Adriana Randall

Actress and Producer at Marzipan Productions

Born in Nice, France in 1986, Adriana Randall is an actress and producer. Alongside her film career, Adriana is the founder and director of Marzipan Productions.

Adriana Randall made her motion picture debut in the 2015 bilingual biopic of Eileen Grey in “The Price of Desire”. She then starred in the 2015 American biopic “Experimenter” and the 2016 science-fiction thriller “The Call Up”. Earlier in her career, Adriana performed off Broadway in New York, most notably in Jack Shamblin’s “Blatant” in 2012.

Adriana is also a film producer, with both executive producer and co producer credits. She was the executive producer of the 2015 motion picture film “Strangerland” (featuring Nicole Kidman) and has co producer credits in films “Wish I Was Here” (2014), “Triple 9” (2016), and “Tulip Fever (2017)”.

She owns Marzipan Productions, a film and theatre production company, with her father David Randall who was involved in theatre production beforehand. Randall is close to her father and through their shared passion for the arts and filmography they founded Marzipan. Working on films such as the above, Marzipan have also collaborated with Act Productions, Red and Black Films, Jeff Rice, and BlueLeaf Productions.

Adriana Randall is represented by talent agency Duende Management. Alongside film production, she is auditioning for a number of films, TV series, and commercials.

Being the youngest of four siblings, Adriana grew up in Monaco, France. She is bilingual in French and English and is of mixed heritage – Adriana’s mother is from Hong Kong and her father from the UK.

Adriana Randall studied French and Spanish Literature at University College London. She then pursued her passion for acting at The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute in New York where she studied method acting. Adriana then continued to live and work in New York’s West Village, initially appearing in smaller roles.

Adriana Randall currently lives in London. She enjoys, yoga, tennis, swimming, and outdoor pursuits. She is currently training to become a qualified yoga teacher at Triyoga in Camden, London (where she is a member). Adriana frequently travels back and forth to Monaco, France to visit her family.

Where did the idea for Marzipan Productions come from?

I am extremely close to my father David. I would say I inherited my love of arts, music, and films from him, and my family has always supported me in my creative pursuits. In 2010 we decided to collaborate together and founded Marzipan. We have worked on a number of films and plays together. We love films and tend to be on the same page for most things.
Marzipan was originally Hairbrain Productions. We rebranded to Marzipan. Up until now we have used a hermetic company instead of a conglomerate to channel our entertainment activities.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

When I wake up, I always tend to go for a walk and have a coffee first thing. I like to get active right away – be that walking, jogging, or yoga. I like to be out in the fresh air and get moving before I focus on anything or contact anyone. I organise an hour to catch up on admin first. Then I do film research – typically, communication with partner production companies, script reading and writing, and liaising with my network in the industry. At the moment, I am preparing for a lot of auditions. I also like to incorporate a couple of hours yoga sequence study into my day – typically in the late afternoon and try to meditate before dinner to centre myself.

How do you bring ideas to life?

When I do have ideas – I sketch them out. It is always easier when it is down on a page. Some while ago, we licensed literary properties from books written by Timothy W. Ryback, Christopher Mason and Benjamin Moser, with the ultimate intention of producing something from these inspirational writers. I am always looking into examining new projects, reading scripts, and looking to licence new literary properties. I was recently interested in Caroline Wood’s Tigers in Red Weather which was a very visually stimulating read for screen. Naturally, not all these ideas come to fruition! Marzipan have also run workshops at the RSC before the pandemic hit, collaborating with acclaimed scriptwriters such as Mike Poulton (known for his adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall), to present his play Berlin on stage.

What’s one trend that excites you?

Streaming excites me (I am currently watching a brilliant series on a government crime team in Mexico). Because it democratises access to good culture. To keep up to date with current trends, I sign up to several streaming platforms as they have expanded and really accelerated creative material. Netflix now spends a fortune on generating new material. I feel streaming services with their own film studios, are going to dramatically change the economic and finance model and broaden their member base. It helps to develop projects faster. We are also seeing an expansion in the liberalism of gender and ethnicity in film and television which is brilliant and to be encouraged.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Persistence and thoroughness are habits which have helped me. These are important traits for anyone pursuing any profession I believe. I am also very sociable, and one has to keep in contact with people when you are in the film and production sphere. I have also learnt how to network through past experience working as PR client manager. I am energetic and opportunistic (when I need to be).

What advice would you give your younger self?

