Interview with Marie Owen
Marie Owen launched LS Productions back in 2006 from her kitchen table. Now, 11 years later she has a dedicated staff of 15 and offices in Edinburgh, London and New York.
You established LS Productions in 2006. What was your initial visions for the company and how have they evolved?
My husband is a fashion photographer and when he moved to Scotland he was amazed by the fantastic locations that are here. He was then surprised by the lack of shoots coming here to use the locations that Scotland had to offer but we soon realised that there was no one showcasing Scottish locations in that way and for people to come they had to see what was on offer. So he suggested I start I company that had its own database of locations and could offer productions services to organise everything that a fashion shoot would need when coming to Scotland- so I did!
When did you realise you were onto something?
Pretty quickly to be honest. I have no background in running a business nor in the creative industries (I was Cabin Crew before I left to have our 3 children). It was evident really from the start that there was a massive gap in the market to showcase Scotland to the fashion industry – I just needed to think how best to do that and all it took was some common sense and sheer hard work and determination.
You’ve worked with some fabulous clients, Chanel, British Vogue & Anthropologie to name a few! What have been your favourite projects to work on and why?
Oh, how to choose! 11 years ago British Vogue (tick) and Barbour (tick - we do all their production now) were on my list but as the company has grown so has my wishlist. Peter Lindbergh features highly as does Karl Lagerfeld. We've worked with some amazing commercials directors too and for many it's their 1st time shooting in Scotland, so feel that we have helped encourage that.
Favourite projects though include Bank of Scotland - I remember their agency getting in touch, I (wrongly) thought it was a low budget project and it turned into a 3 year project that led us to do some of our first major TV work. All of our Editorials - they always look stunning. Anthropologie - Tom Craig is an amazing photographer and the campaign looked incredible. I could go on... Every project is unique and we produce in such a bespoke way that all of our projects are unique and interesting and we do about 60 a year!
You’ve recently rebranded from Location Scotland to LS Productions. What was the thinking behind that decision and how has it improved/streamlined what you do?
Location Scotland was a brilliant name when we started but it became clear about 3 years ago that it wasn't fit for our global ambitions. People still thought we only did locations and only in Scotland and neither is true. There was also sometimes confusion to if we were a government body, part of Creative Scotland etc. so although it was an emotional wrench to move away from Location Scotland it has opened the door to growing to a global location and production service agency.
You have a very comprehensive in-house team. What the vibe like in the office?
It's fast, focused, fun and often frantic. It’s an electrical industry and no 2 days are the same. It takes strong, confident, team minded, collaborative and nice people to make this stuff happen and I am pleased to say we have managed to attract some of the industry's finest.
If I had to do it all over again I’d…
Do it the same… learn from the bottom up, never under estimate the importance of common sense and decency, surround your self with super skilled people, ask questions, never stop learning
What’s on the horizon for LS Productions?
Global domination - baby step by baby step.