Staff Reporters
Jan 12, 2023

Creative Minds: Steven Spielberg changed cinema and Jennifer Crabb’s life

The senior bidding producer at Sweetshop recounts how the 1975 thriller Jaws lured her into filmmaking, discusses the regret of missing Prince's first and last concert in Perth and reveals the joy of eating goat cheese on French baguettes.

Jennifer Crabb, Sweetshop Perth
Jennifer Crabb, Sweetshop Perth
In Creative Minds, we ask APAC creatives a long list of questions, from serious to silly, and ask them to pick 11 to answer. (Why 11? Just because.) Want to be featured?

Name: Jennifer Crabb
Origin: Paris, France
Places where you've lived and worked: France, China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, India, UK and Australia
Your preferred pronouns: She/her

CV:

Senior bidding producer, Sweetshop Asia, Perth, 2022-present
Executive producer, Sandbox Productions, Perth, 2021-2015
Senior producer, Lasso Productions, Perth, 2015-2011
Technical production coordinator, MTV Networks Sydney, 2011-2007
UK facilities manager, Endemol, London, 2007-2005
UK senior edit assistant, Clear Cut Pictures, London, 2005-2003
UK flame assistant, Blue Post Production, London, 2003-2001

1. How did you end up being a creative?

It was my dream to work in the field of film and TV since I watched Steven Spielberg’s movies as a tween, which drew me to the wider industry and a fascination for the craft of screen storytelling. My early career was spent in London in post-production where I developed a passion for the craft of editing and long-form storytelling before I pivoted mid-career into producing commercials. I'm a creative at heart and always thought I’d be a director, so I scratched that itch through personal projects, despite that admittedly it can be challenging to summon creativity when things get really busy.

2. What's your favourite piece of work in your portfolio?

In 2015, I co-produced, directed and edited a self-funded feature-length music documentary, ‘Parkerville Amphitheatre: Sets, Bugs and Rock n Roll’, with my sister Susie. It tells a tragic and compelling story of a man who commits decades of his life to building an elaborate timber amphitheatre in the Australian bush, dragging his young family along for the ride. It’s definitely a lo-fi film, as my sister and I took on almost every role from filming 90% of the interviews ourselves down to the mammoth editing.


3. What's your favourite piece of work created by someone else?

I can’t miss such a super fun and iconic campaign for New Zealand Police. It’s probably a cliché to pick this spot—especially as it was directed by Sweetshop’s Damien Shatford—but New Zealand creative is always so fresh and unexpected, I’m a big fan.


4. Who are your key creative influences?

I have a huge appreciation for the filmmaking in the 70s and 80s. Steven Spielberg lured me into the industry from the age of 11, when I first watched 'Jaws' and then made up my mind to work in the field of film and TV. William Friedkin's 'The Exorcist' and 'The French Connection' also exerted a big influence on me.

5. Tell us about an artist (any medium) that we've never probably heard of.

Fuuki created by my friend and designer Willem Scholten, is a bad bunny with a taste for dress-ups, staying fresh with cheeky nods to the latest pop culture icon of the day (see Squid Game Fuuki below).

When Scholten first started drawing him as a character, he went on night missions to fly-post him across Surry Hills in Sydney, before he ultimately committed to his creation as a legitimate career and quit his job to focus on the creation full time. Over the following few years he grew Fuuki into a successful online apparel business based out of the Netherlands.

6. What's your favourite GIF and why?

There is no context in which I can’t find a use for this meme.

7. What food can you not live without? What food would you be happy to never taste again?

I don’t want to live in a world without goat cheese on freshly baked French baguette. Anchovies in all forms are cancelled.

8. What makes you really happy?

Travel and adventure—I backpacked extensively in my twenties and thirties, which probably made me squander a house deposit on adventures in South America, India and Asia.

9. Cat person or dog person?

I have one of each and they provide different end-user experiences. Dogs are objectively awesome, and my rescue dog Freddie is no exception—he is a German Shepherd / Chinese Sharpei cross which really shouldn't work... but it does. He’s a quirky ball of love and snores, who brings sunshine every day to our family with his goofy antics. My cat is an aesthetically pleasing couch panther who keeps my ego in check by occasionally rebuffing my attention.

10. Extrovert or introvert?

Introverted extrovert, which is a real thing. I googled it.

11. Any regrets?

I wish I had seen Prince when he last came to Australia. I queued online for three hours to buy tickets, but when the time came all the standard tickets had been allocated and all those lefts were $500+ tickets.

Prince's first and last tour in Perth, 2016

I made a call to say that it was just too expensive, and I’d see him another time. Prince's concert in Perth was by all accounts one of the city’s best live musical experiences of the decade, and he went on to tragically die later that year. I'll always regret not just stumping up the cash to experience an icon.

Source:
Campaign Asia

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