In Conversation with Elliott Jack

Whereabouts are you right now?

In a freezing cold Marquee at Longcross Studios, an old MOD site where they’re shooting Doctor Strange 2.

What are you working on?

Producing a photo shoot for photographer Ekua King with Elizabeth Olsen for the front cover of Grazia USA [issue one].

What has the current situation made you appreciate?

Friends and family. They mean everything. Not being able to see them IRL has been really difficult.

What does lockdown make you miss more than anything?

Lockdown has ruined spontaneity. I miss the freedom to go anywhere and do anything at the drop of a hat. I miss the galleries, the cinemas, the museums, the restaurants, the bars, the clubs, the energy, the hum, the electricity and culture that comes with living in London. I really miss seeing people’s faces – especially their smiles.

Why do you do what you do in the first place?

I used to go to events and think ‘this is shit – I could do better!!’ So I gave it a try. When I was 16 [30 years ago – christ] I booked Tim Westwood to DJ our end of year party @ Barnet College in North London. I loved the whole process – designing the event, booking a line-up, selling tickets, working out the logistics. I realised this is what I want to do and I’m still doing it, or certain aspects of it. I love solving problems. I’ve always been a bit of a nerd. Loved Maths and chess and studied Applied Physics @ University. Go figure.

What’s the best job decision you ever made?

Quit. Go freelance. Work for myself. Be your own boss.

What are your daily work habits, and have these changed during the virus?

I try and treat myself [at least] once a day. Might be a walk, a coffee, a slice of cake, a run. Mostly cake though and yeah – my cake consumption has gone up steadily during lockdowns 1, 2 & 3.

What cause are you passionate about?

I recently joined the board of Key Changes; they provide music engagement and recovery services in hospitals and the community for young people and adults affected by mental health conditions including depression, anxiety, PTSD, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Their work is so inspiring.

What cheers you up?

St John’s Eccles cakes. []. They are the best. Apart from that, going to the cinema, especially when I’m meant to be in the office.

What would your dream project or collaboration be?

It’s all about London Landmarks for me. I’ve programmed parties on the 30 pods of the London Eye [twice] and put on events at the O2, Royal Albert Hall, Tate Modern, The Orbit, Wembley Arena, Natural History Museum and a stage in Hyde Park for Arcade Fire, etc. Whatever it is, it will have to be big and FREE for all like when I used to programme London’s Anti-Racist Respect Festival in Finsbury Park for 120,000 people.

Where are you most happy?

The top of St Pauls Cathedral. I’m not particularly religious but there’s something so calming and amazing about that space with its incredible views over London. Inspired by Will Self’s Radial Walks – I often pound the pavements of London with my 3-year-old son. There’s so much to explore. Every time we go out, we discover something new.

What’s something you’re really into right now?

Eating. Can’t stop.

What’s the last picture you took on your phone?

The wifi password for the building we’re in. My phone is full of wifi passwords.

Who would you most like to share a meal with?

My parents. It’s been over a year since I’ve eaten with them. Fuck off Coronavirus.