Dream Teams: Jenna Le Noury and Rosanne Crisp’s “Transformative Bond”

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ELMNTL studio is a proudly independent creative studio, offering visual and audio post production. It’s name encompasses everything you need to know about its roots – it’s essential, uncomplicated, and resembles a great force of nature.

The last also applies to creative duo Jenna ‘Jen’ Le Noury, executive producer and managing director, and Rosanne ‘Rose’ Crisp, senior creative VFX producer. Meeting in Rose in 2017, Jenna was freelancing at a post production company called Big Buoy on Poland Street, in London’s Soho. The two started there about a month apart, so friendship stretches back six years! Once they settled at Big Buoy, the pair quickly connected over countless coffees and stories from New York.

“Naturally being newbies there, I think we just gravitated towards each other,” explains Rose. “Within a short space of time, we both experienced situations and changes in our life outside of work and the support between us grew from professional to personal very quickly.”

Jenna left the company to go to work with the team at Absolute and when she found out about her pregnancy, Rose was the first person she called. “She ended up coming over to work with us to help with my maternity leave,” remembers Jenna. “And beyond!” 

In terms of first impressions, Rose laughs about first seeing Jenna: “I thought ‘Wow, you’re so posh!’. That definitely hasn’t changed, although I think she’s now learned to understand my Essex twang which is also slowly rubbing off on her too.” What more hasn’t changed, according to Rose, is Jen’s warmth and kindness – two qualities that were noted from their very first conversation. 

Three shared workplaces later, ELMNTL is the only one Jenna and Rose have joined as a duo from the outset. “She can’t get rid of me,” jokes the second. But Jenna doesn’t want to either! Looking back on their first meeting, she remembers how natural their friendship felt.

It blossomed from a shared sense of humour and an unwavering dedication to detail. “We love getting into the nuts and bolts of the project. We’re definitely kindred spirits.” Plus, both of them loved the social side of their roles and enjoyed sharing events together. 

Although with a matching work ethic and understanding of comedy, their day-to-day jobs at Big Buoy didn’t cross over much. It was the pressure on the production team that pushed Jen (due to her previous experience in post) to help Rose in times of extreme business. “It wasn’t a conscious decision,” says Rose about their slow merge into a professional duo. “It just kind of happened. But it felt very natural and we quickly discovered our approach was very similar. When Jen then decided it was time to move over to Absolute, I knew it was only a matter of time before we joined forces again.”

At Big Buoy, the duo embarked on their first ever project together too – a Finish job for the team at Havas. While both of them were still getting to grips with the processes and workings of a new, to them, company, the project came naturally to both of them. “It felt like we’d been working together for years,” says Jenna. Intuitiveness led them to very quickly ‘getting’ one another’s work flow – Jen’s fast-paced view of the big picture and Rose’s love of detail and art – while their similarities helped them arrive at a common goal.

The undeniable similarities between Jen and Rose still keep the foundations of their professional and personal relationships unmovable. Rose is still all about detail and Jen still loves that – “It means that as an EP, I trust her implicitly and know that she’s double checking everything and making sure that we’re across all of our projects.”

That, in turn, allows Jenna to step back and think about the bigger picture – look for opportunities of added value or where they might have missed something. “Working with Rose in the way that we do, I know the projects are being run immaculately and it frees me up so that I can be across several of them at one time, spend time with our clients, train junior members of staff, look at new business, align with senior management, an whole myriad of things really.”

But that doesn’t mean Rose is left to fend for herself – Jen has made it clear she’s “always available” if a second pair of eyes is needed, or discussion is pressing. Rose herself knows that having one of them assigned to the ‘bigger picture’ and the other to the ‘details’ is the best balance to strike. She is fully aware in Jenna’s trust in her when it comes to the day-to-day running of the projects, but she also knows that in her she has a confidante that she can share any issue with. 

Going back to humour side of things, Jenna says that Rose’s is quite niche and is always what takes off the edge even during the busiest of times. Jen herself admits she is “quite fiery”, so to her it feels good to have someone to have an honest conversation with at work – “They know you and they know when to tell you to take a breath or a beat to try seeing it from a different perspective. I think female friendship in general is one of the most uplifting and transformative bonds, it can be so empowering on every level.”

Vice versa, Rose’s confidence spiked massively over the six years the two have known each other – today, she is braver with trusting her instincts and ability, which to Jenna is a joy to see. “I hope that’s come from conversations we’ve had about when it’s necessary to be a bit bolder or more direct,” the second adds. Those talks, albeit somewhat difficult, are what Rose sees as the culprit behind the pair’s immaculate working relationship and transparency.

Their endless conversations also come as aid to any disagreements. At this point Rose believes their brains might have merged into one, but there are still some things that bring to a healthy disbalance. For example, Rose keeps stealing Jenna’s chargers and Jenna is always on super speed as opposed Rose, who likes things to be at a much slower pace. 

But besides those two, disagreements rarely arise. “It’s spooky actually,” says Jen. “We even scare ourselves sometimes by saying the same response at the same time. I’ve come into the office ten minutes later than Rose before and had the same conversation with our colleagues that Rose had just had with them a minute ago.” And when those rare occasions do come, friendship comes into play to fix it all.

In their joint portfolio, Rose keeps a special place in her heart for their first project at ELMNTL. It was a team effort aimed at launching the adidas and Manchester United kit. A challenging project with high stakes and a high profile client – the perfect opportunity for both Jen and Rose to showcase how perfectly they work together. “Everything was heavily NDA’d too as we were not only working alongside high profile players and talent, we were also required to recreate the shirt for one of the shots which rightly so, had a massive focus point.”

“The project was a very tight turnaround,” she adds. “And the whole team collaborated to bring it together, to top it off, the recognition and response was amazingly positive!”

Jen’s favourite project, however, is a short film the pair worked on called ‘Rise’ by director and friend of theirs, Shirzan. The film was about Iranian women’s rights in times of political and social uprising. Made up of mostly female crew, the project felt like a huge point in their career. “It felt like we were a massive part of the project from the very first meeting,” says Jen. “We both loved its rebellious spirit as well as the beautiful craft that was being put into it.”

 

Jenna continues: “It involved the full discipline of post – edit, grade, CG butterflies, compositing, sound design and it felt so satisfying that we got to work together on this and to offer support to a film with such a strong message about hope and sisterhood.”

Rose also adds, “It was a wonderful collaboration and has just been shortlisted for an Immortal Award as well as qualifying for the Oscars and BIFA.”

Through three companies together, and projects of every kind, Rose and Jen have learned heaps from each other. Rose’s sense of humour finds is way back into the conversation: “She has just taught me to not take things too seriously,” says Jenna. While the intention is to always do the best job possible, sometimes – especially when things are out of control – the two have found it helpful to find the lightness of a situation. On the flip side, Rose admits to have thrown away the self-doubting with Jen’s help: “She’s taught me not to sweat the small stuff, and the 75% rule!”

“For me, it feels like we have established such a strong pattern and rhythm when it comes to work, it’s like a form of shorthand and it becomes second nature in fact,” says Jenna when talking about the last six years of partnership. “It’s a great feeling and one I really appreciate it – it’s taken years to build, even though it was a really natural partnership, you come across all sorts of hurdles along the way, personally and professionally.  We’ve been through everything together from company merges, promotions and redundancies to break-ups, first babies and grief – you get to know someone on a whole different level when you really understand what’s going on in their life. I think it’s added an extra layer of kindness and honesty to our collaboration.”

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