Ezra Productions is an award-winning woman-owned creative agency based in Los Angeles that specializes in video production. The company is known for producing cinematic and emotionally compelling videos and films for visionary brands and modern families around the world. Since its founding in 2012, their authentic, candid, movie-quality films have gained attention from both clients and peers alike. In 2015, Ezra Productions won two Telly Awards for their branded content videos entitled “Tea Drops Brand Story Film” and “Ezra Productions Brand Identity Film,” as well as two Communicator Awards for their investor pitch video for solar startup Rayton Solar and Ezra Productions’ very own Day-in-the-Life Promo Film. Additionally, their family films were just recently profiled by LA Confidential Magazine. We are thrilled to have the founder and CEO Jillian Ezra here to discuss how she found her passion in film editing, her choice to empower women, and the latest trends she sees in the weddings and events industries.
First, we want to know about you. What was your path to starting your own business? Was it something you always were interested in?
I started my career along the more traditional lines by majoring in economics at NYU, followed by working in public relations and marketing with some very high profile companies. I’ve always loved traveling and I ultimately found my calling when I began experimenting with film during my travels throughout Europe, Southeast Asia and the Middle East. I loved to capture moments that I could then re-live back at school or at work, but I realized that there were certain moments that could not be captured with still images alone. So I took videos, which worked perfectly! As I learned to edit film in my free time while working in finance in New York, I fell in love with this new challenge and began to show off my new passion to friends, family and colleagues. Their positive response and support gave me the push I needed to pack up my life in New York and head to Los Angeles. It was not too long before I opened Ezra Productions.
What makes you different from others in your area?
We’re far from your standard video production company. First of all, no other company is making motion-picture quality Legacy Films for families to draw out and capture those little moments that make up families’ stories. You’ll see a few companies who will record Grandpa talking, but nothing as emotionally involved as our films, and certainly nothing like our Day-in-the-life Films, which beautifully document each year in a family’s development through the cinematic lens. They are like time capsules for each family member! Our Family Montage Films make it easy for parents to drag and drop all of their photos and videos from the year onto our website and have our professional editors do the sorting and editing for them. There’s really nothing else like our family films out there.
On the commercial side, most video production companies have expertise in only one aspect of the process of creating successful branded content films for companies. We approach the video production process more holistically by looking at how the videos our clients want us to create fit into their long-term strategic goals. We don’t just create gorgeous imagery—we create films that resonate with our clients’ target audiences, whom we go to great lengths to truly understand. Additionally, we regularly connect our clients with each other when we see synergies between their businesses.
Last but certainly not least, we work to make the world a better place by empowering women and children. We do that by hiring mostly women—which is unheard of in the production industry—and by donating to charities like Wells Bring Hope, the National Council for Jewish Women, Cancer Schmancer and many others. We pride ourselves on being a voice for the voiceless.
Do you have a favorite event that you were part of from the past six months? What drew you to this particular event?
That would have to be filming Glenda and Chris' wedding. They are absolutely beautiful people (both inside and out) who deserved the incredible day they ultimately got. They had a 1920s Hollywood-themed wedding in Southern California, starting out at Chateau Marmont and ending at the El Rey Theatre. They pulled out all the stops—they had a red carpet, paparazzi, cigarette girls, a flapper girl in the ticket booth collecting tickets, exquisite dancers, and it was catered by Wolfgang Puck. Their wedding planner, Beverly Harris, was also such a pleasure to work with. From our first meeting, I knew working with the three of them was going to be incredible.
Is there a photographer or two that you specifically love working with and why?
The photographer I worked with on Glenda and Chris's wedding was awesome. Duke is a former fashion photographer and it shows in his photography and in the way he shoots. He's also a complete badass—I’ve seen him climb a fire escape and shoot in the middle of a traffic-filled street to get the perfect shot. He's also fast as hell!
Where do you look for inspiration?
I routinely draw inspiration from the Vimeo.com Staff Picks and looking at work from other talented cinematographers and directors (such as Phillip Montgomery) from a variety of backgrounds and styles. I also find inspiration in my family, children, and traveling and exploring different culture. Meditation has become increasingly important in my creativity, as it causes me to pause and appreciated the small moments that make up our life stories. Meditation is incredibly helpful in clearing my mind, allowing for organic creative thoughts to arise out of nowhere. It’s what keeps me sane.
Lastly, do you have any thoughts on trends you're seeing in events? What do you see coming up in the industry that’s exciting to you?
In the wedding space, it's clear that some couples are demanding extremely high quality films of their special days. These modern couples tend to place a high value on spirituality, mindfulness, family, friends and memories. They have exceptional taste in design, and they desire a cinematic representation of their big day so that they can experience it in all of its glory while relaxing in bed at home. Most couples complain that they didn't get to see all the great stuff that went on at their weddings because they were so wrapped up in what they were doing; so having a film of the day is invaluable.
More and more couples are starting to do pre-wedding videos as well. These are videos in which we film the couple in some of their favorite places and interview them about details they'll want to remember, like how they met, what they love most about the other person, what the first thing they told their best friend about the other person was, etc. The couple cherishes these extremely intimate documentaries, and we cut them down into short, sweet videos to display at receptions or to send out as digital save-the-dates.
In the meetings and events industry, it's becoming a staple to have the day recorded on video. It's exciting for people attending the event to be filmed, and having an edited video of the event makes explaining the event and marketing and selling tickets to the next event exponentially easier. This helps with ticket sales, sponsorships, and building brand awareness and legitimacy. It also makes it easy to share important content from the event (like keynote speakers' speeches) with people who weren't able to make it. Giving those people access to part of the event is actually a way to get them to build affinity to the brand and to purchase tickets for the next event.
Our thanks to Jillian for taking the time to chat with us. For those of you who are as inspired with Ezra Productions as we are, you can view their films both on YouTube and their website! Also, please pass along this helpful information by clicking on the "share button" below to share this post to your social media accounts.
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