Laurence Gendron has been in the film industry since she was in diapers, or at least that’s how long her experience dates back from. Watching her father reading scripts and putting together film productions as a child gave her a step ahead of others who started off in film school or learning the techniques in College. Here’s her take on the industry, and how she, as a woman leader, is changing the game amongst others.
Growing up in the movie business, did you always see yourself following your fathers footsteps and getting into the industry?
Yes. Ever since I can remember movies and cinema have been an omnipresent part of my life. My father is a movie producer so naturally we wouldn’t go camping or skiing, we would go to the movies, we would watch movies, winter summer, whatever. I guess that’s why I never tanned! I remember going on movie sets when I was young, and I loved it, but I also loved looking at the dailies, looking at the audition tapes, I always loved every aspect of producing. Even what some view as “the boring stuff’ like budgeting all night long on Movie Magic or Excel, I love it.
What does a typical day at the office look like for you?
There is no typical day, I also work at night, it’s basically all day everyday, it’s that kind of job. You have to be available all the time, and I like that. Like they say in the comics ‘with great power comes great responsibility’.
Define your brand, ZOOFILMS in three words.
DARING, TASTEFUL, PASSIONATE
Name three mentors that influenced you in the business.
My father : Pierre Gendron, of course who is my inspiration he taught me everything I know and I do hope to make him proud. Kathleen Kennedy who’s a powerhouse producer in Hollywood, and Michael Corleone who taught me to be calm and firm in every situation.
What is your motivator?
The impact a movie can have on one’s life and on culture. We really have a tool to speak to audiences and make them feel, think and act. Revolutionizing the world with one dialogue, one movie. Having the ability to move people, entertain them, make them laugh, cry, evolve, see different perspectives : that’s a powerful tool.
What is the biggest challenge about being your own boss?
Discipline and resilience. No feedback is a challenge too. But it remains the most challenging part of an amazing journey, so in that perspective, I view it as challenges instead of obstacles. The key is loving what you do and learning each step of the way.
What struggle did you surmount in the beginning of your career?
At the beginning it was hard for me to understand the value of rejection. Getting rejected is actually a blessing in disguise because it teaches you and forces you to work harder. For example, if a script gets rejected by many directors for the same issues, they actually gave you the key to make it a hundred times better, go back to scriptwriting and analyze what you are developing. Only a fool does not listen to the experts. There’s a big difference between stubbornness and resilience.
What advice would you give the younger version of yourself?
Just do it. Go, work hard, be patient and then work harder. Never give up, it’s cheesy but it’s true. It’s a hard business and you need to be ready for it. Believe in yourself and people will want to get on your moving train.
What are your future plans?
Produce quality movies. The movie business is still a business, and I want to thrive in it.
What does success represent to you?
Happiness. If I’m happy in my life and my work, proud of my body of work then I already won : I am successful.