France’s savviest production service experts Jake Productions reveal why brands and filmmakers just can’t get enough
A decidedly British company based in the South of France, Jake Productions has been unlocking the treasure-trove of locations in ‘le Midi’ for hundreds of clients since its inception in 2004. Distinguished by its vastly modernised and more competitive approach to production servicing, countless successful partnerships with the likes of Dior, Vogue, HBO, and Hollywood’s top directors have firmly cemented Jake Productions’ cachet.
Founded by British producer John Bernard, the team at Jake Productions has worked on some of the biggest international feature films, including Inception, The Wolf of Wall Street, The Hunger Games, The Bourne Ultimatum, and Hugo to name a few.
Jake Productions was born out of John Bernard’s desire to raise the standard of production service in France and meet the expectations of an international, high-end clientele. His own rich and illustrious production experience was further bolstered in 2007 by the addition of established producer, Xavier Wakefield, whose arrival from London via LA brought a couple more decades of production experience to the company. Following a successful first meeting, the pair were such a good fit that Xavier had his own desk the following day. They haven’t looked back since.
Jake Productions secured architect Antti Lovag’s private eco-Bubble house for Mango as a one-of-a-kind setting for its 2017 campaign.
Combining their talents, John and Xavier have over 40 years of experience between them. With offices in both Paris and Monaco, Jake Productions’ country-wide reach enables it to discover the perfect location. Whether it be the timeless glamour of the luxurious South of France, the bustling cosmopolitan spirit of Paris, or an idyllic rural mountain retreat, all are delivered with the reliable guarantee of a hassle-free and cost-friendly edge.
France’s richness of locations also means that you can find opposite looks within close proximity. Xavier comments: “Here in the South, we have the capability to shoot different terrains within acceptable travel times. For the Russian Lexus TVC that we produced for Adrian Harrison, we successfully completed a shoot in an urban underground car park in Nice, as well as at a mountaintop chalet all in a single day.”
Lexus Russia GX
With its ease of access from the UK and a multitude of distinct locations to choose from, France has long been a favourite of productions in-the-know. According to Xavier, those who seek striking luxury, tend to go to the South of France to get the real deal: “The South of France is renowned for its timeless glamour and elegance,” comments Xavier, “and it certainly doesn’t disappoint. There’s a real tangible luxury element that naturally elevates a brand with associated value. Everything just feels sumptuous – from the lush vegetation, beautiful villas, scenic roads, even the light has something luxurious about it. Sky Atlantic’s upcoming drama series, Riviera, - which we serviced – gives you a brilliant insight into the lavish spirit of the Côte d'Azur.”
Riviera is an intoxicating thriller starring Julia Stiles (The Bourne Series, Silver Linings Playbook), created by Oscar-winning writer and director Neil Jordan (Mona Lisa, The Borgias), based on an idea by Paul McGuinness and co-written by Booker Prize-winning author John Banville (The Sea). The Sky Atlantic series is set in the opulent playground of the French Riviera, home to the world’s filthy rich. With morally ambiguous characters, complex relationships and audacious excess, viewers will get front row seats to the dazzling depravity of the ultra-rich.
“Grand locations lend themselves to dramatic presentations,” comments Xavier, “So, if you want to make a splash, we’ve got all of your specialised production needs covered. Whether it’s off-road mountain shoots, underwater shoots, or shoots at sea with yachts or superyachts, we’ve done it all.”
Late last year, the team shot Victoria’s Secret’s two biggest ever lingerie commercials, directed by Michael Bay. The production service veterans sourced and secured two suitably epic and well-known locations - the stunning Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte and the Palais Garnier, one of the most famous opera houses in the world and the original setting for The Phantom of the Opera. These sumptuous and large scale productions are just one example of the breath-taking and iconic locations for TVCs and photo shoots that Jake Productions facilitates.
Victoria's Secret - A Very Private Affair
This impressive commercial repertoire - including a Wes Anderson-directed SoftBank spot starring Brad Pitt and a Givenchy TVC starring Justin Timberlake – is supported by Jake Productions’ heavyweight feature and TV experience.
Responsible for securing locations for Hollywood mammoths such as Inception, Iron Man 2, and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, the team most recently reprised its collaboration with Christopher Nolan for his highly-anticipated epic drama, Dunkirk.
Dunkirk is an upcoming English-language epic war thriller written, co-produced, and directed by Christopher Nolan. Set during World War II, it concerns the Dunkirk evacuation. The film is a co-production between the United Kingdom, France, and the United States.
John Bernard comments: “We’ve nurtured solid local relationships over a decade with the French Film Commission, the Culture Ministry, and City Hall, so you can rest assured that you’ll be getting the most out of France’s complex tax credit system and that your shooting process will be without any unwelcome surprises, giving you more time to soak in the local delights.”
Cadillac - ATS 2013 Monaco F1 Commercial Track Challenge 2013 Music To Drive To TV. For the action-packed Monaco GP circuit sequence for Iron Man 2, the production service experts secured access to the world-famous race track and logistically accommodated the complex production requirements – something it also achieved for Cadillac’s Monaco Track Challenge.
With Dunkirk and Riviera set to hit screens in the coming months, it promises to be a big year for Jake Productions. With the appetite for France’s rich locations not looking to ease any time soon, the production service experts continue to bring their professional skill, British touch, and je ne sais quoi to productions across the country.
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