Staff in Spotlight

Meet Factory Media's Head of Distribution Natalie Holden

Staff in Spotlight shines a light on the creatives, designers, editors and executives who make Factory Media happen on a daily basis. Our company values – authenticity, inspiration, access and insight – are never more apparent than when you meet the real people behind our business.

Read a little bit about the experiences and unique personalities of Factory’s staff, in their own words.

This month: Natalie Holden, Head of Distribution

What was your start date and position at Factory?

January 2016. My role is Head of Distribution for the Rights & Distribution team which is a new area of business for Factory. I work closely with the TV team, digital audience team and third party producers to find ways to monetise rights and IP.

What has been your favourite Factory project?

At the moment, we’re still in the early stages, but setting up the business and technical ops for international distribution so that we’re now doing deals (and delivering them!) has been hugely satisfying. There’s still so much to do of course but, as a digital business expanding into TV, Factory is a really exciting place to be doing it.

What has been the weirdest job you’ve ever had to do?

I once had to scream on Casualty. I was working as a production assistant at the BBC in Bristol at the time when Casualty was still being produced there. I was working late one evening and one of the dubbing mixers stuck his head around the door and said they urgently needed some help on the show (by which I naturally assumed that they wanted to me make them teas and coffees). So I dutifully trotted over to the audio suites and it turned out that the audio hadn’t recorded properly in one of the sequences and – because all the audio engineers there were men – they needed me to be the female voice so they could re-record the audio and mix it back into the show. Fine, fine. Except that the sequence that hadn’t recorded was one where a woman had been run over and was lying in the road screaming her head off because she had broken her pelvis. So somewhere in one of the 1,000-and-something episodes of Casualty, there is one where a woman is lying in the road with a broken pelvis and yowling unconvincingly about it, and that is me.

What’s the best place you’ve ever travelled to?

Japan. I’m biased, though, because my mother is Japanese. But here’s an unbiased Sarah Rimassa on all the reasons why Japan is great.

Who has influenced your career the most and how?

So many people in lots of different ways it’d be impossible to single out one person.

If you could have a drink with anyone, who would it be?(dead/alive/fictional/famous/not famous…)

My mates are all lovely, so all of them.

Three things people would be surprised to know about you:

  1. I am excellent at Tetris. I went through a phase of playing it frenziedly on the tube and I got absurdly good at it (if that’s even a thing) to the point where I was routinely finishing all the levels in the app.
    In case you were wondering (which I’m sure you weren’t, but anyway) I’ve deleted the app now.
  2. Although I am probably the least sporting person at Factory (and in all likelihood the population at large), for some reason I absolutely love sports movies, specifically sports movies about American Football, about which I know nothing at all. The Blind Side. Remember the Titans. Invincible. And for anyone who fancies 5 whole seasons of non-stop American Football drama, Friday Night Lights is on Netflix.
  3. A few years ago I used to have a bleach blonde crop, but as I enjoy having my picture taken as much as I’m enjoying answering these questions, this is the best I can offer by way of photographic evidence:

Greatest personal achievement?

Finishing all the levels of Tetris.

Best thing about your job?

When I tell people that I work for an Action Sports company and then letting them think momentarily that I am adept at many action sports.

Personal philosophy/mantra?

The best defence is a good offence? I’m joking, obviously. It was honestly the only mantra of any kind that I could think of.


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