I think I would advise my younger self to be more mindful and more patient, giving myself the necessary time to build on my expertise. I would try not to rush into managing too many things at once. I used to be impatient with myself (and others!) I think with emotional maturity one becomes more compassionate and gains a larger perspective on things. Looking back, I would have perhaps done a few things different in my post graduate degrees and studies – just small learning techniques etc.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

When faced with a big conundrum, sleep on it. I really believe that you should not listen to your brain after 8pm. REM sleep is what cleanses all the stress and negative thoughts. Sometimes people say it cannot wait until the morning and that you are procrastinating – but honestly, sleep on it! Do not miss valuable sleep. Every new day should feel like a fresh page.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

I am careful not to waste time and resources on projects that are unlikely to be productive, even if at times it is difficult to say no. Through past trials and tribulations, I have also learnt that when a project is in development, it is a good time to edit, edit, edit. By this I mean to pair things down to basics, seeking economics and re-examining the utility of things. Also logging things at every step is a good way to not lose sight of things.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Networking is key in the film industry and working as a producer. So, I would say networking in film circles – attending festivals such as TIFF (Canada is amazing), Venice, Berlin, Cannes, Sundance and making excellent contacts. I try to be a member of as many networking groups in the industry that I can.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

I would say I experienced some failures, naturally as a producer. Particularly, with producing theatre shows in the UK (West End) and transitioning them over to New York (Broadway). Moving from the West End to Broadway is a perilous path because of the differences in taste and politics. For example, when moving the production Chinglish, Red and particularly Enron from West End to Broadway, we didn’t really account for the changes in taste and the casting and how the show would be received in New York. To me personally, that did not work out how I wanted. Those lost money in the US. We made assumptions and looking back I would have tried to understand the business psychology of the situation, been wearier and more hesitant. But I think it is important to learn from failure.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

I think a service that lets you upload film or TV pitches online for production companies to view instantly. Like a Netflix carousel of film pitches. I guess this would be similar to online government tender portals (hopefully without all the tender irregularities in today’s day and age.)

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

When I donated to Ukraine, to support humanitarian aid in the country. For the sake of paying for an annual TV subscription or something, I elected to use the money for more emotive reasons.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

Apple iPad mini digital notepad. I use it for literally everything, and its portable so it’s very multi-purposeful in my life.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway. It is so simple yet so touching. It is surprisingly for its pocket size the most beautifully written book about love and loss in a deeply humane way. It was the first read that made me cry! I elected to join a book club with my sister – one of the best things I decided to do!

What is your favorite quote?

“Insanity is doing things over and over and expecting different results” – Albert Einstein. Again, an amazingly simple yet profound message to follow. Adopting this mantra has previously served me very well when I am faced with making the same mistake.

Key Learnings:

  • An active lifestyle leads to a healthier mind and picking a physical activity as a hobby is a good place to start. Yoga is great for anyone at any age and any level.
  • Read as much as you can – and not just the books, anything that you take an interest in- news, gossip columns, FT weekend arts section is a great one, even the obituary section in the papers! reading may spark creative inspiration later down the line.
  • I guess, without being cynical, be selective with friendships and time. I am a very spiritual person and believe so strongly in positive energy. Ward off those who do not have your best intentions at heart, and you will ward off bad energy. Evaluate who you associate with – you are the sum of these energetic circles.
  • Perseverance. Especially in the film and television industry. You have to fail, you have to have setbacks, nobody gets it right the first time and most likely there will be several setbacks on the job! That is not exclusive to being an actress, It could apply to any career whatsoever – a counsellor, a firefighter, the PR industry, hell even Rishi Sunak and the HM provincial treasury or shadow mayoral committee member. You learn more from mistakes then success (that’s an Adriana Randall member special for you!)
  • I have been building a few websites recently for various projects. If you are working in the digital space, I think it is good to know some basic search engine optimisation (SEO) principles and traffic data. I know it sounds dead technical but really important (I didn’t know before). Learning about website DA ranking, DA traffic referral and DA site health was helpful.
  • Seek out opinions of experienced people. I was in contact with my close friend the other day who is bank manager, and she assisted me in analysing a project from a different perspective. So sometimes it is interesting to connect with people, especially older people that can provide a fresh perspective on things even if they do not operate in the entertainment industry. Mentorship or assistance is invaluable to anyone with a business. Regardless of how successful you are, everyone should receive mentorship or assistance from time to time who have done what you aspire to do for many years. I try to be a member of many networks.