PDN: How have the roles and responsibilities
of the art producer changed in the time
you’ve worked in advertising, and what’s
different about your responsibilities at RPA?
JENNIFER LAMPING: They’re evolving and
changing even as we speak. Producers aren’t
operating in their own silos anymore. They’re
expected to wear more hats, and to get more
content that will function on multiple platforms.
As producers we’re also much more
involved up front in the creative discussions
than we used to be. We’re often in the brief
when creatives discuss the scope of a project:
“Can we do this for this budget? What kind of
artists should we work with?” We’re also often
producing content that ends up in digital or
social media, not just print and out-of-home.
And while social budgets have gotten bigger,
they’re still pretty scrappy, so we’ve had to
figure out how to be nimble and quick.
PDN: When you say you’re now more involved
“up front,” how is the process different?
JL: Before, a project would be conceived and
approved by the client, and then the creative
and account teams would come to us to say:
“This is our approved concept, the style
we’re looking for, budget and timing. What
photographers can we work with?” They
would concept it, then ask us to execute it.
Now, we’re looped in at the beginning. We’re
part of the conversation when creatives are
coming up with concepts and discussing
what they’re able to do. We’re able to say:
Don’t even think about going down this road,
because the budget or timing won’t allow for
it. Or: You need to tailor how you shoot this.
Or: We can use existing content for this. We
found that when we weren’t looped in early,
they might have sold an idea to a client that’s
not doable given the budget or timing, so
we’re trying to be involved early on so we can
help as much as possible.
PDN: What media or platforms do you need
photography for? When you’re assigning
photography, do you know how the images
will be used?
JL: It runs the gamut, but we’re definitely
producing content for digital and social uses
more than ever before. We’ve been doing
more GIFs, short CGI animation, and more
productions where it may be primarily a
stills shoot but the client wants to capture
some motion elements as well. If the motion
elements are more involved, we’ll partner
Art Producing Across Platforms
Jennifer Lamping is the director of art production for RPA, a full-service
agency in Los Angeles. She has been an art producer for over 12 years, having
begun as a junior art producer at TBWA\Chiat\Day, working on brands including
Pepsi, PlayStation, Visa and Nissan. She also co-founded the in-house art gallery
at the agency. After nine years at the agency, she joined the rep firm Giant Artists.
Returning to advertising, she worked at Saatchi & Saatchi Los Angeles before joining
Ruben Postaer and Associates (RPA) to head the Art Production department.
She currently oversees art production on brands such as Honda, Intuit, Southwest
Airlines, Farmers Insurance and apartments.com. Here she discusses the evolution
of art production, and what she’s learned from working with photographers and
directors as a rep.