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Interview with producer LYDIA HUIJBREGTS JAÉN


Lydia Huijbregts Jaén was born in Spain, though she is partly Dutch. This “uncomplete 100%” made her unable to choose between animation, concept and production, deciding at the end to study a master with all of them in it and make a short film in the process. On March 2019, her “Emotional and storytelling micro expressions” article was released at the animation magazine “A de Animación”, issue 9. Nowadays works at Zedem Media, in Cyprus, as an Animator.

  • A producer is a leader or a boss?

A Leader. A producer is not a boss, is part of a team and guides and collaborates with every member and makes sure both the film and the people are doing ok during its development.

  • What qualities or attributes do you look for in people you are looking to employ or work with?

Sincerity, communication and hard working. It´s essential to have communication at all times and have sincerity over the process of your work, as you pour yourself into it.

  • What do you look for in a script?

That it tells/shows values and not only a good story.

  • How do you select a director?

Actually, it was the director who selected me in this case.

  • Would you recommend writers think like a producer when writing their script? Or, just write with reckless abandon and then worry about the cost, or whatever, after they’ve grabbed a producer’s attention.

Thinking as a producer while writing will only encourage the art block to come in faster and harder, as the focus goes all into the production and distribution parts rather than the inspiring and creative that the preproduction should be. Writing freely gives the opportunity to liberate the mind and get absorbed by the story you are creating, it is always possible to trim parts and make it simpler to fit costs or other production interests, but the heart of the story must remain as its core. That is the essential.

  • How involved in the writing of a project do you get? Are you more involved in the initial development?

During the following drafts set to meet the production expectations, I was directly involved, sometimes even sketching storyboards panels so it would be easier to explain ideas or set ups for the writer (who was also the director), as we also made sure not to leave holes after cutting some parts. As for the rest of the short film, I have been involved throughout all the processes, directly (Background design, animation stages, composition, editing) or indirectly (Character design, coloring, music and sound design). I know this short film as well as the lines of my hand palm!

  • How much influence as a producer do you have with the choices made by the director and/or DP?

My influence in this short film went in the moments were shots where re-done in the storyboard and animation phases, advising the director and the team on how to proceed to have the film develop in time and without breaking the story. It was mostly a matter of time management and material management on behalf of what it had already been done, so no work was lost and it could be readjusted.

  • What is the most important thing you have learned during your career?

Good communication is the root and heart of every project, without it the project might as well collapse. You could have the best people in the industry but without communication everything could go to hell in just a couple of weeks or months.

  • If you had an unlimited budget at your disposal, what would be your dream production project?

A cultural film about mythology or legends from aboriginal cultures.

  • What does the future of film look like?

Very promising, breaking many rules both in technical aspects as in production ones.