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‘With a little hustle, anything is possible.’

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Feature by Exceptional ALIEN

If anyone knows LA, it's New Zealand-born Rebecca Skinner. Originally from Auckland, she moved to LA 30 years ago, and is today the Co-Founder and Executive Producer of Superprime Films, with a career spanning the worlds of film, entertainment and music.

Rebecca has worked with the likes of Madonna, Michael Jackson, Jay-Z, David LaChapelle, Nike, Apple and Google, and is a regular industry contributor. In 2019, she was the Jury President of the prestigious Cannes Lions Festival Film Craft award. We spoke to Rebecca about creative life in LA, the ever-changing entertainment industry, and her inside playbook for the city.


On where you’re from

Auckland, New Zealand.

On moving to the USA

Initially, I moved for a guy who I met on a commercial I did in New Zealand. That did not last, but I’m grateful it led me to the place where I now call home.

On your relationship with LA

When I first came to LA, it was hard. I was very homesick, and missed my family and friends. I would say work is what kept me here, and over the years, as I’ve made my own friends and family, it’s become home, even though my roots will always be in New Zealand.

On how LA inspires you creatively

LA is full of opportunity and therefore can be what you want to make it. With a little hustle, anything is possible. That is inspiring in itself. It is not a lazy city and you certainly do not have the excuses that other cities may give, with the great weather and countless things to do. There are always interesting things happening with culture, art and food. It is full of opportunity and drive. It is a very positive, thriving city, and I think in the time I have been here it has only become more so.

From Auckland to LA. Above: The cityscape of Auckland, NZ. Image by Henry McIntosh. Below: Flight over Los Angeles. Image by Jeremy Bishop. Image top of page by Rebecca's husband, photographer Stuart Pettican.

On how LA’s creative landscape is evolving

The West Coast may become the new Madison Avenue. Many of the agencies have now opened up here and New York no longer feels like it is dominating. Obviously the tech companies have been a huge part of the growth of content and therefore creativity in that space as well. It’s a very exciting time for us.

On a cultural nuance in LA’s entertainment industry

I think our world has become pretty narcissistic, so honestly I think people are more interested in talking about what they do than asking what you do. Personally, I am a pretty curious person, and would rather ask about what others do professionally and personally. If anything, I may ask too many questions. My husband typically cuts me off on the questions quota early in the day.

On LA’s environment

Hiking is the perfect way to start the day, and in LA the weather is typically favorable for it. I love to hike up Benedict Canyon, right behind my house, with our dog.

On getting to know the city

When I arrived in LA and started driving, there were no Waze or Google Maps at that time, so good old A-Z maps helped me to not only get around but understand the city. Nowadays you don’t think as much about where you are going, as you are being told where you are going. Our kids will be lost without these apps!

Above: Rebecca at the Cannes Lions Festival, France. Below: Rebecca with her daughter in Los Angeles. Images courtesy Rebecca Skinner.

On recent projects

I am grateful that I get to work with so many talented directors, and as we are relatively young at Superprime it is still very exciting times as we continue to grow. I have worked with the Malloys (directors Brendan and Emmett) for many years and am extremely excited to see the content they are putting out this year, with their upcoming docuseries on the Dream Team and upcoming authorized documentary on The Notorious B.I.G.

Terrence Malick recently shot a spot for Google with Droga5 in both Austin and LA, which was an amazing experience; his process is incredible to be a part of. We also did a VR film for Facebook, starring dancers Jon Boogz and Lil Buck, with whom Superprime are now developing a film.

We also have an upcoming project with Yorgos Lanthimos shot in Mexico City that will release this year, and Kiku Ohe is currently working on an interesting project for Louis Vuitton.

‘I am a pretty curious person and would rather ask about what others do professionally and personally. If anything, I may ask too many questions.’

On something ‘only in LA’

I hate to say it, but after 30 years, maybe I have been here too long to notice! Had I have been asked that early on, I am sure I would have many an answer.

On a few favorite spots in LA

My favorite spot for coffee is Blue Bottle (it has become quite the addiction), and I love to have breakfast on the weekends there with my kids. On Sundays, we like to shop at the Beverly Hills Farmers Market. For dinner, I love to eat at the bar at Madeo, an amazing Italian restaurant run by an incredible family. I have been going there since I moved to LA. Maude is great for special occasions (and is run by Curtis Stone). Malibu Farm is great for brunch, and we recently stayed a night at the Surfrider Hotel across the street and loved it there. Gjusta is amazing for ordering take-out — it is easy to look like a hero when entertaining at home from here.

Above: Nike work by Wieden + Kennedy and Superprime Films. Below: 1.5 million bats flying from under a bridge in Austin, Texas, on a recent project with Google x Droga5. Images courtesy Rebecca Skinner.

On creative inspiration

You have to take advantage of the great museums, like the Broad and the Getty, and Downtown LA is thriving with arts and food.

On something from NZ you need a fix of in the USA

Pretty simple, but Marmite on toast at home (sadly missing the Vogel’s Bread, however). Thanks to LA weather, family picnics on the beach at my cousin’s house in Venice can happen year-round. I love Waiheke Island in New Zealand, and the wine and food scene that is so strong there, so I love to get away for a quick weekend and go to St. Helena in Napa. It’s not the beachy island that Waiheke is, but has beautiful surroundings, and great wine and food. It is a relatively easy trip and so worth it. While up north, I also love to stay at Mankas Inverness Lodge and eat at the original Hog Island Oyster Co.

On window seat or aisle

It depends. Window if it is a night flight, and either if it is a day flight where I am working.

On LA in one word



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