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Meet Your Makers: Making Movie Magic with Lauren De Felice


Assembly's senior producer on a love for episodic work, having a soft spot for animation and the joys of those 'lightbulb moments'

Meet Your Makers: Making Movie Magic with Lauren De Felice

Lauren De Felice is senior producer at Assembly. 

Lauren joined the Assembly team with over a decade of experience producing award-winning work for the Film, TV and Advertising industries. Her film career has spanned work for Blue Sky Studios, Sony Image Works and Framestore across the globe from Canada to Australia. She cut her teeth in the commercial world working for The Mill and most recently Horne Studios. 

Lauren’s blockbuster VFX production credits include The Lego Batman Movie, Ice Age: Continental Drift and Netflix series, Away. She has also produced notable commercial work for brands such as Spotify, Facebook and Verizon. 

LBB> What first attracted you to production - and has it been an industry you’ve always worked on or did you come to it from another area? 

Lauren> I grew up in the industry. My father worked at Disney as a background painter in the early 90s. I did not go to school for this job. After an internship during my Junior year of College, I knew this was the path I wanted to pursue.

LBB> What was your first role in the production world and how did this experience influence how you think about production and how you grew your career? 

Lauren> My first experience was in Feature Film. I was a production assistant. I have always had a soft spot for Animation. I went on to work at several other animation studios and today I love to work closely with CG artists.

LBB> How did you learn to be a producer? 

Lauren> I’ve worked in many different studios with different pipelines. I’ve taken elements from what I’ve learned from features and applied it across VFX and commercial houses.

LBB> Looking back to the beginning of your career, can you tell us about a production you were involved in where you really had to dig deep and that really helped you to grow as a producer? 

Lauren> My first Episodic project was a challenge. I came right out of Animation to a multi episode production. The pace was much quicker, the terminology was different. But it was a challenge that I really wanted to dive into and now I love Episodic work.

LBB> A good producer should be able to produce for any medium, from film to events to digital experience. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Why/why not?

Lauren> I agree. I believe there can be good producers in each medium. But a producer that is willing to take on any type of challenge is much more desirable to me. At the end of the day we are managing people and their expectations. You shouldn't shy away from something that may be slightly out of your comfort zone.

LBB> What’s your favourite thing about production and why? 

Lauren> I love being around creative people. When I’m on a call with my team and they have that breakthrough moment of figuring out a new tool or a more efficient way of addressing a client note. It's cool to watch those 'lightbulb moments'. Plus we are making movie magic, so no one takes themselves too seriously.

LBB> How has production changed since you started your career? 

Lauren> I think it's always changing from studio to studio. But it's always the same core responsibilities. Managing people. 

LBB> And what has stayed the same? 

Lauren> The creatives. 

LBB> What do you think is the key to being an effective producer - and is it something that’s innate or something that can be learned? 

Lauren> A lot of what I do is communicate information to and from people that don't know much about each other's worlds. It's important to be able to bridge the gap between.

LBB> Which production project from across your career are you most proud of and why? 

Lauren> I really enjoyed working on a feature at Animal Logic. I was brought into the production in the front end, in the Layout department. I spent a ton of time in Editorial with the Director. Once layout wrapped I was moved to the last department, DI for finishing. It was really exciting to see the start of the project and then the final product.

LBB> And in terms of recent work, which projects have you found to be particularly exciting or have presented particularly interesting production challenges? 

Lauren> I worked on a stop motion production that was very cool. Being able to go on set to see that was incredible. The patience and craft that goes into a project like that is so humbling. 

LBB> Producers always have the best stories. What’s the hairiest / most insane situation you’ve found yourself in and how did you work your way out of it? 

Lauren> I went on a multi-day shoot during the height of covid. There was a very small crew on set, and those people knew what they were there to do. I felt a bit out of place as a post producer. I spent very little time on set. I was there not only representing the client but the post studio I worked for. By day two I had the lay of the land. I asked questions when I didn't understand something and everyone was very supportive. It was a time where I felt out of place, but I walked away from it having a very good understanding of the process. 

LBB> As a producer your brain must have a neverending "to do" list. How do you switch off? What do you do to relax? 

Lauren> I do my best to cut myself off from email at 7pm. I also avoid checking emails on weekends. Working remotely has added a whole new element of pulling myself away from emails. I go to yoga or for a walk in the middle of the day to reset.

LBB> Producers are problem solvers. What personally fuels your curiosity and drive? 

Lauren> A big part of what I do is bringing together the people who solve the problems. What fuels my drive is being a support to those people. To let them know that they are instrumental in this process.

LBB> What advice would you give to people who are interested in becoming a producer? 

Lauren> Be patient, do not rush into that 'producer' title, go through the Production levels. What I learned as a scheduler, production coordinator and as an associate production manager are still things I use everyday. It's important to build the foundation, learn about what the artists do, you don't need to know the software they work in, but listen, ask questions.

LBB> From your experience what are the ingredients for a successful production? 

Lauren> Making sure that your teammates know what their role is on the project is very important. Tasking out not only the artists but also making sure that other production team members know what's expected of them in the process.

LBB> What’s the key to a successful production-client relationship? 

Lauren> If you don't understand what a client is asking for, continue to ask questions. You are bridging the gap between two worlds, my client and need to be on the same page. Expectations on both ends need to be met.

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Assembly, Tue, 22 Nov 2022 10:47:00 GMT