Founder And Producer Of “Open House Films” Anne Pruvost

We recently caught up with the delightfully talented Anne Pruvost to talk about life and how it changed for her during the pandemic, her latest projects and advise to other aspiring artists. Here is what she had to say:

Hi Anne, it’s great catching up with you again. How has everything been going for you through the pandemic? Did a lot change for you?

Like everyone, the pandemic has been an overwhelming, slightly stressful experience, and being an independent producer — not necessary an easy one to navigate since work has been incredibly slow, or even absent. However I took it as an eye-opening moment, one where I had to reinvent myself, which pushed me to think more as a creator than a producer. This led me to start shooting videos and take the time to consume content (Netflix documentaries are just an incredible source of inspiration) that I never had time to do prior to Covid. I found that the disconnect we all felt with the outside world during the confinement allowed me to reconnect with myself and find within me what I really aspired to do and be. I think it marks the beginning of a new path and way of thinking for me.

What have you been up to since we last spoke?

Before the pandemic hit, I was still very involved in shooting commercials through my company Open House… But again, this massive turn of events has pushed me to think in different ways. So many ideas came flowing, and I’ve grown more and more concerned with the state of our planet and how I could do my share to help and change how we consume. I realized producing commercials and being an ambassador for consumerism is 180 degrees from where my ideals stand, and something I now find utterly uninspiring and numbing. On one side, I’ve decided to take a stand and I am now developing a company that creates ethical and organic goods-and on the other, I’m more and more dedicated to creating images as a director that strive to inspire people.

I’m also looking forward more and more to promoting young and emerging artists and musicians through my images. One project I’ve been doing is producing a virtual catwalk for the brand Off-White, in which we shot the duo Domi and JD, an outstanding jazz band of two hyper talented teenagers about to break through on the music scene. Projects such as this one, in which I play a little role in the part of the lives of future talent are incredibly rewarding and fulfilling.

Are there any new projects on the horizon for you? I understand you have been working with Chloe Trujillo on some of her music videos. Tell us about that?

Working with Chloe is taking most of my time as a filmmaker these days, very frankly, as we decided to create a music video for all of the songs from her new album. She and I have known each other for a long time now, as two French women in LA, but we were really deeply connected during the pandemic on a very personal level — both of us reinventing ourselves in our own lives. She got me to listen to her songs and I was amazed at the sheer talent and the unique voice she has. One thing lead to another and we ended up shooting Tide, her first music video.

Our connection allowed me to reveal sides of her personality and capture it on the screen, and through the following songs, it became more and more apparent that this string of movies would be a journey across the different facets of who she is. Chloe has been an incredible partner and the most inspiring friend, and both of us are finessing our art through this project. I’m discovering myself as a director, and she is blossoming as a multi talented artist, songwriter, singer and painter. She trusts me on a deep level and gives me full freedom with my ideas and the stories I want to tell for each song. This project truly is one of the most satisfying, enlightening and rewarding things I’ve done in my entire career.

What have you learned the most about yourself, being a female in the entertainment industry? Do you feel you have had to work a lot harder to prove yourself?

We are humans being before being a gender or a race… and those things too often come as a hurdle when it shouldn’t be one. The hardest thing is having to overcome those hurdles which tend to suck out the energy we should be putting into the creative side of things, and not in proving ourselves as a woman — or as a person of color (for the problem is the same there). We should all be able to inspire via our talent or ideas regardless of where we come from, and this idea resonates deeply in me. We all have something to say, and the hardest thing for artists is to overcome your fears of exposing your feelings and your intimacy to the world. And it should be all! But as a woman, there’s always one more thing to overcome, and it often is irrelevant.

I created my own production companies specifically for that reason… so that my gender on my resume would never come as a hurdle. I believe inspiration can come from anywhere and is utterly valid as long as it touches others. Being an artist demands a lot of courage, and my job as a producer so far has been to help artists express themselves and be seen. Now, I found the courage to show my own work, and being a woman allows me to approach things from a different angle, with a different sensibility.

What has been one of your favorite projects to work on so far?

Obviously, Chloe’s videos have been a fantastic source of joy and a beautiful creative adventure and it definitely is one of my favorite things I’ve been a part of. But besides Chloe’s project, I was commissioned by the King of Morocco in 2009 to produce a 20 minute short film for the re-opening of the legendary hotel La Mamounia. I was pregnant with my second child at the time, but for 15 days, we immersed ourselves in the Moroccan’s daily life to shoot both in Marrakech and in the Atlas. The idea I had was to share through images a day in the life of Moroccans both in and outside the city. I wanted to pay homage to the poetry of those places and their awe-inspiring beauties.

At times, drones didn’t exist and we ended up shooting with a soul-cam, a helium filled mini-Zeppelin, that can hover over ground silently and capture images with a smooth Zen-like quality. I was not directing the film but acted as a creative producer, and the movie ended up having that feminine touch that I know came from my guidance and sensibility. This was a beautiful, profoundly touching adventure and I am incredibly proud of what we accomplished there — but mostly, it was the beginning of me realizing I had a creative voice, something beyond simply being a commercial producer. It took years and a pandemic to finally gather the courage to go and shoot images under my name, and let my sensibility be shown outside my personal bubble.

What would your best piece of advice be to aspiring filmmakers out there trying to make it in the business?

Be patient and trust that your day will come if you are faithful and honest to your ideals and vision. Chasing the job for the sake of the title will never be satisfying or enlightening. It might bring you money but it probably won’t fulfill your creative aspirations and your work will come across as empty. The most important thing is to let your voice be heard and your personality transpire in the project. And this is why it is so important to be a part of something that speaks directly to you. This is why commercials ended up draining my energy, because they have become simple pack shots and we’re not exploiting the full potential of storytelling and filmmaking anymore to create highly resonating films. I believe there’s so much more to do in that field, but agencies and clients have for now become a little shy. You can’t give your best if your not impassioned. And so, never let your passion not guide you, and be curious.

Mostly, make sure you always leave a part of you in whatever you create. People are attracted to art that they can relate to, and see themselves in. Art that is infused by humanity, and your own humanity is your best ally as a filmmaker. Also, never be an asshole. Be aware that everyone on the team is helping you, and not working against you. And inspiring your team as a filmmaker is the best way to get your vision to be as close as possible to what it should be.

For more info on Anne’s work check out:

Entertainment news, features & interviews by Amber Claire.