06 Sep My Day Job: Soft Light City
Soft Light City is Jax van Heerden – Creative Director, Johhny de Ridder – Composer & Engineer and Theunis Uys – Producer. Together they compose and produce original music for TV and radio ads. We spoke to Theunis about his day job:
Between 10and5: Please let us know your official (or unofficial) job title.
Theunis Uys: Officially, I am Soft Light City’s “Producer and Manager” but I also make coffee and answer the phone! We’re a small team, so the boundaries blur a little in terms of job description…
10and5: If you studied, what and where did you study?
Theunis: I have a diploma in Sound Engineering from Damelin, and a Bcom Honours Degree in Marketing from the University of Pretoria.
10and5: What does it take to do what you do?
Theunis: Nerves of steel, the ability to multitask, people skills, negotiation skills, patience and a sense of humour. I urgently need all of these! Just kidding.
10and5: What do you love most about your day job?
Theunis: I love advertising, and I love music. The fact that I can work with both as one job is the best thing ever.
10and5: And the part you could do without?
Theunis: Fighting about money. Producers have to do this almost every day.
10and5: Any crazy client moments?
Theunis: Um. The people in this industry are real characters. I love it. Every encounter is crazy in some way.
10and5: Weirdest task you’ve found yourself doing in the name of your job?
Theunis: We had to record a bouncing ball sound once and I drove up and down Woodstock main road buying about 20 different balls from the dodgiest R5 stores, just to get that perfect ball sound.
10and5: What has been your favourite brief to work on?
Theunis: I really liked working on the Wimpy “Cheerleaders” advert. The agency’s copywriters were struggling to get the script just right, and I made a few suggestions that ended up in the final script. That felt really good.
We also worked on a Schweppes advert where they wanted us to create “a song that could be a worldwide #1”. The creative team had very specific ideas and it was a massive challenge to get it just right. When we did nail it in the end, it was just the best feeling in the world.
10and5: Any industry secrets?
Theunis: I’m sure there are! But no-one is telling me any!
10and5: What did you want to be when you were growing up?
Theunis: I wanted to be an actor or a famous synth player like Jean Michel Jarre.
10and5: Advice to those who want to follow in your footsteps?
Theunis: Develop your people skills. Without strong relationships, you have no business.
10and5: Something your line of work has taught you that you didn’t already know?
Theunis: Getting as much info as possible out of creatives during a brief. You have to get them to talk as much as possible – you have to keep the conversation going. Everything they say will help in some way to crack the job.
10and5: Your dream job?
Theunis: This one, but with 3-day weekends…
Thanks for your answers, Theunis!
If you or anyone you know has a not-the-norm creative job then please let us know – firstname.lastname@example.org