ANDREA ROMAN-PERSE, MANAGING PARTNER AT BIGFISH
Andrea Roman-Perse, short version: Studied in Berlin, moved to Prague. She got into production (PA, etc.). She started a production company in Prague. Worked also in feature film. Then she returned to Berlin, working as freelance producer all over the planet. And, 15 years ago, she joined BIGFISH and became a Managing Partner. Since then, Andrea produced a lot of award winning commercials with BIGFISH, amongst them: Golden Cannes Lion, One Show, D&AD Pencil, British Arrow, Grand Prix at the ADC Germany… And now BIGFISH scored hands down as Number 1 in this year’s Creative ranking of Germany’s Production Companies (Horizont 32/2014), which put BIGFISH in this year’s GUNN REPORT among the 20 most awarded production houses. Aside from the Masters Degree in Slavic Literature, which, for reasons unknown, did happen along the way, Andrea loves humor, stories and film –ideally in combination. She fell in love with a guy in New York, where she partly lives and has a family with two kids .
Why did you go into advertising?
It was an accident. I started my first “film” intership in advertising. I wanted to get into film. And adds are the shortest version of it.
What do you love about your job?
What’s the coolest project you’ve been involved in?
There are many I love, but my very favorite might be “Standard Time”. It’s an art piece, with non-stop shifts of people constructing a giant, real time, clock. A truly great project. And also a very cool clock.
What was your worst job and what did you learn from it?
(A) Oh boy- there’ve been a few. This wisdom: ‘Experience’ is something you can’t learn, you just have to experience it.
(B) Dish Washer. Wear gloves.
In percentage terms, what’s more important in advertising, the idea or the execution?
It’s unusual to spoil a really good idea. But you can definitely elevate a medium idea with brilliant execution.
Is there something you don’t like (or hate) about advertising?
Just the compression of voices that occurs when there are too many decision makers involved in the making.
What was the biggest challenge in your life as a producer?
Never lose passion and never stop trying to do something well. Take it seriously, do not take it too seriously.
What is your favorite ad ever?
Too many terrific pieces of expression out there to pin point a single one. For me, the really memorable ones are those ads that feel like they create a new space, then fill it. The first commercial I really consciously remembered was “What’s up”, from Budweiser. My first time in Cannes on the festival.
You also have a master’s in slavic literature. any book everyone should read?
Of course! “Crime & Punishment”. Moral dilemmas, guilt – there is an eternal, albeit heavy, truth about it.
You are a local in Berlin. Any insider tip you’d like to share with us?
Yes! Breakfast at Markthalle 9 in Kreuzberg. Stroll a weekend fleamarket. Get a steak at “Trois Minutes” and have a last drink at Kumpelnest.