I was recently interviewed by a student (Matt Fleming) from the Tribeca Flashpoint Academy. Below is the published interview in full:
Spliced Frame Productions
Melissa Lavadour is the Creative Director for Spliced Frame Productions, a media
production company based out of Raleigh, NC. She does marketing, client meetings, script
writing, filming, editing, all of it. A typical day may consist of anything depending on what the
client wants, so she walked me through the process of a job instead. She will meet with clients
and take jobs upon request, and it could be anything from simply editing or filming, or she may
construct a project from client meeting to finish, and complete the entire process herself. “
need extreme time management skills. If you don’t have the drive to do things yourself, nothing
will get done.
Melissa Lavadour was always into the arts. She was in the art guild in high school and
took up photography. Afterwards she enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. There she was
assigned to the Combat Camera division, and deployed overseas to film uncontrolled action of
the Marine Combat team she was attached to. When she came home she was in charge of video
production for government requested jobs including PSAs, behind the scenes, and to film
training missions. This is where she learned to edit using Avid Media Composer. “
I began with
layers and layers and layers of video until I learned shortcuts. I just worked around what I didn’t
know. The first time I tried taking the Avid test I got a 33%
.” She kept working hard and
learning through experience. You need to be willing to learn, and willing to work extremely hard
to progress in your field. You need to immerse yourself in your work, because your never going
to know it all. When you shoot for yourself you are shooting the story in your head, so it makes
it easy, but when someone comes back with footage much different than your expecting you have
to work with it and do what you can. You can’t keep waiting for that perfect project, you have to
get your hands dirty. In editing, work around what you don’t know until you learn the shortcuts.
I learned that everybody can start from anywhere. You need to gain experience from any project
you can get your hands on, and really dive into your work. You can only improve yourself by
diving into your work, so when you fail, your actually getting better.
After leaving the military, she worked with Combat Camera as an editor for nearly 5
years before leaving and branching out to form her own company. “
I never turn down a job, but
if my team and I didn’t work well together or have good time management, everything would just
” I’ve learned that you have to show your willingness to learn and to learn from failure.
When I asked her what she looks for when hiring someone she told me “
Experience is key, and I
want to see someone who works hard and constantly strives to improve themselves.
” She wont
hire someone who doesn’t look and act professional, and they have to prove to her that they have
a hard drive and are willing to do hard work. She takes her interviews very seriously and will
only hire someone she feels will work well with the team.
Nothing is simple, there is no simplicity in any way, its all just different. Its never easy,
and there is never an easy fix. Its just always different depending on the creative process. I think
my website was the simplest thing I’ve done.
” Melissa Lavadour has worked very hard for many
years, and now she owns her company and has gained interest from main stream parties for her
production of “Survival”, a documentary about surviving civil unrest. She is a woman I greatly
respect and admire. She wants people to gel well together, dress, act, and perform in a
professional manner, and who are willing to do difficult work but have fun in the process. I
would love to work as a part of her team sometime in the future.