It’s been a minute since we interrupted one of our colleagues’ workdays to ask them about, you know, their workdays. But we’re finally back with another installment of “Meet The Geeks.” This week, we’re getting to know Grant Thackray, our Oregon-born, SoCal-based audiovisual producer.
How did you originally learn about Geeks Who Drink? I started as a quizzer at a bar called Shoryuken in Eugene, [Ore.] where I went to college. It was a barcade, so you could go and drink, but they also had arcade games set up. My nerdy friends and I hung out there fairly often and we started playing Geeks Who Drink. That’s where and when I really kind of fell in love with going to pub quiz.
Did you ever work as a Quizmaster? After a few years of going to quiz, I actually auditioned to be a Quizmaster. But then most of the way through the audition process, I realized that being a Quizmaster would mean that I wouldn’t get to go to quizzes anymore. At the time, I was really looking forward to a Futurama theme quiz that my friends and I had been talking about for a long time, and I was like “Wait, I can’t miss that!” I pulled out of the audition process at that point.
That’s an amazing and totally acceptable reason to bail on being a QM. How did you make the jump from being a quizzer to actually working for Geeks Who Drink? I was in an apprenticeship program at a theater at the time, and my boss just happened to know someone who was a higher-up at Trivia Factory or some company that Geeks either absorbed or interacted with. She and I talked about, you know, like where I wanted to go next and what I wanted to do. I told her that I’d hosted my own trivia nights with my friends where I wrote questions and edited little videos for them to guess. She got me in touch with someone at Geeks, and I sent an email that was like “Hey, here are some things that I’ve worked on, would you have any open work for me?” That’s when they hired me to be a freelancer.
What’s your current role now? I’m an audiovisual producer, which means that I’m mostly responsible for making the video or visual rounds, along with a few other people. I occasionally do audio rounds as well, but mostly it’s Photoshopping pictures of things into movies, or taking clips from movies that have some similar theme and splicing them together.
What does a typical day look like for you? First thing, I roll out of bed and groggily get to my computer in time for the morning [Editorial Department] meeting. A lot of times, I’ve woken up about 10 minutes earlier. We’ll pitch ideas for an upcoming quiz that’s two weeks out, and we’ll go over a quiz that’s one week out so we can make sure that it makes sense, is accurate, and isn’t problematic in some way. After that, I generally try to get out of the house when I can. I’ll take my iPad to a courtyard or coffee shop and do the research portion of my job, scrolling through IMDb, Reddit, or other movie nerd websites to see if I can get inspiration, or go to Letterboxd to remind me of movies I’ve watched recently that might fit [the round’s theme]. Once I have a plan, I’ll come back and use Photoshop or Adobe Premiere and start to assemble the round.
What do you enjoy the most about working here? I really enjoy the people I work with. There are a lot of interesting, talented, and intelligent people, and the morning meetings are always fun. I very much respect the kind of mission statement of Geeks, of trying to create the best possible trivia environment, just in terms of being creative, interesting, and going above and beyond what a lot of generic trivia companies do. Working here has made me less inclined to go to trivia because I can’t do our own quiz — I see it for every day and know the answers ahead of time — but I also don’t want to go to any other quizzes because I feel like it’ll be inferior. I also appreciate the progressive viewpoints of this company, of trying to lift up people and concepts and to be representative and inclusive when it comes to designing rounds […] That’s really helped expand my thinking on culture in general and what kind of media is present in the world.
Is there a particular fact or piece of information that you’ve learned while working on a quiz that has stuck in your head? The thing I will always think about for the rest of my life when I reminisce about this job will certainly be the day where we talked about Drake putting hot sauce into his condoms. We talked about that for like an hour and dissected that news story every which way [for our former “Recently in Stuff” video series]. For those who aren’t familiar with the story, the idea was that he was doing this after having sex with someone to prevent them from trying to take his sperm and use it to impregnate themselves somehow. And someone actually did attempt to do that. It was a very bizarre news story, the kind that burns itself into your brain.
Featured content in this post produced by Grant and the GWD Editorial Team.