Establishing Shots #11: The Truffaut Team

Welcome to Establishing Shots, an interview series where we turn a spotlight toward the diverse talent that comprises QuickFrame’s Maker Community, emphasizing the personality and artistry behind some of our top video content makers. Today, we’re talking with Rebecca Jeanne and Michel Constantin, who run The Truffaut.

Can you please include a quick bio about yourself?  

Rebecca: Michel and I have worked in production for almost 20 years now and run The Truffaut together. He’s worked professionally on TV and film sets in every department, camera/sound/lights, etc., making him an asset on any project. He’s literally a capable one-man band if needed or an efficient team leader — the type of director who also takes part in all creative pre production with me, which gives us (and our team) a start-to-finish consistency that serves clients with the strongest results possible. 

Michel: And Rebecca’s our head producer; she runs projects with a personal touch and has her hands in every aspect of development as well. She loves what she does and it shows in our work. I can speak to our team a bit too. We’re basically all industry professionals who, in early 2021, found ourselves questioning if there was a more personal and collaborative way to produce content. Being hired as individual freelancers, we found that the ‘all business state of mind’ is what inevitably got in the way of thriving creativity …which led us here. Creativity, open-mindedness, and enthusiasm are always key.

Can you tell us a little bit about your creative career? How did you get started?

R: I was born and raised here in Los Angeles in an ‘industry family’ with actor parents and creative siblings…epic Oscar Sundays were our favorite days. I always devoured all things cinema and production, which naturally grew into a professional passion. Once Michel and I linked up, I produced some early projects with him, one of them was a feature he shot, wrote, and directed in the California high desert with 3 actors and a 1 man crew (him!)…amazing. I came to the marketing side of things after working with Michel unofficially for years. Concepting and being creative have allowed me to collaborate on what I see as mini-movies over and over again. 

M: I grew up between LA and Switzerland mainly, and I started out in fashion photography, assisting pros like Herb Ritz before moving into post production for music videos, film, and TV. Editing has been the backbone for writing, filming, and running sets for me all these years. Knowing what works and what doesn’t from that perspective brings huge benefits into production, where the initial vision can often change a hundred times before the final export. I’ve directed content for companies as large as Sony and Nickelodeon and as small as family-owned small businesses and find myself inspired by the opportunity to be creative every time. It never gets old for me, I love what I do.  

What does your creative process look like? Does it differ from project to project?

M: What never changes is our dedication to the client — and that said, communication is the top priority throughout our creative process. The process itself can be different every time, as every brand brings different visions, goals, and points of view. 

R: The first thing I do is learn everything I can about a team’s previous projects, successes, and failures, and of course what they want most for the job at hand. This gives us a solid base to talk about their current needs. That initial kick off meeting is our first chance to begin a relationship based on trust and really support everyone in the room so they feel heard and clearly understood. 

M: Once we’ve all established a game plan, we usually sit down to put our dream team together for the project in front of us…then we’re off and running.

Tell us about your favorite project (so far!) via QuickFrame.

R: Honestly, they’ve all been great! The way our QF reps kick off the project and communicate with us, checking in from time to time, makes us feel super supported.

M: It’s impossible to choose a favorite, of course, but I’ll venture as far as saying that our most recent collaboration with Current Body for ZIIP BEAUTY has been incredibly fulfilling. From start to finish, their team has been excited about trying new things and active throughout development, production, and post. It’s a contagious cycle of enthusiasm, and it shows in the work. 

How do you balance your personal creative vision of a project with the goals and needs of the client?

R: Our goal is to provide clients with a clear path towards their creative vision, first and foremost, so that’s where the fun begins. Sometimes our favorite ideas don’t connect at all and that in itself is a gift, we can move ahead having learned more about what’s desired. If we feel strongly about a point, we meet, hash it out, and find that sweet spot where our experience and the brand’s wants elevate the big idea. We consider ourselves incredibly fortunate; sitting in that room with our notepads brainstorming is why we started The Truffaut in the first place. 

Outside of being a video creator, do you have any other passions or hobbies that inform who you are and what you create?

M: We’re all such an eclectic bunch, and our interests range from going out and shooting narratives in the California Desert to stock footage in the Colorado Rockies. We also have an office in Switzerland for our European work and find ourselves refilling our creative juices on the streets of Zurich…and when we’re lucky, Paris.  

Is there anyone that has been especially inspirational to you?

M: Naturally, François Truffaut. He helped shape the New Wave of Cinema and we try our best to embrace that same method as much as possible with our company and creative. 

Where do you find your inspiration?

R: Literally everywhere.

Is there anything else you’d like to share or mention?

R: Well, the most important thing is how thankful we are to QF for being so incredible to work with. It’s been almost two years and we’ve had the opportunity to work on six projects — it’s been one incredible collaboration after the other. 

What advice would you give to someone who is looking to follow a similar path as you?

M: If you do what you love and lead with that, then the work is always a joy.

Rebecca Jeanne and Michel Constantin run The Truffaut team, which has been working with QuickFrame since 2022.

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