Editor’s Note: While Women’s History Month has clearly ended, we had such an overflow of submissions for REEL WOMEN that we couldn’t limit them all to just March. So, while these are the last profiles for this year, they are anything but least. We invite you to meet these incredible personalities in Advertising, Entertainment, Media and Production who are making “Herstory” beyond just one month.
Susanne Preissler is Independent Media’s founding partner and Executive Producer. For more than nineteen years, Susanne has brought together the very best of advertising and entertainment and produced award-winning campaigns of unusual impact, sophistication and style.
Her director’s roster is a veritable who’s who of Hollywood royalty including David Ayer (Suicide Squad, Fury), Jean Pierre Jeunet (Amelie, A Very Long Engagement), Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity), Matt Reeves (Planet of the Apes, The Batman), Janusz Kaminski (Ready Player One, Saving Private Ryan) and Regina King (The Watchmen, If Beale Street Could Talk) .
Susanne’s professional experience traverses both advertising agencies and production companies and her resume includes award winning television campaigns along with feature length films that have competed at prestigious film festivals.
As a former executive producer at Propaganda Films and a division head at Ridley Scott Creative Group (formerly RSA), Susanne has overseen hundreds of productions that have filmed around the globe, from Los Angeles to London, Santiago to Melbourne, to Shanghai and beyond.
This is “HerStory…”
What Did You Originally Want to be When You Grow Up? I started out wanting to design clothing. Then wanting to be a sportswriter. Then came my love of photography and movies.
How Did You Get into Filmmaking? I didn’t have family connections, but I knew a lot about film and photography. I got a job answering phones at a production company, poked my head into the producers’ offices and worked my way into becoming an assistant. I wanted to desperately learn what a producer did. I wanted to know how to look at things and understand how the written word got translated into live action.
Who Were Your Mentors? I didn’t have a mentor. There were people who were nice to me and others who just knew I would work hard until I figured it out. I would be given a random task and just knew it could be turned into an opportunity. Growing up with a working mom was an example, at least to me, of empowerment. My mom is a fine artist, a political satirist who started as an art director in the ad business, she supported all of us. She is my inspiration and my rock.
Name Your Biggest Achievement Walking out of a big company after they ran a horrible racist ad. Packed up my desk and left. Didn’t have a dime to my name. Started working the phones and created iM. Never looked back.
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Biggest Disappointment As a woman who has carved her way in this industry, to witness an agency person deliberately humiliate, hurt and defame my character was hard to stomach. But to be told to remain quiet would probably be one of my biggest regrets.
Name Your Biggest Pet Peeves People who are lazy.
Predictions for Advertising and Production over the Next Decade I don’t have a crystal ball. All I can share is that everyone has to be ready to pivot. That involves working closely together in different ways than before. Old school thinking doesn’t work. We should not be afraid to embrace, trust our instincts and go for it on any level. I am pretty excited about the possibilities. Brands are smart and they will invest with innovative doers.
Name a Job You Had that Would Surprise People I worked many odd jobs to get through college. I worked teaching English while living in Seoul. I worked on a real ranch on the Wyoming/Montana border. I worked waiting tables. Baked bread. Every job was an adventure and taught me something new.
What Marvel or DC Superhero do You Get to Play? I happen to love Deadpool and Iron Man……Deadpool for the irony and fun, Iron Man for trying to keep the world safe……can’t fight that….
Do You Talk to Yourself? I found myself talking to myself when I was typing on my computer trying to get a fast email out. I laughed.
What do You Wish You had More Time for? Read and write for myself. I am dyslexic so this is a luxury that I love very much.
I also had a profound experience working with Creative Spirit and want to do more for young adults there. They all are fearless, full of clarity. There was a young woman who is a drummer and watching her was both inspiring and groundbreaking.
What Inspires You to be Creative? Looking around…. people, nature, architecture, art, books, music, movies, design, food…..…everything we can take in has a profound effect …. It’s important to keep pushing your senses. To go outside of our comfort zone and experience, listen to people……the world is our oyster….