2 Minutes With … Gregg Jachens, CD and Editor at Seismic Productions
Gregg Jachens has spent 15 years, over two separate tenures, at Seismic Productions, with a four-year stop at Workshop Creative in-between. In his current role as creative director and editor, he most recently edited or produced the trailers for The Great Season 3, Disney's Wish and Luca Guadagnino's Challengers.
Other highlights include trailers and campaigns for Marriage Story, La La Land, Moneyball, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and Being the Ricardos.
We spent two minutes with Gregg to learn more about his background, his creative inspirations and recent work he's admired.
Gregg, tell us ...
Where you grew up, and where you live now.
I grew up in Cupertino, Calif., home of Apple computer, and now live in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles.
Why you pursued a career in entertainment.
I started college as a pre-med biology major, but didn't have the determination or interest to get through organic chemistry. I got a job as a college marketing representative for PolyGram Films and Gramercy Pictures, and as a student, it was fun to get boxes of movie swag sent to my house to pass out at events on campus, or to have the chance to see pre-release films at press screenings. So as college was coming to an end, I went the movie route, even though early on I didn't know any of these jobs were actually jobs.
Three movies/TV shows you couldn't do without.
So I Married an Axe Murderer: I spent countless hours during college watching this (instead of going to the aforementioned organic chemistry class. Miracle Workers: I think it's funny, but most importantly, my wife absolutely can't not laugh any time we watch it, which makes me happy. Temptation Island: In the immortal words of Marie Kondo, I love mess.
Your favorite movie trailer or poster.
The trailer for the Denzel Washington movie John Q. That was really the first time I recognized how an effective trailer could shape the perception of a movie. I was working as a publicity assistant at New Line during this time, and the movie was fine. But the trailer was so exciting and impactful, and made the movie look amazing. That's the trailer that made me want to get into this part of marketing.
One of your favorite projects you've ever worked on, and why.
I love all of my trailer children equally, so it's really hard to narrow it down, so I'll get it down to two...
Money Ball: Before the trailer came out, I feel like the movie was flying under the radar and nobody knew what to expect from it. Once the trailer was released, people were surprise—in a good way. It was exciting to feel like we had a small impact on the trajectory of that movie and it's eventual success both critically and commercially.
A recent project you're proud of.
I'm proud of our work on the entire series for The Great. Getting to edit the trailers for all three seasons (so far) with the incredible team at Hulu has been so fun. As the stories and characters have evolved, we've tried to bring some of that to the campaigns to keep things fresh and interesting and hopefully keep the audience returning.
Also, it's just such a fun show to watch, it doesn't feel like work. There is so much material to work with to make some really funny and exciting trailers and TV spots.
One thing about how entertainment marketing is evolving that you're excited about.
Audiences are getting more and more savvy, and that allows us to take more risks and have some fun. We don't always need to address every story point and connect every dot. Of course, there are still those projects that are best served by a big helping of story, but there are more opportunities for us to try some different things.
Someone else's work, in entertainment or beyond, that you admired lately.
LeBron James. I am not a basketball fan, but I watched a little bit of the playoffs this year. He may not be the player he once was, but the way he continues to play 20 years into his career, at a point when most other players have long since retired, is really admirable. The commentators would show clips of him practicing alone before games, and talk about how he is still one of the hardest working players in the sport. I appreciate that he hasn't just relied on his talent, but has continued to work and grind and compete at the highest level.
A book, movie, TV show or podcast you recently found inspiring.
I recently read a book called The Book Of Eels. First of all, eels creep me out, so I had to read it. It was so fascinating and entertaining.
A visual artist or band/musician you admire.
Lin-Manuel Miranda. I do not understand how one person can be that talented. And by all appearances, he seems like a really nice person as well.
Your favorite fictional character.
Someone worth following in social media.
I'm not big into social media, but Thoughts of Dog makes me smile.
Your main strength as a marketer/creative.
I think my ability to problem solve and balance the creative side with the marketing side. Cutting a trailer is a very creative endeavor, and I tend to also bring a very analytical approach to it, so I think that combination is effective in this business where art and commerce intersect.
Your biggest weakness.
I take such pride in everything I work on, it's hard for me not to take losing a trailer or campaign personally, even if it was due to something that was out of our control.
Something people would find surprising about you.
I cut my own hair (maybe it's not surprising if you see me in person).
One thing that always makes you happy.
Building Lego sets with my son.
One thing that always makes you sad.
All of the trash my family and I pick up and throw away when we go to the beach.
What you'd be doing if you weren't in entertainment.
I'd love to be a photographer, but I'm not very good at that yet. So probably running a dog rescue with my wife, which would actually just be us adopting a bunch of dogs.