There is nothing Solaria Darkstone wouldn't do to deliver high-quality content. She once single-handedly created and directed multiple series while preparing interviews with WJF Cadets and building dossiers on applicants aspiring to become producers, all within the same timeframe.
She broadcasted Agent Hume's punishment in the Mix live minutes after the idea popped into her head. She stood in for a missing news anchor to present a breaking news report. She is widely considered to be one of the most exceptional TV producers the city has ever seen.
We spoke about her career and personal life, and though we'd met before and even enjoyed Sing-A-Rong's amenities together during my research for my piece on their private parties, I got to know a different side of her. One that you can read about below:
Why don't we start with how long you've been working as a Producer?
Since early November of last year... so a little bit more than ten months.
Did you hold any other positions at NLM before that?
No, actually. The only other job I've had in the city was working as a bartender in Red's Finest. May as well been a lifetime ago.
Did you always want to be a producer?
Not exactly, no... when I came to the city I was running away from something. I wanted to escape, and I wanted to make something of myself. I wasn't very skilled in any respect, but I loved art and business.
I was aimless when I came here, in fact.. when I first applied for working at NLM, it wasn't even as a producer. It was as a requisitions specialist or a personal assistant. But I got lucky.. I was told to try sending a sample script to Mr. Gold, and the rest is history.
What have been some of your favourite projects so far?
Most of my favorite projects involve using the eyePod equipment. I've done several projects with them... I did a tour of the SCF compound, which can be watched on channel 3... But I think my favorite project so far has been the report I did on the giant spiders that recently infested the city.
For the most part when it comes to television, I like providing content that people can learn from. That is prevalent in all of the content that I produce, from the SCF walkthrough and tour, the interview with Staff Judge Gerik Phillips and the WJF Cadets, the Venom Report.. and even my latest WCS Promotional tour.. all of it endeavors to teach Withmore something that maybe they hadn't known already.
This is especially true for immigrants, who can find themselves at a loss for what to do as they integrate into the city.
Let's talk about your upcoming project. What's it all about?"
My next project is.. well, unlike the content I have produced recently. I'm not certain when it will be ready, but my goal is to produce a show that is better than Grit.
Unfortunately, that is mostly a side project for the time being. I have many other tasks to attend to on my own... from directing content for various television personalities, to advertisements, to maintaining our existing schedule and content... it's quite the workload. But I'm not bothered by that one bit.
That's quite a lot of work, and a very ambitious goal. Your productivity has recently seen you recognized and promoted to executive rank. How has this affected your life and career?
Well, besides having a limousine available for my use, along with the higher pay... I suppose there are some downsides. Being a more prominent employee of New Light Media has led some people to try and kill me.
Very recently someone rigged a sonic grenade to the security door and attempted to lure me into it. Luckily I avoided the trap, and security quickly handled the situation.. and he was promptly executed. That same day someone else tried to grab me on the roof of the NLM tower. Agent Hume was there, thankfully, and managed to throttle him to submission... all up until the cortex bomb in his skull blew bits of grey matter over me. That took quite a cleaning...
And more than that, I just now received a threat to my life over SIC. But the threats do not concern me, I am confident in New Light Media's security.
Why don't we delve deeper in your personal side? What does an executive such as yourself do in their spare time? Do you have any to speak of?"
Well, I'm something of a painter. I enjoy painting various pieces, I find that to be quite relaxing. Beyond that though, I tend to make a personal effort to do for others what New Light Media did for me. Whether it's my own personal assistant, or an immigrant who shows promise...
I like to try and uplift various people from the Mix and give them a shot topside. Two people immediately come to mind whom have excelled. Edmee LeBleu, until last night was my personal assistant for example... and now she has received an offer-- which she accepted, to become Staff Judge Gerik Phillips' very own executive assistant and PR clerk. In fact, Mr. Kinya, I believe that I helped accelerate your own presence here in Withmore.
Yes, indeed you have. You supplied many things I required to get started. A terminal, a phone, a place to live on Green.
To me it's a game that I play. It's like.. gambling, so to speak. I enjoy watching people find success, but more often than not some fail to meet the requirements that come with being a corporate citizen.
Some fall to the wayside, like my previous assistant Svetlana Krushcheva. Instead of working towards her dream of becoming a producer with the work ethic necessary to survive in that position, she attempted to bribe and then extort me into the position using another.
She disobeyed corporate policy and contacted a security agent with ViriiSoma who used the alias Bolshoy. She paid him to try and extort me into giving Svetlana a position in the production department at NLM, unfortunately the best they could come up with against me was nonsensical slander.
And that is why it's a gamble, you see. Not everyone you try and help will meet the expectations you have for them, and more often than not they tend to reveal who they really are in the process of trying to win you over. But this happened months ago. I enjoy helping people who show a willingness to learn, the drive to work hard, and the ambition to rise above.
It is unfortunate that many of the people I have attempted to help do not manage to show those qualities, and it is even more depressing to know that so few people exist like that in the Mix.
What are your plans for the future? Where do you plan to take your career? Your personal life?
Well, one day I hope to be flying around in my own aero, or better yet, being flown around in an aero-limousine. I aspire to keep climbing the corporate ladder as high as I possibly can, with the ultimate dream of reaching the very top.
I know it's unlikely, but in order to learn where your limits are you have to aim as high as you possibly can. As for personal life... I'm still single. I guess I'm just waiting for the right man or woman to enter my life.
Is finding a relationship very important to you?
Oh no.. not at all. I certainly enjoy spending my time with people, but as far as I'm concerned the only personal life I have is with a significant other. My time is New Light Media's time. And right now, I don't have a significant other.. so my personal life involves a lot of painting.
What style do you paint in?
I tend to go with more abstract versions of reality. Things whimsical and not so bound by the limitations of physics or realistic interpretation. Most of my work carries a variety of meaning in the canvas, which meaning is determined alone by the viewer.
I like to think that I paint the visual concept of an idea... and leave it to the viewer to decide what that idea means.
Fair enough. Let's talk about your new recruitment drive. You need more producers?
Absolutely. I am interested in getting more unique shows on the air for all Withmorians to see, I myself can be a viewer sometimes, and I'd love to see more programming available.
What does it take to become a producer?
The most important traits that I can think of are work ethic and the ability to meet strict deadlines, and being able to handle extreme criticism when it comes your way. Being a producer is -not easy- by any means.
It is difficult, and it is not easy getting accustomed to the demands that you'll be expected to meet. But if you're a strong writer who has a good story, you can certainly find a place here that will not only be extremely rewarding, but -very- lucrative.
What is the best part of being a producer?
Oh, that's easy. Being a producer you have the ability to work closely with some of the cities biggest names, be it stars or high level corporate executives or high ranking officials in the Withmore Hall of Justice.
If you're aiming to be a corporate citizen you probably won't find a job that allows you to network with people to a greater degree. And above all of that, you're working for New Light Media which by itself is a great thing.
You're unlikely to find as comprehensive a benefit package working for any other corporation or career. Especially when the starting salary is so high, it really surprises me that there aren't more people trying to push their scripts on me.
That concludes my interview with Solaria Darkstone, who sounds like a great professional and mentor for anyone interested in entering the world of TV production. Now is possibly the best time to join this domain, as opportunities abound for new, original content to be created. With someone like Darkstone-san at the helm, what do you have to lose?