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Emma Daines: Blind Ambitions. No Boundaries.

31 March 2021

EMMA DAINES

Founder / Group Managing Director
Fin Design and Effects
 
Since founding the company in 2001, Emma has built Fin Design from a boutique design/vfx house in Sydney to today recognised as one of the most well reputed and highly awarded Visual Effects companies in South East Asia, which now includes facilities in Melbourne, Shanghai and Singapore.
 
Emma’s experience in the Advertising Industry spans nearly 30 years working in leading Post Production facilities in Melbourne, London, Asia and Sydney and working in Production in Australia and Asia.
 
Emma is most well noted by her peers for her producing skills with an impressive wealth of knowledge and understanding of high end Visual Effects, it’s technicalities and her ability to manage a team to pursue ambitious creative results.

Emma's steadfast approach to push boundaries, to stimulate creative and to seek challenges within herself and the people around her make her a standing force in the Advertising industry.
 
 

Blind Ambitions…No Boundaries.

I fell into the Advertising Industry… literally fell!  It was someone I knew who knew someone who knew someone… and maybe, perhaps when I met that someone, I presented well enough to be employed. I was 23 years old and I became a receptionist in a Post Production company (no VFX in those days, we are talking old school). No experience at all. I was young, intelligent and lively, just what you want as a receptionist in a creative company.
 
Fast-forward 35 years… I now proudly own and run the most highly reputed Post Production / Visual Effects Company (both Advertising and Feature Films) in Asia Pacific. I have studios in Sydney, Melbourne, Shanghai, Singapore and Los Angeles… WTF… I mean really, I ask myself - how did I do that?
 
Blind ambition, chance and a certain wherewithal. (aka guts).
 
Back in the day, I was studying Science at University, really enjoying myself, but quickly realised it was the lifestyle I enjoyed as opposed to the content of my study. True to my character (as I know now but did not know then), I sought a reprieve … I randomly stopped at what was then known as the CES (Commonwealth Employment Service) a government service to help unemployed people engage employment… wasn’t me… but!!!
 
Long story short I was engaged as a Governess for a family of five out west in Queensland, Australia…cattle/sheep farm and wheat farm…. outback and beyond… killed our own meat, chopped wood to fire up the oven to cook our meals… crossed 5 rivers to reach a main road, dealt with floods, hand fed lamb in drought… what a city slicker experience.
 
And it totally made me.
 
I am one of five girls; we emigrated on assisted passage from the UK to Australia. Five girls under 10 years of age. My father brought us up with NO gender disparage… we had NO idea there was any thought of gender inequality… we dug, we mowed, we lifted, we painted, we raked, we built… we did anything ‘a boy’ in those days would have done and we did more… we cooked, we cleaned, we washed, we folded and did anything a ‘women’ would have had to do… but what we also did was not think either was different. We were brought up gender indifferent.
 
And that is how I then approached my career.
 
I embrace my industry; I love what it has given to me. It has given me pride, friendship, responsibility, chance, opportunity and a real sense of achievement.
 
After 35 years, what I have learnt or can impart… I am a woman, and while I personally did not feel any hardship or discrepancy because I was a woman, indeed I never felt I had to battle that challenge as some women have.  I now see, where I am now, how women can feel threatened and vulnerable making their way forward. I am therefore passionate to use my experience to mentor women to help them prosper with confidence and realise their ability and strength and therefore embrace all their opportunities.  I believe in gender parity and advocate that wholeheartedly.
 
My mantra: Be fair, work hard, remain humble throughout your success, encourage and nurture relationships (you will benefit from them), be kind to friends (you will need them), do not make enemies (or hide them), stay true to yourself. Be kind but STRONG.
 
It’s not easy, but it can be done. There are no boundaries, be brave enough to challenge whatever comes along.
 
Enjoy yourself and love your job, then you will be brilliant.
 
Seek ambition with pure blindness… discard boundaries… they do not need to exist.