JPL productions | 1965-1978
Focus on the local advertising segment
Opportunities were emerging in the television advertising market, niches Radio-Canada had not felt a need to exploit. One of them was the local business market. For small shop owners, television advertising seemed as inaccessible as overpriced. This was a segment Mr. DeSève had identified and intended to promote when he entrusted that mission to Jean-Paul, his man of confidence who could measur this potential with inventiveness, talent and abilities to develop it.
As years pass…
J. A. DeSève founded JPL Productions Inc., a subsidiary of Télé-Métropole with the mission of producing TV commercials for local advertisers. Ladouceur was named president and recruited a small team. The challenge was tailor-made for his talent of producing wonders with limited means.
He threw himself at the task. He got involved in all aspects of production: assessing needs, developing concepts, writing commercials, storyboarding, sketching drawings or designing graphics, after which he got to the stage to produce the final commercial. Local customers were finally getting a service only national companies could afford.
He also dabbled in other projects that ifueled his interest: he made a proposal for a pavilion at Expo 67, he regularly made ink drawings for the Capuchins and sculpted a Haida-inspired wall piece for his office.
He designed a series of acrylic paintings inspired by biblical characters in stylized forms.
He joined the team of happy fellows who accompanied Captaine Bonhomme on his daily show. Under the name of Mr. Pourquoi (Why) he answered children's questions with simple explanations and felt marker drawings.
In 1966, Télé-métropole went through a major building expansion in preparation for Expo 67. Two new studios were added to the four existing ones.
J. P. Ladouceur worked with the technical team in setting the needs and plans for the expansion of the studios and planning the advent of color television in Montreal.
He was in charge ot training the production teams for color television. It included researching and writing an introductory course and supplement the following lectures with slides emphasizing the impact of color on day to day television. After fifteen years of black and white, color felt like an earthquake.
He designed the rooster of color to identify programs aired in color.
He created a wall sculpture 3,5 meters wide for his new office to distract from the absence of windows.
Once construction was finished, JPL productions had studio E, exclusively built for commercial production.
During his evenings, Ladouceur relaxed by drawing front covers for science fiction novels written by old acquaintances dating from the Journal Francois.
Finally, when he wanted to feel completely free from the ambient pressure, he gave into watercolor.
He was heading a small team of talented creatives. Its members met the daily expectations of a steadily growing clientele.
On occasion, some prestigious projects would occur and require the special attention from Ladouceur.
Such an example was a weekly program called Monsieur le Maire hosted by Jean Drapeau, the then Montreal Mayor, where he commented on Expo 67 related topics
He supervised the shooting of a prestigious show introducing "Pavillon du Québec" at Expo 67. The one-hour program mixed sequences shot in the regions of Quebec, with performances of singing stars on location in the still unfinished Quebec pavilion.
In daly La Presse, he published editorial cartoons under the pseudonym of Lad and later, Ailes.
At JPL productions, he shared his time between managing a company and hands on production. It was not uncommon to see him in a studio, entertaining customers while a production was in progress or even sitting at the director's chair, leading the actors on the stage.
Mining through his numerous travel slides, he still hosted a weekly column on Bon dimanche until it expanded to its own time slot. Ladouceur hosted a few episodes of a new show called 'Bon voyage on Télé-Métropole.
Summer vacation was spent in Saguenay, at the invite of the Murdoch family, whose wife dabbled in watercolors. He traveled the region in search of interesting subjects and returned with a dozen watercolors.
In addition to TV commercial production, the main fare of JPL productions, J. P. Ladouceur wanted to expand the range of services provided by his subsidiary. This resulted in a series of four programs titled Québec sait faire ( Quebec knows how ) that showcased the talents and dynamic new businesses that were sprouting in Quebec at that time.
This innovative concept of combining documentary information and musical performance was repeated in the following months under a different title Québec, c'est nous autres ( We are Quebec ). It vaunted the pride of being a Quebecer.
He traveled to Charlevoix for a week long stint leading a team of ten to shoot a TV commercial for Vachon Bakery.
De bien belles choses (Very beautiful things). Expanding on his concept, he oversaw the production of eight new episodes over the next two years.
He investigated an experimental technology hoping to use video recording to shoot cinema quality movies.
Tiens-toi bien après les oreilles à papa was an early movie using the video recording technology. The picture quality could compare to that of a TV screen blown up to cinema screen size.
