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Like many powerful industries, Hollywood was hit hard by Covid-19, with productions coming to an unexpected halt and millions left analyzing the future of their careers. Yet a handful of innovative thinkers and creatives have used the pandemic restrictions as a unique and rare opportunity to branch outside the box.
French producer Rebecca Berrih, who’s known for her track record of persevering through obstacles to achieve monumental success, has remained ahead of the game when it comes to working through the pandemic’s unique circumstances.
“I am extremely bullish and optimistic for the future in general and I think that the movie industry went through some tough times last year but it’s coming back, we are about to start some new roaring Twenties,” says Berrih. “People are dying to do the things they could not do during Covid: going to the movie theaters, concerts, flying, restaurants.”
Her dynamic triple-threat skill set as a writer, director and producer was the driving force behind the 2020 horror film “Glitch.”
The highly anticipated film stars award-winning actress Heather Langenkamp (“A Nightmare on Elm Street,” “Wes Craven’s New Nightmare”) who is also set to appear in the upcoming Netflix show “Midnight Club” directed by award-winning filmmaker Mike Flanagan (“Doctor sleep”) along with Maya Stojan (“Grey’s Anatomy,” “Castle”).
“Glitch,” an edge-of-the-seat thriller about a mother who, during a facetime call notices a frightening object in the background of her daughter's room, relied upon Berrih’s array of talents to pull the entire production together and comply with the pandemic restrictions.
“Shooting during Covid was extremely difficult,” she says. “I wanted to respect all the rules of the different unions and that made it very complicated, but it’s so rewarding to succeed at something difficult.”
Like every great producer, Berrih knows that the foundation of a successful production rests upon the experienced team collaborating in front and behind the camera lense.
She says, “I am so excited to produce it, putting all the elements together, finding the best crew and cast possible and staying focused to really make something special.”
Working alongside her was esteemed filmmaker Marianne Maddalena, best known for producing the “Scream” franchise and the Oscar-nominated drama “Music From the Heart” starring Merryl Streep, as well as fellow French producer Patrick Jean who created the Hollywood box-office smash “Pixels” starring Adam Sandler.
An unstoppable force, Berrih’s behind the scenes work prompted her critically acclaimed collaborators to commend her success.
“I love working with her because she is so smart and knowledgeable, she is fascinated with the world and reads everything,” says Maddalena. “Her brain works on all cylinders! She is the perfect producer because she is smart and well read and has incredible comprehension skills.”
“Glitch” is currently in post-production and set for release mid-year. In addition, Berrih is writing the extended screen story for the full-length feature film set to be launched by the end of 2021.
“I am very blessed on top of Marianne and Patrick, to have my friend Zach Staenberg who won an Oscar as an editor on ‘The Matrix’ which is one my favorite movies and gave me some advice on it and brought it to another level,” she says.
“When you get an Academy Award winning editor giving you some advice there’s so much to learn.”
One of the many key attributes that makes her such a phenomenal producer is her razor-sharp troubleshooting skills and ability to find a resolution in the midst of any challenge.
“I also love the fact that producing is a lot about fixing problems,” she says. “When you make a movie there’s always things that you have to fix, and you have to fix the problems while staying focused on the end goal: make the best movie possible.“
Along with producing several award-winning feature films, such as the 2020 drama “Heaven” starring Academy Award and three-time Golden Globe nominee Eric Roberts (“Runaway Train”, “The Dark Knight”), Berrih’s notable achievements extend far beyond the big screen.
Her television success includes producing the 2017 SNCF commercial starring two-time Academy Award, Golden-Globe and Primetime Emmy Award winner Kevin Costner (“The Bodyguard,” “Dances with Wolves”) which garnered over 7 million network views and boosted over 1 million ticket sales for the French transit company.
Berrih also managed to use the global pandemic to her creative benefit in the production of the ingenious music video for Chromeo’s hit parody track “Clorox Wipe”.
A Grammy-award nominated electro-funk duo signed to Last Gang Records (Crystal Castles, Wolf & Cub) Chromeo has collaborated with Grammy award-winning artists Solange, Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig, and others.
Dubbed as a ‘quaran-jam,’ the kinetic track “Clorox Wipe” is a satirical take on everything that’s been flattened during the pandemic, and was an effective way for the band to provide levity to their international audience.
Given that the track had such an inventive and newfangled message, the video had to match the duo’s comedic genius to a tee. The idea was to transform the ‘flattened humans’ in the video into those all too familiar disinfectant wipes.
She says, “It was a lot of organization, we had limited budget but we were trying this unbelievable and I think never seen before effect.”
The video was shot in Las Vegas amidst the pandemic restrictions, which required her savvy leadership skills to maintain a professional and safe work environment.
Along with receiving a whopping 8 million views on YouTube, the video also raised an incredible $75,000 to support the “Know Your Rights Camp COVID-19 Relief Fund,” a campaign providing support and education for people of color throughout the global crisis.
“A lot of money was raised to help people that were struggling during the pandemic,” she says. “Clorox and the band were so attached to this idea of giving, we are really happy that people like it and so much money got raised.“
Her dedication to achieving anything she puts her mind to has given her a reputation as a remarkable and tenacious producer. Rebecca Berrih is the prime example of how optimism and perseverance has become the winning formula to achieving success in Hollywood.
“It is so important to stay excited when you work on a film, at some point it will be extremely difficult so you constantly have to think that you are about to make the best one,” she says.
“I don’t take anything for granted. I really believe that America is the best place in the world by far and feel so grateful to make some movies here.”
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
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