Success lies at the crossroads between experience and opportunity

If success lies at the crossroads between experience and opportunity, then the simple act of creative collaboration is by far the best strategy to increase your experience and opportunities.

When we create, be it writing, making movies, marketing our stuff, we more often than not work in partnership with others, sometimes even a bigger team. Relationships are made, debts and favours exchanged, experience gained…


It’s like each major act of creativity is like throwing a stone in a pond. The ripples spread out and often, keep going, sometimes even for decades. That same pond has others creating too, and their ripples are bound to interact with yours too, creating yet more crossroads and opportunities.

By creating and following through, and in the process, working with others, our chances of the ‘magic’ happening expand hugely.

And this is how the Audiobook for Twisted50 came about.

Steph Wessell, one of the super talented writers in Twisted50, posted on Facebook about her success. An actress who she had worked with eight years ago contacted her to congratulate her on her success, and asked if there was an audiobook planned.

Turns out the actress, Helen Lloyd, was also a super experienced Audiobook narrator and producer.

Steph pitched the project and connected me with Helen… and we now have a nearly completed audiobook that has been huge amounts of fun to produce.

If Steph had not made the short film (below) eight years ago, proven herself a hard worker and collaborator, and created a relationship, Helen would not have known about Twisted50 and almost certainly we would have offered to get involved. And we would not have an audiobook.

Emerging filmmakers often ask me what’s the best strategy for success? It’s simple really. Work. Work with as many people as you can. Do as many different jobs as you can. Don’t get hung up on money yet, these formative years are more about creating a favour bank, learning at the expense of others, creating relationships and gaining experience. The money will come later if you learn your craft, work hard and prove yourself a collaborator.

None of us can predict how far the ripples will travel, but you do need to toss the stone in the pond to find out. So if like me, you find yourself procrastinating a little too often, start throwing some creative stones in the pond.

Here’s the film Helen, Steph and their team made.

You can listen to excerpts from the audiobook for Twisted50 HERE (and order it HERE).

And remember, this audiobook features 50 writers, now with 50 voice over artists… that’s a lot of ripples and therefore possibilities.

Onwards and upwards!

Chris Jones

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Comments: 3
  • #1

    Helen Lloyd (Friday, 06 January 2017 00:50)

    Actually Chris, the first pebble was thrown even earlier than that. Steph Wessell and I first met perhaps ten years earlier - Steph was already in the factual programme department at Central ITV and I was just moving over into production having previously been a continuity announcer and presenter. I voiced several documentaries that Steph produced and we then collaborated as producers on several series together including the award winning archive series 'Fifty Years Of ....'

    After we were both left Central ITV, I returned to my roots doing bits of acting after a twenty year break - while also beginning to do voice over work as a freelance. Steph contacted me asking if I would like to play 'Gerald's Best Client' and of course I jumped at the chance. The rest you know.

    Steph and I have enormous respect for each other's work ... and I am very grateful to her for introducing me to the T50 team. I am enjoying the audiobook production enormously ... even though now suffering from horror related nightmares! it is a joy to be part of such a collaborative and creative process.

  • #2

    Stephanie Wessell (Friday, 06 January 2017 10:34)

    You took the comments right out of my keyboard, Helen! Thanks for elaborating on our history. It's always been brilliant working with you and the audiobook is sounding fantastic - Chris has me listening to the whole thing, on Quality Control! I'm several stories in and there's not one mistake within ear-shot. It's superb, atmospheric, gripping and professional. Chris - thank you for such a lovely blog post - what an achievement this whole thing is!

  • #3

    Chris Jones (Friday, 06 January 2017)

    It's so exciting to work at the very highest levels like this. If it's worth doing, it's only worth doing at world class levels.