Tue, 07 Feb 2023 14:26:29 GMT
In the 13 years as sales at Morrison Productions in New Orleans, Ann Asprodites grew the roster and billings from a small, regional one-director production company to Conspiracy in NYC and Austin and Code in LA studios, all with a hefty roster of talent.
In 2000, Ann started Asprodites Reps with four directors from Morrison Productions, who each wanted their own company. The business model was simple but different: the Southeast as a separate territory. 23 years later, Asprodites Reps enjoys a solid roster of live action, VFX/post/animation and music. Most of the companies are long time members of the roster and the friendships forged are part of the joy of work.
In 2020, Ann joined forces with fellow LA rep Veronica Lombardo to create the Alliance of Independent Representatives, a 5016 trade organisation that supports and celebrates the rep community in the US and abroad. As co-founder and VP, Ann hosts Clear the Air with Ann, a round-table of advertising and production professionals who discuss the common speed bumps and issues.
The business of advertising and content creation is fluid and ever changing but some things are constant: respect, communication, enthusiasm and the joy of work. These are the foundations of Asprodites Reps.
Along with a love of business, Ann loves riding and showing Baker, her thoroughbred Hunter, travelling with her artist husband Randy, dinners with friends and reading.
Ann> After organising all the kids in my nursery school class (yes, I did that) I created a group called Ad Hoc, the coming together of all the advertising organisations including the Ad Club, the Art Directors Associations and other like associations. After that I was part of the creation of the Louisiana Film and Tape Association and created a directory of members.
Ann> I never thought of myself as a leader, more of a doer. But now that the question is posed, I want to be a leader that celebrates others’ thoughts, opinions and ideas. A leader that pulls people together and encourages community.
Ann> When Ad Hoc fizzled before it got off the ground, I realised that a mission statement must be concise, targeted and meaningful to the members. Since then, every experience is a lesson for leadership – a tough conversation, the need for extra energy to wrangle an extra task.
Ann> Being a leader was not- and is not - a formulated goal. There are no vision boards or a planned-out life. I just always thought if there was something I wanted to get done I would have to do it. Long before the pandemic and AIR, I wanted to create an event that brought together production and agency people to discuss our common issues and professional speedbumps. I was able to put together two such round tables long before AIR only because it was something I wanted to do.
Ann> The best quality I have is one I never realised until recently: I am not afraid to fail. I really don’t worry if I stumble or trip in any attempt. The second quality is respect for other people. Not sure this can be learned. As far as the skills of leadership, I have not had any formal training.
Ann> Listening. Really listening to people so that you actually hear, digest and understand their opinion and acknowledge their point of view. That does not mean agreeing but acknowledging. This is an on-going challenge for me and a skill that must be practised daily.
Ann> Failure is my friend. Early in my career, as sales manager for a post house in New Orleans, I asked that representatives from all the advertising and production associations come together and attack common goals. We had one meeting and no one wanted to discuss the hot button item of not getting paid. In fact, it grew a bit contentious and that was the end of that group. I remember being mad and a bit embarrassed (probably because I was young enough to get embarrassed) but not daunted. The experience did not scar my willingness to jump off the cliff and build my wings on the way down.
Ann> On my desk I have a small note that says 'The two rules of success': One: Don’t tell everything you know. That doesn’t mean obfuscating or being inauthentic or even keeping secrets. To me it means to be thoughtful and considered instead of spewing information for the sake of showing that you know something.
Ann> My biggest mentor was (and is?) failure.
Ann> Challenges bring people together with the common goal of solutions and the need for support. Challenges created the fulcrum of community.
Ann> In every case possible, when diversity is part of the agency/client ask, I ask how real is your request and how is your leap of faith? If an under-represented director doesn’t have the work on the reel because they are under-represented, can the client take that leap of faith? I have also signed up for AICP’s mentoring team and started mentoring on my own by assessing the reels of under-represented talent. Then, I have to put my money where my mouth is by taking on companies with under-represented talent. This is where I work closely with the EP to elevate and support the directors.
Ann> Easy. My company culture is me. I have not, to this point, taken on a partner because I am unsure of how to maintain the culture of me with another person. Not to say this would never happen. It might. But to answer the question, I maintain it by maintaining me. And having a sense of humour.
Ann> In no precise order: Respect. Respect for the people in the companies I represent and respect for my agency and brand clients. Respect for their jobs and their time. Friendship. This industry handily blurs the lines between commerce and art, business and friendship. I cherish the relationships I have with my companies, current and past, as well as my agency clients. There are one or two exceptions, but for the lion’s share of my career, I have made friends. Listening and hearing. Again, this is a lifelong learning process that I will never master but will continue to try. Energy. The energy to listen. The energy to nurture relationships. The energy to be responsive.view more - Bossing ItAsprodites Reps, Tue, 07 Feb 2023 14:26:29 GMT