An Interview with GPN's GM and Owner Julia Weichinger
What is GPN? How does it work and operate?
JW: The idea of GPN is to make our client’s life easier. If a producer needs to shoot abroad, in a country he has never been in before, GPN is there to assist with a contact. GPN provides a safety net for our clients, getting together the best people from around the globe for their next production. We are every client’s expanded production arm.
At GPN, we provide a comprehensive network that simplifies the process of fulfilling various needs. Each company that we represent has a proven track record of satisfied customers, which demonstrates our deep knowledge of them. Although the companies within our network may compete, we believe that we can all benefit from stronger relationships. We understand that our clients may have specific loyalties, and we value and respect those relationships. In fact, we love working with loyal clients because the longer we collaborate, the smoother the process becomes. Even when faced with high pressure situations, our established relationships ensure that we know each other well. Ultimately, we strive to bring this collaborative and supportive approach to the market.
A few weeks ago, we expanded our network by partnering with the top-notch tabletop studios globally, aiming to enhance our offerings in this field.
GPN was established two decades ago, primarily catering to the American market. I joined the team 11 years ago, and since then, I have come to realize that clients’ needs and preferences vary across continents. Therefore, we also perceive ourselves as cultural translators to bridge the gap and cater to the diverse requirements of our clients.
What was the intention behind bringing tabletop studios to the group?
JW: There are two points. One was the fascination of tabletop itself, because it’s such an interesting topic that you can find everywhere. You have no idea what’s actually behind the scenes, but when you take a closer look, it’s a whole new world opening up. It’s really very mouthwatering! If you open up a show reel… I would like to take a bath in that! Really, I’m serious! I can smell it. But, yeah, you really create emotions, you know? And to really create emotions is so thrilling.
The second reason naturally follows the first. I believe that without inspiration, I lack the motivation to pursue something.
However, we started receiving inquiries from clients asking if we have a network of tabletop professionals. Initially, we had to decline such requests, but as the market evolved, we noticed a significant influx of new graduates who lacked practical experience, especially when it came to shooting abroad. And since the recession also hit the U.S. market, clients can not always afford to keep the project at home but instead need less cost intense alternatives from abroad that guarantee to fill in their high expectations – so here we are. We recognized the need to assist them in finding the right professionals, thus avoiding any unpleasant surprises while working abroad.
Are there any differences between regular production houses and the tabletop studios, which are, to my understanding, a little bit different in terms of what they’re selling, what sort of services they are providing? And if there are such differences, how do they affect your selling and representation process?
JW: Many production companies place a strong emphasis on location, as their operations are akin to a moving circus.
Service production companies are helping the storytellers of the world to visualize their stories in the best way possible – in all kinds of formats.
However, tabletop business operates differently, with remote work being a non-issue and a unique representation process. It’s not appropriate to compare the two approaches since the clientele also differs.
It’s important to take care of the entire product – which for the client is the most important thing! GPN tabletop is there to assist our existing clientele as well as our new clientele.
Nothing stays the same, everything changes and we are also moving to the next level of production.
If you were to point out some trends for 2023 when it comes to the market, what would they be?
JW: For the last 25 years, since I have been a part of the advertising industry, we have consistently demonstrated our ability to recover from setbacks and develop new strategies, setting us apart from many other industries. Our remarkable flexibility and agility enable us to handle intense pressure that would overwhelm others. Once again, we have the opportunity to showcase our adaptability, swift comprehension, and ability to simplify our clients’ lives. By doing so, we not only run a successful business but also make a meaningful impact on our clients’ well-being. It really is that simple.
Let’s continue like this in 2023.