“My role’s very behind-the-scenes… almost invisible. If everything goes well, which is my job, it’s like I was never there.”
Name: Juan Taylor
Can you describe your company?
Landia is a production house, but we prefer to think of ourselves as a boutique network. We have offices in Los Angeles, Buenos Aires, Madrid, Barcelona, São Paulo and Mexico. We shoot and collaborate with talented teams around the world.
What’s your job title?
Executive Producer/Managing Partner
What does that entail?
It’s everything and nothing. My role’s very behind-the-scenes… almost invisible. If everything goes well, which is my job, it’s like I was never there. If something doesn’t go well, that’s when the phone starts ringing. It’s like being a conductor at the symphony.
What would surprise people about what falls under that title?
No matter how established you are, a producer must never stop learning. Whenever I have the time, I always try to immerse myself with the latest industry news and trends. How can you expect to innovate if you don’t know what’s already out there?
What have you learned over the years about running a business?
The importance of balance and preparation.
A lot of it must be about trying to keep employees and clients happy. How do you balance that?
The key is to surround yourself with the right people on both ends. As an executive producer, there will be times when there are too many cooks in the kitchen, and your best assets will always be the team members you hand-picked for the job. This little support system will help you handle situations when egos clash during business or artistic decisions.
What’s your favorite part of the job?
Ironically, the most difficult one, which is working with different types of personalities. I like discovering and developing talent. For example, we run this platform called The Movement that guides young, emerging visual storytellers under Landia’s banner not only giving them an injection of the industry life, but room to spread their creative wings as well. The more tedious parts of the job — such as putting together timelines, treatments and logistics — also give me joy because I’m converting broad ideas into something tangible and profound.
What’s your least favorite?
The misconception that producers aren’t creative. I’m very much involved with brainstorming, shooting and final cut discussions. And guess what? Most of the problems that come to me need creative solutions.
If you didn’t have this job, what would you be doing instead?
I have a wide range of interests and like to think that if I didn’t work in this field I could’ve been an architect, musician, restaurant owner, real estate agent or even urban developer. There are too many to count.
Name three pieces of technology you can’t live without.
Although I love my phone, I’m a bit old-school. I don’t have Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, and I’m consciously trying to avoid becoming too tech-dependent.