Pressure Cooker has seen massive growth over the past few years, not just in the high quality of work they are producing (if you haven’t seen their most recent spot for Chicken Licken, run don’t walk) but also the sheer amount of in-house talent. The latest addition to the team is entrepreneur, businessman, and former creative, Brian Little. Brian will be joining the leadership team, taking on the role of General Manager. A General Manager at a post-production house? We also had questions!
According to Pressure Cooker’s Co-Founder James Matthes and Creative Producer Astrid Iverson, the speed at which the company has grown has been hugely rewarding but has also called for some refocusing of resources. The addition of a General Manager to the team will mean that the current talent can ‘stay in their lane’ so to speak, and focus on delivering the highest level of craft and experience for their clients, letting Brian focus on the business responsibilities.
If you’ve been to music festivals in South Africa, you’ve probably heard the name Brian Little. The co-founder of Rocking the Daisies and experiential agency, Seed Experiences got his start in the creative industry at a young age, working as an Art Director at agencies such as FCB and Y&R. After travelling abroad, he returned to South Africa and launched the then-first of its kind in the country, Rocking the Daisies. The music festival ran for ten years under Brian’s direction before being sold. During this period, he worked with some of the top international music acts, brands and local agencies before moving on to become General Manager for AfrikaBurn. During the Covid lockdown, Brian decided to take his entrepreneurial skills to the next level and completed his MBA #WhileWeWereBakingBananaBread
So how does someone who understands the music and sound industry, has experience in the advertising industry, and a fierce entrepreneurial spirit land up at a post-production facility like Pressure Cooker? The company’s Co-Founder James Matthes explains: ‘Our primary objective is for South Africa’s post industry to flourish, but how will we make this impact if we do not have a more focused approach on what our objectives are for the future of the industry? We needed someone like Brian to turn our vision into reality. We’ve been growing so much over the years, layering creative over creative to build a team of specialists that can deliver the best quality for our clients. Now, with Brian, our business can be truly mission-focused in a manner that goes beyond our imagination. We will be enhancing our systems, structure, culture and solidifying our business foundations. We are constantly pushing to deliver the highest level of creativity and I feel that we have now hired the leadership talent to match this and take us to the next level.’
Brian adds: ‘The high quality of work and Pressure Cooker’s ambitions for the industry as a whole was really appealing to me. More importantly, at Pressure Cooker the team is values-driven and a huge amount of emphasis is placed on teaching, learning and nurturing talent. To be a part of cultivating and growing that environment is hugely attractive to me.’
The vision for growth in the industry was not the only thing that attracted Brian to Pressure Cooker. We think the hiring video for the position of GM gives great insight into the culture (and acting skills) of a team that might be one of the top in South Africa, but certainly don’t take themselves too seriously.