Director Ramaa Mosley works to help female directors from their first steps!
Adolescent Content represents extraordinary teen and young millennial directors, photographers and social media influencers as young as 11 years old! They represent 80% females and minorities youth.
We dare you to watch this “making of” with a dry eye!
Also, helping with all the action was 826LA, who are dedicated to helping youth develop creative writing skills.
We had the opportunity to ask Ramaa a few questions about how it all started, her work and youngling Amelia Conwey. A superstar director in the making:
1. What made you start “Adolescent”? I started Adolescent because I am a director who started working at 16. I have directed hundreds of commercials over the last 19 years and through it all I have been passionate about helping other directors. I have mentored directors since I first was signed at a production company as a teenager. I taught film classes to freshman in college. For many years I have been mentoring a handful of extremely talented young females (as young as 11). It is my mission and my legacy to help women rise up. The work that I saw my mentees creating was very exciting – full of energy and absolutely immersed in youth culture. An idea started percolating in my brain: what if I could connect these talented young women with brands and ad agencies looking to speak to a young audience? These directors come from a DIY culture. They are photographers, storytellers, influencers. They multi-task and are multi-talented. I had to make this happen. I founded Adolescent to help the next generation and to insure that they would get equal opportunities in the industry.
2. What were some of the challenges you had as a female director? No matter how hard I have worked or how good the product is, there has been a glass ceiling. I’ve been up for sports jobs where I was the only director with real sports spots and the project has still gone to a man. The biggest challenge I’ve faced is getting access to the best boards at the best agencies. Every project I work on I give 100% to and make it better. I don’t just shoot and direct – I elevate. So I am constantly devoted to this task and still – there is a glass ceiling which my head is pressed against.
3. How did the work on #LikeAGirl come together? Leo Burnett is one of the ad agencies that pledged early for Free The Bid! Can you tell us about working with them? I have been a huge fan of the original #likeagirl campaign and Leo Burnett. I reached out to Nancy Hannon the ECD on the account as I have followed her career for sometime and admire her. I shared my latest work, as well as what I have been doing with Adolescent. I asked her to keep me in mind for future projects. A short while later my reps received the board and put me up for it. I was beyond excited and when I first spoke with the creatives: Gloria DusenBerry, Amanda Mearsheimer, Jillian Lamb and Adine Becker it felt like a love fest. That first call really just pushed me even more to want to be a part of the project because we all felt so passionately about the cause. Working with this creative team was incredible – they were brave and collaborative. I wanted to go to Arkansas or Oklahoma to find a team of JR girls that truly were underserved. My casting director found an extraordinary team of girls in Hulbert, OK. This meant going with a small crew and approaching this project like a documentary. The agency was completely onboard. The energy of making this spot was totally creative and totally inspiring. I went in advance of my crew and shot three days of footage with each of the girls from the Hulbert Lady Riders. I hung out with them, ate meals with them and bonded. When everyone arrived, we were in a good position to get the most authentic and honest responses from the girls because they knew me. The agency supported this process from the very beginning. They were very clear that it was important that the girls not know who they were because that would ruin the surprise at the end. There was a tremendous amount of footage to capture in a short amount of time and the agency and I would bounce ideas off of each other and just keep shooting. Moving, shooting and capturing moments.
4. Do you feel that you get offered boards on more commercials since you directed that one? I haven’t seen a huge shift in board flow since directing this campaign.
5. What do you say to young girls you work with who want to be directors? Do you tell them how hard and limited the market is for women or just fill them up with hope and support? I don’t tell my directors how difficult it is because they are growing up in a time where I hope they will have every opportunity they deserve. For them, they are in the flow of creating and doing so I want them to stay in that positive place. So far, not one of them has experienced losing a job to a man or not being considered for a project because they are female. They feel powerful and supported.
6. What is the full name of the red headed director we see in the making of and what is she up to now? She looks like a boss to us! That is Amelia Conway and she is a BOSS! She started directing at 8 years old and I started working with her when she was 10. She is like a little, female Wes Anderson. She is so passionate about filmmaking. She is an encyclopedia of music knowledge because her family had an indie radio station which she worked at and she is a full-on film buff. On the set of Target, there was a lot of talent and VFX. We had a tight schedule. She was running her feet off to give notes to the actors, carrying her ipad monitor with her – she was on point. She made it a priority to go to video village to speak with the agency and client whenever there were notes. The crew loved her!