headshot of Sophie Ignatieff, a white woman with long brown hair in a green jumper on a blue background.

Spotlight On... Sophie Ignatieff!

Name: Sophie Ignatieff
Role: Producer
Favourite Film: Pan's Labrinyth
Dream site to make a show: There are these amazing old water filterbeds in the marshes near my house. I've always thought it's such a theatrical space, which would be so interesting to work in with artists to animate the already really powerful atmosphere there!

What does your average day look like at Dante or Die? 

Ha, there's no such thing! That's what I like about my job - it totally depends on what project we're working on. In the past month, there's been long days on film shoots for our new immersive short film Odds On, computer time organising film permits with local councils, lots of spreadsheet creation for our upcoming NPO application and zoom calls with arts partners across the country. It's always different!

You’ve produced numerous touring productions across the UK and internationally for Dante or Die, what are your top tips for touring theatre?

​I think it's so important to understand your project from the inside out; if you're booking a tour with venues or applying for funding, you need to have a holistic understanding to effectively promote it to partners. Then when you're actually on tour, prepare, prepare, prepare! Build that extra time into the schedule, research where the van will park, have that preliminary conversation with the venue's FOH team, rather than leaving things to chance. Finally, being kind to, and interested in everyone you meet goes a long way - from the customs officer who'll let you off not having all the right paperwork if you started by asking how her day is going, to the delivery company who'll go the extra mile to deliver that vital prop if you're patient and try to understand the problem from their point of view, to a venue who you meet briefly once, have a good chat with and then they get in touch to discuss a commission.

You’ve recently wrapped the film shoot for Odds On, an interactive short film, what is the biggest challenge when producing digital projects compared to live theatre?

What's especially challenging about digital projects is that every one is SO different; making a video podcast is not the same as making a short film, whereas touring live theatre is much more comparable project to project. So we're constantly learning new skills, meeting new collaborators and working out how we learn what we don't know! For Odds On in particular, we did a day of filming at a beach which required a whole new set of permissions; parking suspensions, camera equipment hires, local authority filming licenses - all of which required a quick learning curve to get them in place!

What was your most memorable moment of producing Odds On?

It would have to be watching an inflatable kayak loaded with very expensive equipment & two trepidatious crew members head out to sea, in order to get a particular shot. Thankfully, the kayak did not sink, I didn't have to make the call to our insurance company I was dreading, everyone stayed more or less dry and we got some great shots! Producing on the edge...

What project are you most looking forward to in 2022 and why?

​I'm really looking forward to seeing how Odds On ends up, as we've worked so hard on it and it's a really interesting process to hand it over to our brilliant Animator & Motion Graphics Artist. I'm intrigued to see what he comes up with and then how it goes does down with audiences. As always with our projects, its a bit of an experiment - in the form, the model of audience engagement and in producing.