Spotlight on Jimmy Millar, Head of Production
Born just 25 miles away from Factory Settings, Head of Production, Jimmy Millar, joined Factory Settings over 12 years ago.
After studying theatre design at Central St Martins School of Art, he originally worked at FSL as a freelancer, having been lead chippie on the ‘Mask of the Red Death’ for theatre company, PunchDrunk.
Joining the team full time a year later, by 2013 Jimmy was running the workshop, and promoted to Head of Production six years ago,
What’s your favourite material?
I’m a steel person. Lu and Will originally taught me to weld in the workshop. You continually watch others, picking up what you can as you go along. And now I ensure what I learned is passed on to younger workshop staff. In the days when we were doing much smaller jobs – there was a chance to experiment, to add to your skills. I made the company barbecue.
What’s the most complicated request you’ve had?
Without doubt – the fibre optic trees that then toured around Europe. There was a lot of engineering. We were learning how to work with aluminium, its properties, how it behaved and also we were tight for time. Nothing is impossible, but if things are tricky, we need time to experiment. Working against the clock makes it much harder.
What’s your preferred piece of workshop kit?
If I’m in the workshop with some time to spare. I love the wood lathe just to have some fun and make a mess. I once made newel posts for a four-poster bed. Not my own, I hasten to add. Although I’ve done lots of DIY and furniture for my home.
Which is your favourite exhibition build?
I’m thrilled with ‘London Science City’ for the Science Museum. The quality was right there and it looks amazing. I also loved ‘Troy’ for the British Museum.
We managed to deliver detail and finish for them both to a really high spec, that looks really slick. Producing work to this calibre means we get approached by wonderful designers and clients. They want the absolute best for their shows – and that’s where having a team of such talented people in the workshop really comes into its own. Having trained in theatre design also really helps me translate their vision for them.