Jan Buda, Head of Production for SlidesLive, originally worked on his own as a videographer in the Czech Republic. He filmed a variety of performances and events before landing a spot on the SlidesLive production team.
“I studied Computer Engineering, but I was always interested in movies and since high school, I was a part-time freelance videographer,” Jan said. “I did a lot of proms, weddings, some promo videos, and a lot of oriental dance performances.”
Jan gradually created a presence for himself in the world of film, recording more and more and even being recognized for some of his work.
“Among the more interesting things I did are, for example, a stunt show promo and a heart surgery video,” Jan said. “I also did a couple indie films; we even won a festival with one.”
After gaining more confidence and experience within the field, the opportunity to work with SlidesLive was coming into focus.
“I always liked the production part as well, so when Vojta Ciml, co-founder of SlidesLive, offered me a part-time production manager position, I took the opportunity and gave up my former job as Java/PHP programmer,” Jan said. “A year later, I joined full-time and left for our new US office.”
Now that we’ve established the backdrop of Jan’s pre-SlidesLive life, let’s zoom-in on the production side of the company.
“Whatever the sales team is able to sell, we have to make happen,” Jan said. “I’m quite proud of the fact that we are always able to deliver. Even though we have super-high seasonal peaks and we’re always trying to do new things that we’ve never done before, we’ve never not been able to deliver because of low capacities, for example.”
Jan loves mentoring new employees and discovering new ways to help the SlidesLive team work more efficiently. Seeing the end product after working on a large event with a dedicated team is another one of Jan’s favorite parts of playing a vital role in the production process.
“My favorite part of being Head of Production would be working on a big event, with a big team, and after a lot of planning and pre-production, seeing it all work out perfectly on site,” Jan said. “Everyone is running around, trying to go the extra mile and helping wherever they can. In these moments, I’m always really proud of everyone.”
Observing employees that he has once mentored help newer SlidesLive team members evokes a rewarding feeling in Jan, allowing him to recognize the growth and development of his production team.
“When I see that a new team member has picked up our workflow and company culture and is now herself/himself teaching new people, it’s always a great feeling,” Jan said.
Aside from the company culture, Jan appreciates the team’s ambitious nature when it comes to learning about an event before production.
“The most important part is thorough pre-production and I think that’s our big competitive advantage,” Jan said. “We find out as much information as possible in advance.”
Jan also stresses the importance of being able to adjust to mishaps. By preparing for the worst, Jan and the production team can never truly fail.
“There’s often a lot of improvisation on site when things don’t go as planned or there are extra requests,” Jan said. “Then comes our second advantage: backups! There’s nothing like too many backups. Thanks to this motto, we practically never lose footage.”