Spotlight on Sarah: 10 Questions with our brilliant Managing Director, Sarah Killeen.

One of the questions we get asked most at team F&E is ‘who even are Fred & Eric?’...

And, while that is a very valid question, the real question you should be asking yourselves is ‘who is Sarah Killeen?’ Feisty Northerner and brilliant Managing Director, at Fred & Eric. 

We thought it was time to bring Sarah out of the shadows and ask her the important questions: What makes Sarah tick? What she does with her days? And (most importantly)... how she makes the perfect (Yorkshire) brew? 

Stick the kettle on and enjoy getting to know the best Managing Director around, Sarah Killeen.

Going straight in with the big questions for you, Sarah - What would you say inspires you? 

Really good falafels and strong maragitas.  Sometimes my sons, but mostly the falafels and margaritas...

What does an average day in your life look like as MD? 

An early start for the school run fuelled by black coffee.  Then a quick first check of emails and catch up with Maggie and Jamie to discuss the production schedule for the day, and critiquing TV choices from the night before....  Depending on the day it could then be client meetings, taking project briefs, showreel meetings or voice over sessions.  If possible I try and fit in a yoga or Barry’s session, to balance out the falafels and the margaritas!

What advice would you give to someone wanting to start their own company? 

Pick your business partners carefully!  You’ll go through everything together, and you need to be able laugh, cry and everything inbetween, but ultimately deal with it all as a team!

Do you think this industry is harder for women? 

I think it’s getting easier but there’s still a way to go.  When we started Fred & Eric it was a hugely male dominated industry, and as a fully female owned business we stood out.  Over the years we’ve seen more female designers and animators, but they’re still in the minority.  Luckily the requests to speak to our ‘bosses Fred & Eric’ have lessened!!

How do you manage work - life balance? 

It’s definitely a work in progress!  It’s hard to turn off from checking emails as soon as you wake up and late into the evening.  We keep an eye on each other though, and ensure we try and keep to ‘working hours’ as much as possible.

How do you see the industry changing and in what ways do you feel the need to adapt the business moving forwards? 

Inevitably lockdown had a huge impact on our industry, face to face meetings with clients have become a lot less frequent.  I wrote a piece on our Fred & Eric blog about how important we still think this is though. Go give it a read, here.

What is the best part of your job? 

I think it has to be the variety, every day is different. 

In your (northern) opinion, what’s the perfect way to make a cup of tea? 

Tea bag first ALWAYS!!  However despite my Yorkshire routes Jamie would still maintain I don’t make it strong enough though….

If the F&E team were a group of animated characters, who would be the hero, the comic relief, and the villain?

This is way too hard to answer!!!  Although I do like to think of myself as the perfect blend of Princess Fiona and Edna Mode.

Lastly, can you discuss any upcoming projects, initiatives, or long-term goals for your animation studio that you're particularly excited about?

We’ve been working on an animation with the Anna Freud Centre about PTSD in child refugees which has been in production for nearly a year, and we should be able to share next month.  It has been a real labour of love, and i’m looking forward to hearing people’s reactions, and hopefully the tangible positive impact it could have on people that really need it.

If you'd love to pick Sarah's brains further, have her make you that northern cup of tea or see if she'll spill the beans on Fred or Eric, drop her a line - she'd love to chat to you