We had the good fortune of connecting with gaelle jaunay calendini and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi gaelle, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
After 8 years working for LARGE production companies, I was tired of the way my industry was treating its employees. Producing AD campaigns requires a lot of back work some of which is hidden from the public’s eyes. Runners, assistants, drivers, catering employees are an integral part of production and are often not considered. I didn’t want to have a team THAT was afraid of me, a boss ruling with fear… I had a very naive sense of how I wanted to be and act as a leader, with kindness and patience. I have since learned a lot ( kindness is not always the best business move ) but always listening to new ideas wherever they come from and being patient enough to let people grow has stayed with me and is what represents an asset in our company.

What should our readers know about your business?
We created MEANING PRODUCTION when we moved to Los Angeles from Paris in 2008 with my partner. Olivier is one of the biggest independant event promoter in France and I come from the contemporary Art world &  Movie production. Together, we are storytellers, thrilled to participate in ideation, collaborate with artists, crews, and to generate concepts while developing the best plan, timeframe and location for each project.

MEANING PRODUCTION stands separate from other production in the ways we produce.  We always discuss first. about locations and our strenght is proposing unique places, we just love scouting all the time and discovering new architecture. Then we always involve local teams and encourage our main talents to hire first or second assistants on site instead of travelling with an entire crew from countries to countries. For example, on our last shoot in Morocco, we were able to create a real synergy, creating a  real exchange between a famous photographer and his first local assistant. These types of meetings are rarely possible in fashion and in our society as we usually travel looking through fancy hotel windows.

We also have a tight net of producers all around the world making it very easy to quote in less than 24 hours and have been proposing big brands to cast local models of different ethnie and different sizes.As a result, our practices are not only environmentally friendly, we produce more original, stunning, collaborative and ethical work. We are an international family and all of our crew members have a special space in our hearts. I am a firm believer that working with people you love and genuinely happy to work with makes a great production

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We would actually start by eating, I am french after all. 🙂 Stopping at the farmers market to pick up some croissant by Sam the amazing baker at DELVIGNE and some products from L’Angelique. I would then stroll to Art galleries, I am a big fan of Regen Projects where you can see a piece by Lawrence Weiner on the outside wall so you can always catch a glimps even if closed ( you have another one at the sunset plaza bar ) ! We would then go visit the Neutra house in silverlake, it is free you just need to reserve 🙂 On week ends I would probably decide to bring everyone on a hike in Los Angeles forest at one of the falls : Switzer Falls Trail is short, gorgeous views and you can swim 🙂 at the end ! Before the exercise, I would stop to take a real sandwitch at CORSICA DELI on foothill, the owner Marie Claude is Canadian and has been here for 60 years making the best italian specialities. After a crazy long day, we would probably finish up at the. hide-way in Kagel canyon, a little local bar full of nice and chill people !

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have different mentors who helped me become who I am today. In production I think right away of Alex Melnyk, an English producer who arrived in Los Angeles in the 90’s. Alex was one of the first woman producers working in the industry becoming the head of music videos at Propaganda film before launching her own company STORYWORKS in 2000. She hired me as her assistant in Paris and I failed at that job but we stayed friends and she has guided me ever since. My partner Olivier has definitely taught me how to run a business and has been patiently supporting me as I fail and try again. Day after day, he is cheering me on and still rents a semi truck at 1am to help save the day !  Production is not something you can do or handle alone, that is the beauty of it all, you need the team, nobody needs you !

Website: www.meaningprod.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gaellex/?hl=fr

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