Our Friday column asks our members about their favorite tool, software, article of clothing, shoes on set, favorite scriptwriting software, etc.
Sarah Barker – Producer, Author and Astrophysicist
By Katie Chambers
NYWIFT Member Sarah Barker is an accomplished and passionate producer with a decade of experience turning ambitious ideas into award-winning television and live events. Oh, and she also happens to be an astrophysicist!
Yes, that’s right: she is an astrophysicist, science communicator, and science-advocate, committed to enthusing people about learning. Sarah does this by creating engaging factual television, and enthralling live events.
She is currently Supervising Producer for an Earth Day special for National Geographic. Other TV credits include Yellowstone Live, Earth Live, and Live from Space (all National Geographic), and American Spring Live (PBS Nature).
Her first book, 50 Things to See in the Sky was published in 2019 by Princeton Architectural Press.
Sarah shared with us what she keeps in her toolkit, here on Earth…
What is the one thing you can’t live without during production?
My fanny pack! I have everything in there. Pens, phone charging brick, batteries, media, sunscreen, Advil, snacks… that thing stays on me at all times! [Editor’s Note: note the fanny pack in use in the featured photo above of Sarah and the helicopter!]
What do you eat on set?
I try to eat healthy, nutritious meals but to be honest I’m mainly powered by coffee and sugar – both of which I avoid when not on shoot so they can be my ’secret weapon’ when I am on shoot!
What do you do to help de-stress?
I’ve been practicing yoga for half my life and running for even longer. I try to do both at least a couple of times a week, and make even more of an effort to do so while on the road. I’ve also got a good stack of breathing exercises. I find these are particularly useful for live TV… which can be even more stressful…
You’re not only a director/producer/writer but also an astrophysicist (!!!). What does an astrophysicist keep in her toolkit? We can’t even imagine!
Ha! Binoculars! For example, when I worked on Yellowstone Live for National Geographic, I used my binoculars for looking at wildlife during the day, and Jupiter’s moons at night.
What words do you live by?
“It’s only telly.” This was the mantra of my boss at my first job in television, a marvelous and talented woman named Nicky Huggett. It helps to keep all the production madness in perspective.
Learn more about Sarah Barker on her website: www.sarahbarkertv.com
And follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @sbarkstar
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