Words from the wise

So here we are in yet another new year set against a backdrop of COVID-19. I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling like the last two years have been both the most testing of our careers and have passed unsettlingly quickly in a strange kind of time warped blur. I genuinely find myself asking people what year I’m in, wondering where the last 2 years have gone.

That feeling is partly because, like everyone else around the world, the team here at Tinderflint has been adapting, then pivoting, then adapting to the adaptations and pivoting on the pivots (queue impression of Ross from Friends shouting PIVOT!). This constant state of flux seems to have blurred our usual capacity to track time and I think has made everyone’s productive work hours even more finite.

Looking back now, 2021 felt a bit like walking along an undulating balance beam– the foundations were set for working in the COVID environment, we knew what we had to do but we still had to navigate each step carefully, knowing that one foot in front of the other wouldn’t cut it.

On one hand the ‘strangeness’ of our situation began to feel normal but on the other it still felt utterly bonkers. We got used to the initial part of filming days constituting quarantine zones and socially distanced departmental queuing systems for COVID tests, everyone standing by patiently like a kid outside the headmaster’s office waiting to see if they’ll get a ticking off or not. This is not normal! Not long term anyway. It’s normal for our current world but I take heart in the hope that soon(ish) things will start to become easier again, one less production stress to manage for all involved.

All of that being said, our willingness to adapt and be a little uncomfortable in 2021 afforded us a lot of great opportunities. We seized chances to take a step up and take on larger projects – we created more TV commercials in 2021 than in any year previously and have been able to open doors that otherwise may have been closed to us. Aside from the obvious practical lessons I would say that 2021 is the year that we learned to get comfortable being uncomfortable.

With a bright shiny year ahead of us, I’m estimating that 2022 will be precisely 20% better than 2021 – call me an optimist. I think it will ultimately be a more settled year (please God) than its predecessor but the uncertainties are still there for many and this means our undulating balance beam will continue to undulate. The main difference this year is that we are embracing that. Tricky time under our belts in 2020 and 2021 will pay dividends, giving us the confidence to approach, win and deliver on bigger and better yet again. For those who still have the energy to play the snakes and ladders I think there will be more and more opportunities throughout this year – it’s going to be about keeping your head up, keeping positive and keeping moving.

Here’s to a year of things getting better for everyone and to another year of great work.

Come on 2022, let’s have you!