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Tara Razavi, award-winning head producer/founder at Happy Place, Inc., a creative production agency, has created a unique formula when it comes to producing award-winning productions. Through practice, experience and intuition she is able to transform artist and brand ideas into engaging creative content and events. Her client roster includes Tyler the Creator, Jay-Z, Rhianna, Jennifer Lopez, Converse and Best Buy.
When Happy Place was created in 2010, Razavi couldn’t have known how quickly her company would evolve. She leads a team of directors, photographers, editors and producers. “My team does things that make me so proud,” she smiles. “When the people on my team have trusted me enough and then go above and beyond for me, it makes me feel that we’re building something special together.”
Razavi is committed to staying abreast of current trends and research. She predicts new trends and pushes creativity beyond any limits in order to make her clients projects timely, unique and inspiring. Although she has accomplished so much in a short amount of time, her story is really just beginning. As she continues to produce high caliber music videos, she also works on high-end event productions. For the past few years, Happy Place executed exclusive documentaries for Apple Music. In addition, in 2016 her company led the promotional release of Zendaya Coleman’s clothing line release Daya by Zendaya.
Razavi’s story of being a producer almost didn’t happen. “I went to college and thought I would attend law school,” she begins to share her journey. “I was on a career website and found a music internship. I started out in the A&R department for Baby Faces’ record label. From there I went into publishing. Then I went to music supervision, which introduced me to production. Over the course of four years, I worked on reality T.V., pilots…really everything except for music videos and film. I basically ran his [former boss’] company for a couple of years. Because we were a small company I wore many different hats, which benefited me later.” As she prepared to leave the company to transition to the next phase of her career, a friend called her to work on a music video for an Australian artist. She was able to work on a few music videos on the side to gain experience in this area of the industry.
She officially registered her company two years prior to signing her first official client. “I just always knew it was something that would happen,” she states. “It was sort of the ‘build it and it will come’ scenario. Once I transitioned, it was easier than I thought. Of course, I had to grow and learn from it but it wasn’t as scary as I thought.”
For Razavi, it was about hard work. “I didn’t realize it at the time,” she states, “but when I would get a job, I would give my everything for that one job. Whatever project I was working on, that’s where all my energy went. My clients would see that and hire me on for their next project. That just happens until you amass a reputation…you dictate your reputation.” Instead of focusing on the minor details, she makes it a point to get the formula right.
While working for other people Razavi focused on the positives and was aware of the negatives; what type of leader she wanted to be and what type of leader she wanted to avoid becoming. She had to pivot her mindset, “I had to learn how to be on the other side of the fence. A lot of times we want to express that this client is being difficult, but they’re paying the bill. I put myself in their place; I’ve learned to see the perspectives of all stakeholders.”
Over the years, Razavi has not only transitioned within the production world but as a leader as well. With her first taste of power, she admits that she led with her ego. However, she quickly learned that that leadership style would jeopardize her company. Now, she leads by example. “Sometimes I just want to sleep for two days after a crazy schedule, but that following morning I think ‘what does it look like? How can you motivate your team if you’re not in the office and they don’t see you working?’ I definitely would rather show you how to do it than repeat myself. I definitely believe in showing, not telling.”
Razavi’s world is constantly evolving. She relies on the following mindsets to help her through her transitions:
- Just do it. So many times we get stuck in the planning phase that we don’t move, and the person next to us who is half as talented gets the client or project because she just went for it.
- Let the thought of perfection go. Perfection is sometimes rooted in fear. When you make choices out of fear your decision isn’t going to turn out the way you want.
- Don’t wait for people to tell you it’s ok. You’ll be waiting a long time. Go out and do it. If you hit a wall, learn from the mistake and move on.
Razavi is committed to helping the people around her succeed. “Just because I light your flame,” she concludes, “doesn’t mean mine will diminish.”
December 13, 2018 at 07:01PM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs