A talk with “the godmother of all photo producers”: Michelle d’Eze, the CEO of Montreal/Quebec Photography Productions
Providing Canadian and international clients with turnkey locations for TV, video and still photo shoots, Montreal/Quebec Photography Productions is a production company in business since 1984. We had the pleasure to talk to Michelle d’Eze, CEO and Senior Producer, to find out more about the history behind the company´s success, their challenges, and the exceptional services the company provides to producers, photographers, art directors, and publishers.
Production Paradise: Montreal / Quebec Photography Productions is in the business since 1984. Could you share with us what was your professional path and how did it all start with the company?
Michelle: My husband Serge Beauchemin is a renowned Canadian fashion and beauty photographer. I started coordinating his projects 40 years ago: locations, décor, props, casting, wardrobe, hair and makeup, crew, etc. At the time, we were not called producer, instead, for exactly the same amount of work, we were called coordinator. And the rest is history… In Quebec, they call me “the godmother of all photo producers”!
Production Paradise: Your most recent clients include brands such as Apple, Swarovski, Under Armor, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, Reebok, Timberland and many more. What do you think all these prominent brands appreciate the most about you and your services?
Michelle: Mostly the fact that our professionals and conscious team members go over and above the call of duty – as well, our back office pros totally hands on for all eventualities… we do not hesitate to do 12 to 18 hours a day, weekends, multi-tasking in both countries, we always deliver on time and on budget. Some of the many reasons why we are still in business after so many years.
Production Paradise: How do your knowledge of Montreal and Quebec’s geography and locations give you an advantage over the other photo production companies in Canada and outside the country?
Michelle: With its 1.7 million km2, the province of Quebec is three times larger than France, four times larger than California; it has so much to offer, such as remarkable diverse landscape and scenery, that it is possible to shoot in a variety of settings: urban or pastoral, modern or historical, North American, European, etc. We have fixers and team members in all 17 regions of Quebec as well as in the Dominican Republic, the second-largest Caribbean country by area: 1,000 miles of coastline, 250 miles of the world’s top beaches, magnificent resorts, hotels, and villas -from Hispanic to ultra modern-, and we have fixers in the 31 provinces.
Production Paradise: You provide a great diversity of production services ranging from production, post-production, providing hair & make-up artists, logistics and locations scouting to requisitioning and processing shooting permits, and much more. What do you find the most challenging in your business and why?
Michelle: We love all challenges, although, after being in business for 40 years, we pride ourselves in knowing it all. Besides the basic requests, each new project challenges us to go even further, on each new production we learn something new, we make great contacts. I keep repeating to my team members never to take anything for granted….we totally love it!
Production Paradise: With so much experience behind your back, what do you consider your most successful and fulfilling project?
Michelle: All projects are fulfilling. The most successful is always the next one! For each new project, we make sure that all is very clear at the start and then create a plan with milestones. We also like dealing with what we think are the most difficult parts of the projects early on — that way, in case there are any significant issues, we still have a nice amount of time to complete them before the production itself. Detailed planning is very important to ensure an important project goes smoothly.
Michelle: Whatever the difficulty our motto is “Find a solution” and up till now we always did!
Production Paradise: How do you manage to coincide the ideas according to your clients’ brief for a certain task and your own vision to go about it?
Michelle: We are here to serve, we guide, suggest and they put their trust in us and us in them – the basis for a healthy productive collaboration. Our words are backed by actions.
We are very grateful to Michelle for this interview and for making it all happen! If you like what Montreal/Quebec Productions do, we invite you to have a look at their work on Production Paradise and to visit their website.