My third place…. errr… or one of them

By Eddie Tofpik, Head of FX at ADM ISI, Visiting Lecturer University of Essex, Producer & Exec. Producer of small independant films. Very recently I was lucky enough to go on a management and leadership training course. On one of the days, the excellent trainer spoke about how each of us should have a ‘Third […]

My third place

By Eddie Tofpik, Head of FX at ADM ISI, Visiting Lecturer University of Essex, Producer & Exec. Producer of small independant films.

Very recently I was lucky enough to go on a management and leadership training course. On one of the days, the excellent trainer spoke about how each of us should have a ‘Third Place’. Initially it seemed most attending had bemused expressions at this statement until he explained this related to a place outside of the home or work…somewhere that was just for ‘you’ which could take your mind away from home & work.

Ultimately, you, your home & work all benefit from having such a Third Place.

I know plenty of people in our industry, past and present that have never had such a place. Neither a physical nor increasingly these days a cyber place. However, I’m not one of them. Amongst my Third Place(s) is my work as – would you believe it – a Producer/Executive Producer of short independent films.

So why do I do it and how can such an experience help in FX? Well, may I answer it this way – some of the qualities and attributes I have, use or have access to in my work in film production are the same I would use in Technical Analysis (TA) of the FX (and other) markets.

Eddie Tofpik

First off – they both are an art…not a science! Though there is highly complex methodology & equipment used by both in determining outcomes, if it wasn’t for the vision of either the Director or the Analyst the outcome would be just garbage. Unfortunately this sometimes does happen…for both fields so you need understanding along with expertise to make sense of the journey whether in film or a chart.

Next is inspiration. I challenge any…and I mean any…technical analyst not be inspired by listening (as I had the great opportunity to do in person) to John Murphy talk about intermarket analysis or Tom DeMark on his indicators. Likewise I could name hundreds of films that touch the soul and describe the human condition – The Pianist comes to mind, or Lawrence of Arabia, Gandhi, or any Star Wars movie.

The Projects – Something that touches you personally, something that is of interest to you. For me in TA it is the FX markets, how can I use TA to best describe what is going on and the satisfaction in ‘seeing’ what is really going on. In my Third Place, I’m a Producer/Exec Producer on three projects:

Human – Directed by Patrick Ryder and starring Leila Kotori, Nadia Lamin & Alex Phillips. The story of the interaction between human and machine – something I deal with more and more in our industry.

I’m Cold – Directed by Alex Thorn and starring Mari Beaseley & Robin Perry. A global pandemic hits the UK and this explores how we treat sick people in our society – a personal experience.

The Stuff of Legend – Directed by Alexandra Shipman, written & produced by Emily Rose and Izzie Jones as cinematographer with starring roles for Lisa Ambalavanar, Chris Kaye & Steven Cavanagh. A superhero film but from a different point of view – the vigilante’s girlfriend. Very relevant in the current zeitgeist and anyone who has ever had a daughter or young niece knows what I mean.

In the above I’ve expressed some of my motivation for getting involved. As you can imagine they are emotional reasons of varying degrees. Emotion plays a part in TA as well as the film industry – we analyse it in the markets and express it. You may work with either film equipment or with charts but in both you will still be emotionally involved – you may not show it but that is called…professionalism…not divorced detachment.

This leads nicely into the field of professionalism, not necessarily ‘a professional’ though that is appropriate – but professionalism. I love working with people who are invested in a project or a market and who work with professionalism. I don’t mean the professionalism of being registered with a regulator (or union) but with people who approach what they do with professionalism.

Finally – results

Now we all think that trading or broking the markets has its rewards solely in financial terms but I would challenge that. No one can work at their best when they hate their environment & are just in it for pecuniary gain. You may not agree dear reader but many people I know work for a smaller salary just because the benefits of the environment, company culture, the non-pecuniary benefits & especially the teamwork (something both film production and trading share) outweigh the financial gain.

This leads nicely back to a key point the trainer on the course was trying to get over, all these can lead to a more productive and rewarding experience individually, corporately plus in your TA or market trading experience. If you get the chance, please take a look at my films…when they come out – I really think they’re worth it.

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