From Walt Disney artist and helping direct Oscar-nominated films to floristry, Mark Ingram has the ability to create visual masterpieces no matter his role.
Throughout his career, Mr Ingram has been credited as second assistant director/assistant director in 55 film and television projects, including some many My Weekly Preview readers would be familiar with: Lion, Mabo, Red Dwarf, Wentworth and Offspring.
“I did Wentworth’s first season,” he says. “And I remember sitting there one day talking to someone about it, and I said, ‘I can’t really see this taking off, because once you’ve done one season of a group of girls in prison, you know’.
“Eight seasons later and they’re still doing it.”
Lion (2016) was recognised for its topflight directorial work, with the project winning the esteemed Director’s Guild of America’s Outstanding Directorial Achievement in First-Time Feature Film in 2017.
“We like to call that award a crew Oscar,” Mr Ingram says. “Huge achievement … that was cool.”
Born in the UK as the son of a builder/architect, Mr Ingram has doodled and sketched for as long as he can remember. After school, he was offered a place at the prestigious Ravensbourne Art and Design College in London, but the world of the silver screen had other plans for him.
“I was about 18-19 when I got the Disney gig, and I was a junior artist for Walt Disney in London,” Mr Ingram says.
“It was a no-brainer. I turned down college, which was a big thing, but, you know, turning down Disney would have been even bigger.”
Fast forward six months and Mr Ingram was working as a runner, ordering pizzas for the likes of music legends Paul and Linda McCartney.
He soon found himself on the production and post-production teams before uncovering his forte as a second assistant director.
“In the film industry, we call assistant directors the glue of the production department,” Mr Ingram says.
“So basically, you’ve got all your departments – makeup, wardrobe, camera, lighting, sound – but nobody talks to each other. Everything comes through us, and we hold it all together with the actors being our prime care.”
These days, Mr Ingram begins his mornings at 6am by opening his flower shop, Adore Flowers, in Mooloolaba.
His workplace brings him enormous joy. He has developed a system of knowing what works after establishing his first flower shop in London 23 years ago.
“One of the things I enjoy the most, and one of the things I enjoyed about the film industry, was people,” he says.
“In the film industry, you’re meeting different people every day. And in the flower shop, I’m meeting different customers every day.”
Ruby Waller is a University of the Sunshine Coast journalism student