we don't speak of how are people getting entry level jobs for entry level jobs, exist the first has the most important long and if your people still trading in 3 work experience the only people look to do unpaid work experience for kids whose parents are prepared to pay for them and support them and always have done since they want because otherwise it's not fair you perpetuating the exclusion.
Death of young people from her family and I think those kind of things in the way the industry structured still makes it incredibly hard for people were not from position to privilege to get into it and I think it's your problem.
I think everything has been done so the Edinburgh International magazine festival there are looking at building a kind of a remote mentoring thing which basically enables anybody anywhere in the country to have mentoring from editors and from people who work magazine.
It would be team really just use everything at your disposal to kind of get in touch with people directly so people will often email me directly goes to eat me directly I think you kind of have to not worry about all of those things in the you shouldn't just go to an edited directly you shouldn't just do that.
You should apply for the job when it comes up those traditional roots are so rare these days that I think it's about using your kind of Engineering
It's about using your determination email somebody if you want to work for them to tell them you want to wake them tell them why you wouldn't work then tell them why they magazine is amazing.
Tell them what it could do better like really kind of let your passion show the thing that has got me through my career.
I think is my passion and my genuine love and enthusiasm for magazines that is that got me into the industry and it is the reason that I'm still here so I think use any router open to in don't be worried about hierarchy.
Don't be worried about right putting my foot wrong and if somebody is to you then fucking because like like but just right so anybody can blog anybody can post to social poster medium squarespace blog like just right because I genuinely still and maybe I'm naive and idealistic, but I fundamentally my heart believe that if you are talented and passionate.
fierce about it and you can write if you put that on the internet somebody will see it and you will get an opportunity that we running out of metaphorical tip Terry I think you're not only the greatest hitter in the world, but potentially the greatest human being in the world a right angles podcast in association with big things Media
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