Q&A with Noomi Yates, our new Creative Director

Time to read: 4 min

Oct 20 2022

This month we welcome Noomi to the Skylark family. She brings a wealth of experience to our team having spent over a decade working with Nintendo, Shelter, and BBC Children In Need. In her role as Creative Director she will be overseeing live action and animation projects and managing an ever-growing production team.

Tell us a bit about your journey so far

I graduated from Westminster Film School in 2007. Since then I have been working in a variety of roles in production. Between 2013 and 2018 I ran Knowle West Media Centre’s in-house agency Eight. At which point I left to take up the position of Director and Producer at Fourth Floor. I looked after multiple shoots for big video games clients such as Nintendo. Since then, I have freelanced for agencies and worked on far-reaching campaigns for clients such as Shelter, Sega, Universal Records and Amazon Prime Video. Recently I have felt a calling to actively seek out more clients that align with my personal values. As a happy coincidence this is when I found Skylark were looking for an interim Creative Director.

Can you tell us about an interesting, purpose driven piece of project you’ve worked on before?

I directed a film for Shelter’s Christmas campaign a few years ago, which was dealing with a homelessness in the pandemic. It was a very emotionally hard-hitting film; we used an actor to re-create the scenes that would have been too emotionally difficult for the contributor and it worked beautifully. The end result was powerful and I’m very proud of it. 

What drew you to work with Skylark Media?

I was drawn to working with Skylark because of their values. As a B Corp, Skylark clearly care about the impact their work has on the world, and it means I will have the opportunity to work with clients who are also striving to make the world a better place. 

What kind of projects excite you?

I am excited by good storytelling, whether that is through carefully crafted world building in scripted campaigns or connecting with real human stories in documentary-based work. 

Who are you inspired by?

Visually I am inspired by artistic auteur directors like Lynne Ramsey, she has a real poetry in the details of her work which connect with the viewer in such a profoundly moving way. Every single one of her films is a masterpiece. She is the undisputed queen of the tear-jerking close up. In a different sense, I am inspired by the late Polly Higgins, a barrister who made it her life’s work to introduce a law of Ecocide to protect the planet. She died without having realised her dream, but her work continues through her foundation, and she never gave up hope. Which considering the magnitude of the environmental crisis we face globally; I find her incredibly inspiring.

What advice would you give to anyone starting out in creative production?

Be prepared to listen to and take on board criticism as often critiques from the right people can be extremely valuable. But don’t ask for feedback when what you are looking for is validation. Validation is for parking! Have faith in your own voice, trust your gut instincts and be your own biggest supporter. Confidence is something you develop by trusting yourself. It will be a very big asset, especially to the women out there who are looking to do my job one day, because to stand up in a room full of men and be assertive about your thoughts is not easy. But don’t shy away from it. And finally – try and remember to enjoy the process. Having a sense of humour is essential in this line of work.

What are your aspirations for the future?

My aspirations for the future are to continue to make work that reaches a wide audience and have a big impact on the world, and to get my garden ship shape for growing vegetables again!

Ezo Yildiz

Ezo is a Digital Marketing Assistant at Skylark Media.