"Be stubborn on the vision and flexible on the journey.”
So says Tracy Mays, part of the triumvirate along with fellow Executive Producers Beth Aranda and Ashley Hydrick that form @LArge Productions, the full-service creative studio featuring a growing global network of multifaceted talent, including an Oscar nominated director John Singleton, creative directors, seasoned commercial directors, and up-and-coming talent who bring individualized strengths to each opportunity. Most recently, @LArge formed ROLSTON@LArge with iconic director/photographer, Matthew Rolston. The division benefits from Matthew’s oversight as Creative Director, with a handful of curated directors specific to beauty, fashion and luxury brands.
The distinct pillars of creative development -- from the concept development to production and post – and a flexible model of integration for each, are things that set @LArge apart from its competitors.
@LArge Productions was launched initially by Mays and Aranda, who united their understanding of the industry from two unique vantage points: namely Mays’ background in some of the industry’s leading production companies coupled with Aranda’s background producing national campaigns to define a new style of company. The final piece to the @LArge Productions puzzle arrived in the form of post production maven Ashley Hydrick who, prior to partnering with Mays and Aranda, was Executive Producer and producer for noted post and editorial houses.
“We never stop learning, and our business is ever-evolving, so you have to be forward-thinking and anticipate the next curve ball,” Hydrick says. “You’ve got to be flexible and creative in your problem-solving. Our model was built on that very belief and foundation.”
Whip-smart and tenacious, Mays graduated university with a dual degree in psychology and journalism. The latter most interested her, and led to her career launch point as a television publicist in Los Angeles. From there, she transitioned into commercial production, working from PM up to EP.
“I was captivated by the problem solving of production,” Mays remembers. “From my first exposure to it, I loved the process of commercial filmmaking. It is a fast-paced business; you have to be a quick thinker and one who can think outside the box. All of these things fit my personality.”
They also fit Aranda’s as well.
With innate drive and a love of everything artistic, Aranda saw her future in the entertainment industry. Although she too was interested in journalism, that quickly changed to an emphasis on Radio/TV/Film in university. An internship at a production company soon became the key role of staff producer in the commercial department. This experience blossomed into a successful career as a freelance producer, giving Aranda exposure to a diversity of projects and production companies.
“As a freelancer, I had a level of control over my own destiny and wanted to translate that into my own company,” recalls Aranda. “I wanted to develop a place where we could produce a variety of content for various audiences.”
Hydrick’s introduction to the industry was through relative Cheryl Rogers a respected commercial music producer. Armed with advice and Rogers’ mentorship, Ashley landed a job at the venerable Crawford Communications, Atlanta, ultimately becoming the company's evening operations manager at the age of 25.
After four years in Atlanta, she headed to Los Angeles where destiny would ultimately bring her to @LArge, becoming the last piece to the power trio of Mays, Aranda and Hydrick.
One of @LArge’s strengths comes with being able to bridge the creative language and logistical needs of each client. @LArge devises the strategy and the creative team, rather than the traditional director-centric sales approach. For evidence look no further than the creative work found on their spotlight reel here.
Among the standouts include a six-spot Ancestry.com campaign that features some clever use of on-screen graphics and animation that both helps illustrate what makes the site so popular, as well as deftly enhances the watch-ability of what might have been a fairly standard testimonial type ad.
Contrast that with the epic sweep of “Be Brave” for Athene Financial that utilized the full skillset of @LArge Productions.
However, if there is one unifying theme found in all of their work it’s the simple fact that they develop projects from concept stage to completion, designing approaches that leverage maximum resources in their network.
“These days more than ever it seems like people feel that they have to give up creative or budget,” Mays says. “With us, clients aren’t paying for infrastructure, they’re paying for what we be put on the screen.”
“We say what we mean and mean what we say,” adds Aranda. “We are responsible, reliable, and meet the deadlines given to us. We do all of this while working within the budgets given for the project, which is viewed holistically for a more robust creative result.”
Women Moving Forward
@LArge is proud to be a WBENC certified business, and they also stress that industry success is about finding your own relevance by being innovative. “People can sometimes set their own glass ceilings,” says Mays. “All three of us are going for what we believe in, what we were created to be, and not setting perceived limitations based on our gender.”
“There is a big opening in our industry right now if you are a visionary,” Hydrick agrees. “There are a lot of women in advertising and production because it’s a great industry to work in, especially if you want to start your own company. That’s where many women have found the strength and opportunity to break rules and innovate.”
Aranda concludes, “What drives me is how much value, and nuanced perspective people of diverse backgrounds bring to our demanding and always-changing industry. Over the years I worked with many women who inspired through kindness and understanding while having a clear sense of purpose, direction and expectation. We carry this forward with @LArge.”