LED by Ambition – Maisie Osborne Building a Future at 4Wall
This summer, hundreds of thousands of young people will attend festivals all over the UK. The vast majority will be out front, enjoying the acts and taking full advantage of the hospitality, but for some, the festival season will be an altogether different experience. For Maisie Osborne, it means work. As an Assistant Technical Manager with 4Wall Europe, specialising in video and LED walls for live events, Maisie will play an important role in helping to deliver the exciting visuals that have become a staple of large festival stages.
Originally from Truro, Maisie graduated last year with a degree in Live Visual Design and Production from the renowned Backstage Academy, located at Production Park in Wakefield. As an educational institution aimed squarely at developing future talent for the entertainment technology industry, Backstage Academy sits amongst a number of production-focused enterprises on the Park, including arena-sized production studios and research and innovation facilities.
Maisie’s journey into production began in school and college. An interest in content creation which stemmed from a love of photography morphed into a deeper connection with hardware and technology, something that was also reflected in her aptitude for the technical skills required behind the scenes at school and college performances. Maisie comments:
“I’d always leaned towards ‘visuals’. While I was studying photography, I was experimenting with Adobe, making animations and stuff, and I just got more and more into the tech side and how things worked. When I studied drama at school, it was the same – I preferred the technical side of putting on a production to the performance part, and my interest just developed from there. When Backstage Academy came and did a presentation at college, I knew it was the route I wanted to take. I’d looked at a number of potential courses at other universities but they seemed too management focused – the Backstage Academy was all about being immersed in the practicalities of the industry, which was exactly what I wanted to be involved with. It was still a lot of hard studying, but the approach of getting hands-on right from the start was perfect for me.”
During her time on Production Park at Backstage Academy, Maisie took every opportunity to gain work experience outside her course, including helping out at pioneering research centre XPLOR. This in turn led to her first encounter with 4Wall, where she now works full time helping to build, manage and operate LED walls. Her knowledge extends from video hardware such as ROE and Absen LED tile, to LED processing and working with media servers and software such as Disguise and Resolume. With 4Wall having recently opened a brand new dedicated large-scale space on Production Park, Unit 2, Maisie’s time is divided between the new facility and the road:
“In the relatively short time I’ve been at 4Wall, I’ve already worked on the Farnborough Airshow, Blue Dot Festival in Cheshire, All Points East festival in London and at the International Broadcasting Convention in Amsterdam – so it’s fair to say that I’m very excited about the opportunities I’m being given. It’s a demanding schedule but I love the work and I’m part of a fantastic team at 4Wall.”
According to Maisie, adjusting to leaving home and going to university, and then stepping immediately into working life, was made easier by the strong sense of community she feels is a key element of the production industry:
“I think one of the things that has struck me the most since I’ve been involved in the industry is just what a fantastic all-round community it is. That was probably one of the things that I didn’t expect when I set out to go to Backstage Academy but now feel very much a part of. There’s a real sense of being connected – while there’s a huge range of skills and disciplines, there’s this feeling that we’re all part of the same thing.”
Maisie’s busy schedule means that visits to Cornwall have been relatively few and far between since her departure to Production Park in Yorkshire, so the opportunity to return to her roots this summer will be most welcome, even if her principal focus will be on contributing to the success of another premier festival as part of 4Wall’s highly talented team.