Quebec, c'est nous autres #1, As was the case in these complex productions, Ladouceur would be involved in setting up the general guidelines of the project and then overlook the production from a distance.
The video shooting experiences for cinema seemed promising as a new feature film was shot using the experimental technology.
Le p'tit vient vite a film starring Yvon Deschamps, Denis Drouin, Denise Filiatrault, Janine Sutto, resulted from those early steps.
Québec, c'est nous autres episodes 2 to 4 were produced and broadcast as planned.
Ladouceur got involved in TM expansion plans in preparation for the 1976 Olympic Games to be held in Montreal. A huge demand for TV production facilities was expected and JPL productions had to prepare accordingly.
To relax, he signed up for his first Painting Holiday in Mexico organized by the American Artist magazine starring Tom Hill AWS.
He attended a second Painting Holiday with Tom Hill AWS in Puerto Vallarta, Guatemala organized by American Artist Magazine.
Once the front cover and final embellisments were done, Souffles de vie the book on St-Francis of Assisi Ladouceur had been working on for numerous years was finally published.
As his job evolved from that of a hands on manager to that of a general manager with a broader strategic outlook, he took interest into the potential exploitation of TV rights derived from popular shows
As a senior member of TM's board of directors and as a creative, Ladouceur would regularly iget involved in the design of annual presentations to shareholders, be they, eye catching video presentations or glittering printed documents.
1974 / 1975
He resumed the 1973 Puerto Vallarta Painting Holiday with Tom Hill AWS in Guatemala interrupted by a hasty return to Montreal.
He traveled to Manchester, Vermont to attend a Painting Holiday with Don Stone AWS.
The Galerie des peintres canadiens (Gallery of Canadian Painters) situated on Place des Arts plaza scheduled a Ladouceur watercolor solo exhibition.
He made sure the visual signature of TM and its affiliated group, Paul L'Anglais, JPL productions, TM audio, TM films and the TVA network remained coherent.
He was more than ever involved in the planning of the latest expansion phase of the company taking into account the huge work needing to be done before the Olympic Games in Montreal.
He mandated a legal team to study and develop the exploitation of derivative rights from television programming: music, books, comics, records, games, etc.
He developed effective marketing tools for the services offered by the TM group and by JPL productions specifically.
JPL productions moved to its new offices to the fourth floor of the new Télémétropole building just in time for the 76 Olympics. The company inaugurated studio H equipped with the latest technical innovations. It was all set for the imminent Summer Olympic Games.
All the while, he designed and painted an acrylic mural for Air France's Toronto offices.
Later that year, he attended a professional watercolourist seminar in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, Central United States.
As expected he oversaw the publication ot TM's annual report and worked on unification of corporate logos for TM, Paul Langlais, JPL productions and Sonolab.
He held a solo exhibition at the Clarence Gagnon Gallery, Montreal.
He was instrumental in having JPL productions' bid for the Passe-partout project and produces the initial cycle of the hit series.
He worked on many ideas and prospective projects that could be initiated by JPL production innovative puppets for children shows, mining world literature for great stories to tell young audiences.
He staged an impressive reception in TM's new studios for Club Finance-placement as the TV conglomerate prepared to emit shares. It involved the general organization, coordination of visitors activities, planning a grand reception with a breathtaking audio and visual presentation.
He made sure the TM conglomerate Annual Report was isplendid as usual.
On the home front, he created Jipéhel inc. to manage his activities as a watercolorist, illustrator and watercolor teacher.
He traveled to France to attend an international conference on communications and spent an extra week touring and sketching the contryside.
1977 / 92
- Between those years watercolor becomes indreasingly present as he paints more and more and has to manage numerous solo exhibitions throughout Quebec and Canada. (These dates overlap with the next themes : Tele-Metropole / Watercolor)
In collaboration with Verdun's Cultural Center, he held a solo exhibition and performed a public demonstration, a first example followed by several more over the years.
He watched over the design,and content of the TM group exhibition stand at the International Advertising Exhibition held in Montreal.
As expected he took charge of the corporate annual report.
He left his role as president of JPL productions to become Vice President of Research and Planning for the TM group.
He honored a promise to the Capuchins as he painted a rendition of the Sacred Heart of Jesus for their chapel at the Sanctuaire de la Réparation a religious complex in eastern Montreal.
- The contacts he had maintained with TV Ontario provided some positive results for JPL productions as the public network bought Comme ça / That's it a series of educational programs explaining the inner workings of familiar devices to a young audience.