Ian in the middle

Collaborative Creations’ new Business Delivery Manager, Ian Saunders, on why connecting the dots is so important.


The ‘middleman’ often has a bad reputation. When I think of the word, it brings to mind needless bureaucracy and overpaid ‘advisors’ who skim too much off the top. It doesn’t necessarily need to be that way, however.


I worked with the Association of Lighting Designers - recently renamed the Association for Lighting Production and Design - for 15 years, and served as its Executive Director for 9 of those years. Our role was, essentially, to be the middleman. Our membership and our events were about connecting the dots in what can sometimes be a disparate industry, where freelancers are the norm.


ALD membership places you into a ready-made community of LDs, programmers, production staff and service companies. A chance conversation could lead to your next job. Whether an established industry professional, a graduating student or enthusiastic amateur, our value was in providing a network where you could connect with others, finding out who was working where and with what kit, or just ask for some advice or guidance.


In that respect, my new role as Collaborative Creations’ Business Delivery Manager isn’t too different. CC is all about connecting the dots and bringing people into our network. We can be your PR department, your social media team, or provide creative business development as and when you need it. And while we’re at it, we’ll put you in touch with anyone else we think could help you.


I’ve joined the team to help assess the workload after a series of new client signings, to manage and evaluate the resources available and ensure that we can maintain the quality of our services. I’m looking forward to sharing my 27 years of lighting industry experience with the team.


Like many at CC, I’ve had a variety of roles before landing here: I graduated from Rose Bruford in 1994, and have worked as both in-house and freelance theatre electrician and lighting designer at various venues around the UK, which included a decade as Associate Lighting Designer on An Inspector Calls.


Collaborative Creations’ strength is in our contacts book, so don’t be afraid to ask us to be your ‘middleman’ - you might be surprised who we know!