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Meet Carly Larson of Grant Larson Productions in Burbank

Today we’d like to introduce you to Carly Larson.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Carly. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I had a very non-traditional journey to get to my role now. I started off College at Penn State Behrend in Erie, PA (my hometown) with the intention of going into Anthropology. The field is still a significant part of my life but it only took 3 semesters for me to see that was not going to be my path in life. I then left college and focused on attending craft schools. Collecting up certificates in furniture design, fine woodworking, metal fabrication, blacksmithing (my personal favorite), kinetic metals, and a number of different principles in plastics and mold-making. My intention was to create custom studio furniture but it’s not a field that really provides an income until you become fairly renown. So I hopped onto a film set as an Art PA and then did a number of positions within the Art Department. It wasn’t until Grant Larson Productions, LLC. did their second feature that I jumped into the production department as a location manager.

Production and Art Department actually share many characteristics that appeal to my personality. They function best with detailed planning, long hours, tons of multitasking, and you are introduced to something new on every signal project. They are departments that really let you experience people and the world within a story and in reality. I like to think that in a way I never left the field of Anthropology, I just explore in via the entertainment industry!

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I would say that it was all very natural in the progression of things. Early on I was very free spirited about my path and let things take me from one new experience to the next.

It took a few years to establish that I needed a specific direction. Now that I am here CEO of the company I can’t imagine doing anything else. It fits like a glove and I love being someone who came from craft and crew positions. It provides me an insight other producers and CEOs from traditional paths just don’t have.

I will stay there is something more complex about running a family company. You grow up surrounded by people who know you as the youngest with the “free spirit” attitude and it can take a while for your family to adjust to the fact that those characteristics don’t necessarily have any connection to your capabilities as a strong leader and manager. It took a big push from myself to convince my family I could do this job. They were worried it would box me in but after a year of being in the position, we have all benefited from my new role at the company. It has allowed my parents to go back to creative development – they work as writers, directors, designers, and educators. And the pressures of management have been this huge weight lifted off of them. It has been very freeing for all parties!

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Grant Larson Productions – what should we know?
Grant Larson Productions (GLP) is a film and video content production company who understands the importance of diversity in the work force. Our mission is to develop and produce dramatic feature films with an emphasis on new filmmakers and strong female roles – along with education through new media content.

We have two subsidiaries:

– Grant Larson Studios which provides studio, office, and equipment rental services in Burbank, CA and Erie, PA.

– BLK & Ginger a set and prop fabrication house based out of Burbank, CA. With facilities for woodworking, metal fabrication, blacksmithing, small metals, 3D printing, foam carving, and rental prop/set dressing inventory.

Grant Larson Productions has a passion for making independent features that showcase strong female roles. But it is most well-known for its educational content with over 30 years’ experience in Math Education and over 2600 individual videos created in the past 2 years alone which we are about to double in the months coming.

BLK & Ginger Set and Prop Fabrication was the first presence we gained outside of PA.

Beginning in Burbank, CA 2012. The workshop is very expressive in its own right with a number of talented artists and craftsman that always leave you feeling inspired and invigorated to take on new projects!

I would have to say it’s our people that set us apart. Like all companies, we experience turnover but many of us have been working for Grant Larson Productions for years and are in it for the long haul. You can’t replace individuals who have a passion for making great content – especially when your company is half entertainment and half educational content! It requires individuals to be dually inspired and empowered by creativity and academic development. All of our staff works in both departments – we don’t split them apart and because of this we are chock-full of driven, skillful, empathic individuals who have a fair for creative works.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Persistence and Passion.

I grew up with my family in the education industry and spent my young adult and adult life as a creator. When you create there is always a downside and always a negative if you carry on you always come out on top no matter what the outcome. Life is an experience and each moment is meant to teach you something so regardless of good or bad you keep pushing and never forget why you’re there.

I have a passion for my job, our company, our mission, our projects, and our staff and freelancers. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be able to do this position. I don’t stop learning, I always push for quality and my staff does the same.

Without those two qualities, we would not have a company and I would not be here.

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Image Credit:
Grant Larson Productions

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