By Tom Manning
Marc delivers a 40 minute town hall. He tells us we’re talented but lazy. He reads off how many new campaigns are in each book since he last saw them – we had two, Tom and Nina had five (fuck). He scores us out 60 and ranks us from best to worst. He embarrasses the worst team – you can bet they won’t be next time. He rewards the best (one man) team, Joel and we all clap. He tells us off for clapping because we should want to beat him. Pete tells Marc he’s wrong, we should want to fucking destroy him.
Result: I leave feeling pumped. Head straight to Costa and bash out the beginnings of two campaigns from my SMP library.
It’s interview day. We see some great presentations from four candidates who’re dying to be at SCA. I’m reminded how scared I was at my interview. I’m scared now. People tell you fear is good; I think fear is good for telling you that you need to do something about it – sitting around being terrified is useless.
Result: I leave feeling thankful for where I am. I feel determined to milk SCA dry of every opportunity before it’s over.
D&AD results come through. Joel’s won two pencils (TWO!). I don’t want to destroy him at all. Mikey, my partner, along with Alex, also wins one. Maybe we’ll stick ‘award winning creative team’ on our book or something, that would feel good. Everyone is all hugs and smiles we crack open a bottle of champagne. We feel like a family, no man left behind or left out.
Result: Slightly tipsy and sentimental. Ready to take on the world. We find a yellow HB pencil and Blu Tack it to the wall.
Interview day Q&A. Everyone is drinking and dishing out sagely advice. All of our answers were honest, but not all of it we actually follow. We should do as we say. For me, these Q&A’s are ten times more powerful than Friday reflections; being asked existential questions about why I’m here and what I want. We always say we’re here to get a job, but that’s a massive oversimplification. The ways we’ve grown since started the year would fill many more Scabs.
Result: Feeling relaxed. Not in a frantic and about to burn out, but ready to graft.
Book crit with Ian. Quite brutal. Mikey and I glance at each other, resisting the urge to get defensive. We realise that Ian is judging our book exactly how every CD is going to do so (in fact he gives us far more time than they will). He’s objective on projects that we’ve lived with for so long, they’ve become our babies. He helps us judge each project on the idea and how well it’s conveyed, rather than how pretty it looks – that can come later.
Result: We hand draw layouts for each project so that they will make sense to first-time viewers. We can both tell that our rough scribbles are better than the mac’ed up work we’ve spend days toiling over.
So there you have it. Motivation comes in many forms. But at SCA, you can sure there will be a boot that fits your arse perfectly.