We had the good fortune of connecting with Lisa Freberg and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lisa, how does your business help the community?
Many people ask me, “what’s up with the name of your company? You’re a woman, and the name is ‘One Good Man Productions,’ what gives? I tell the story that my partner had a truthful talent manager, who lives with integrity and celebrates fantastic talent and creativity. His last name is Goodman. He is his namesake, he’s one of the ‘good guys’ in the very competitive and often, ‘dog eat dog’ world of entertainment. We decided to name our company after him because he embodies all we strive to be and represents the stories we want to tell. With this vision, we chose this name. And as the power of intention goes, this drew the independent creative storytellers and social good clients. It’s funny how this works. Entertainment is a very powerful force in our culture. We decided from the beginning; we want to be part of the solution, not the problem. For us, this means SEE every person as a beloved, broken, unique, and valuable person – no matter what. Be empathetic storytellers without an objective to manipulate a character, the person interviewed, or our audience. Let the truth (as ugly as it may be) stand on without an agenda, just tell the story. As my stepson says, this sounds ‘cringy’ – I think he’s trying to say it may sound overly earnest – but I really do believe in the power of story to connect us. And that’s the vision.
Consequently, we have a variety of scripted and unscripted projects that have come our way. We’ve attracted these authentic storytellers. We’re in post-production on our independent film, Alex/October. Our entire cast is incredible, led by Brad Hunt, Ethan Cutkosky, Tara Shayne, Stacy Edwards, Becca Brown, and an amazing young actress, Sophie Leonard. Cinematographer, Yash Khanna is a gift to our movie and created the most beautiful world shooting in Chicago, IL, during the winter of 2019. When Tara (Shayne) brought Josh Hope’s script to us, I loved the story and knew we had to find a way to make it. Josh is an excellent writer/director, and we are so happy this is the first film produced by OGM. This film is about hope and the power of human connection. This is the most substantial social impact we can have, especially during these very uncertain times. As a company, we also have had the fantastic opportunity to develop and create original content for several non-profit organizations. This has been a surprising and enriching gift that came our way. We are working on an innovative and creative approach to tackling financial literacy. Another client, BridgeUSA, is a movement catalyzing the passion of the next generation of leaders to invest in the future of democracy – stop the echo chamber and breakthrough polarization with empathy. It’s really fun for our team to have the opportunity to use our creativity, strategic expertise, and storytelling to create content for long-form and social media campaigns. We love the variety of opportunities that give us a collective chance to impact our community and the world through stories.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more? Please tell us more about your business. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about?
I am most proud and excited about building a company for independent filmmakers and content creators to thrive. I love it. What makes us unique is that we are a small and nimble production company run by a team of people who have experience in entertainment and advertising/marketing. We stand out because we can do both. We can create and produce a show and then create the promotional / marketing content to push it forward. This is not easy to do. I think the way to do this successfully is to leave the ego at the door. Also, remember the objective for each medium and emotional hook to a story (long or short) is what’s going to bring people on your journey. We aspire to be truthful, make no assumptions, take nothing personally, and always do our best.
How did you get to where you are today business-wise? Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way?
My foundation is in advertising. I started as a production assistant and worked my way up to Producer. I am very grateful for this early experience. I learned the business from the ground up, which has served me very well over the years. I am naturally a curious person, so I asked a lot of questions when I was a Production Manager. Ordering equipment, negotiating deals, or later sitting in an edit bay with an editor and discovering the power of shaving off a few frames to make pacing work for a 30-second spot. I was fortunate to work with some fantastic directors on projects that are now iconic pop culture campaigns. I was able to travel across the country and internationally. This gave me an enormous appreciation for the commonality of all of us as humans.
I got to stretch myself to become a strong creative and executional Producer. Eventually, I transitioned and made several documentaries and then landed my dream job as an executive at Dreamworks. I learned so much from working with the best in the business both on the corporate and production side. It is here that I met some of the most amazing people and really honed my skills and ability to take notes on creative projects. My career has not been easy. For the majority of the time, I worked as a freelancer and now a small business owner. I have taken big risks. Some paid off, others did not pay off, and I went through some financially very stressful times. The biggest mistakes I’ve made over the years are hanging on to a project or sticking with a person too long. It is very important to have confidence, tenacity, and rally the team to keep moving forward. It’s equally important to determine when and how to let go. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story? Great creative comes from collaboration and clarity of purpose.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
Interestingly enough, it appears many of my favorite spots have food and cocktails involved – Shutters at the Beach for Mojito sitting on the deck watching the sunset. Bike Ride from Santa Monica to Manhattan Beach – this is a great ride (on a weekday) and one of the best things about living in Los Angeles–I am a beach person. I lived in Santa Monica for over 15 years. I truly miss the joy of seeing the ocean every day. We are very fortunate to be living here. For me, the ocean keeps me grounded and reminds me we are here just for a little moment. Also, any great Concert at The Greek Theater. I love the intimacy of The Greek. I’ve seen too many wonderful concerts here to list. Let’s just say, if you can, ‘Get to The Greek’ do it! It will be awesome when we can all gather together again to share beautiful nights with fantastic music. The Getty Museum – Tour the museum or in the summer concert series on the plaza or take in the original Getty Villa. Both are special places to be enjoyed. Throw a party in our backyard “The Zen Zone” and bring in margaritas and Mexican food from Salsa & Beer (North Hollywood), this is one of my favorite spots in the city. Maybe it reminds me of home in South Texas. I just love Mexican food!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are several people I can Shoutout, and I love this is your focus! Thank you for the opportunity to give thanks and recognition. Let’s start with the oldest and probably one of the most energetic – My mom, Betty Freberg, who wrote her first children’s book series, Freebie Dog Tales, at 85 years old! She says, ‘you’re never too young (or old) to go for it! Nothing ventured, nothing gained.’ She believes all things are possible, and she’s encouraged her seven kids to go for it. Many people don’t have the support of family when they pursue their creative visions – I am fortunate. My mom never tells me to dream smaller. I had the good fortune to work at Dreamworks Animation for eight years. Those years were key to my growth as a producer. I learned so much from all the talented people there. There are many executives, producers, directors who I could give a Shoutout and say – thank you.
For the sake of time, I will limit this to one – Jeffrey Katzenberg’s leadership style, fearlessness, and commitment taught me. I learned from him through watching how he handled crises, celebrated successes, and most directly through presenting work to him. I am grateful. Kerry Phalen, Former President, Global Franchise Management at Lionsgate Entertainment, is a woman who has inspired and encouraged me over the years. Kerry is one of a kind. She is a savvy business person who is equally kind, funny, and gracious. I’ve learned so much from Kerry. Most importantly, she’s been a tremendous example for me as a leader who can have the ‘tough conversations’ with a cool head. I adore and appreciate Kerry in my life.
The award-winning novel, They Rode Good Horses, brought my first true mentor, author Dale B. Jackson, into my life. Dale is the person I can call with any business questions. He gives me insight, strategy, and challenges me with patience, intuitiveness, and, again, grace. One of the game-changers for me was when I discovered Oprah and Tom Brady had something in common. They both attributed their success to the impact of this little book called The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom, by Miguel Ruiz. The Four Agreements are: Be impeccable with your word. Don’t take anything personally. Don’t make assumptions. Always do your best. I don’t know if the three people I am giving a Shoutout to have ever read this book, but I can tell you they certainly live it. I aspire to be like them and pass on to the next generation the things I’ve learned and continue to learn through them and many other super cool people I get to have in my life.
Forest Leo, photographer