It takes a hands-on spirit to make stories happen
Taylor Church is a TV and podcast producer who believes her job is all about finding great stories and helping to tell them in the best possible way. That’s why she got started in the business.
Although Taylor didn’t dream of being a producer as a kid, it was at the University of Kentucky where she discovered it as a possible career path. While earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Media Arts, she enjoyed taking a wide range of classes, from audio production to video editing and directing. After graduating, her first job was as a development intern for an animation studio in Atlanta. Once she saw what a producer does day-to-day, bringing together the components of a story, she knew it was the job for her.
As a young person in the business, she knows she has to prove herself. “To be able to get to where I want to be, as an executive producer, you’ve got to put in the time and put in the work,” she says. And because a TV producer’s job touches on every aspect of production, Taylor learned the different roles on set from the ground up. After starting out in craft services, she’s been a production assistant, video editor, script manager, sound recorder, and associate producer. This hands-on spirit has come to define Taylor’s career.
- Taylor ChurchEverybody has a story to tell and my job as a producer is to help pull that story out.
Taylor has also worked on a wide variety of productions, from animation to music videos, scripted TV shows and pilots to reality TV, commercials, and even podcasts. And she loves to learn something new on every job. “I would never ask somebody to do something that I haven’t done before,” she says. It’s what makes her such a dedicated and sought-after producer. And it’s important to her as a woman in a historically male-centric field. As she says, “I do often look around and think, wow, there’s a lot of dudes here.” But she notes that the industry is changing for the better. “I’m noticing a lot more women and I’m beyond thrilled.”
To find the stories that she produces, Taylor believes in meeting people from all walks of life and really digging to discover that something special that makes their story unique. When she finds a story that piques her interest, she immerses herself in the details, because for Taylor that’s where the magic happens. In fact, it’s how her first podcast happened.
While interviewing a private investigator for a potential network TV dating show, a passing comment about the PI’s investigation of an unsolved case sparked Taylor’s interest. She said, “Oh, now that’s interesting. Tell me about that.” The question of who committed the crime continued to plague Taylor. So, she thought, “Why don’t we do it as a podcast?” Working with some podcast producer friends, she jumped in, writing scripts, recording interviews, and even editing some of the episodes. The podcast was a hit. The momentum from her initial success helped Taylor establish a busy, new podcast division at the production company where she works.
Taylor’s own story is still being written. Today, she’s the manager of production and development for a company in Atlanta. Although she travels extensively around the world, Atlanta still feels like home. “Production is getting really big here. So, it’s kind of the perfect place for me because it’s two hours from my hometown and I get to do what I love.” Although she’s not sure where her own story will end, she knows that she wants to keep doing what she loves. As she puts it, “Every new project, every new job is exciting. I’m always a little bit nervous, but I’m always excited to see how it turns out. It’s very satisfying to put in so much work and then, at the end of the project, to see it out into the world.”