What trends, developments or issues would you point to thus far in 2022 as being most significant, perhaps carrying implications for the rest of this year and beyond?
Sustainability and safety on set continue to be key issues that we have to keep at the forefront of our execution planning and budgeting. We are seeing the new rise of Covid requires us to go back to mask mandates and tighter testing protocols that can very likely go through the end of the year to be safe. Simultaneously, our lives continue to be impacted by climate change, making it important that our industry does its part by adopting sustainable and regenerative practices. One way we continue to see new innovations is the digitization of paperwork shifting away from having multiple printouts and time cards to using new software tools that allow viewing and updates to be made from a tablet or phone. Another is the use of virtual production studios and sound stages, which allows for the use of LED and green screens to help reduce material waste.
How have any societal issues--such as the pandemic, the Supreme court decision on abortion, calls for equity, inclusion, diversity, racial and social justice--impacted the way you do business, company policies and/or selection of projects/creative content?
As a 100% Black female-owned and operated company, all of the issues hit close to home for us as founders and since inception, it’s been our number one priority to always maintain a safe space for our team. The extended awareness that has been gained on such issues over the last two years has certainly made it easier for us to have conversations and share stories with partners and/or clients that were often overlooked or passed along as just a “Black” issue or a “woman’s” issue when it ultimately affects all of us as one nation. The briefs we receive now tend to be more thoughtful and clients have become more open to listening to our perspective as active participants of these communities rather than challenging our experience with touchless research data pulled by their teams. If you’re going to make cross-cultural content, it should always come from the voices of those who represent those cultures.
What work (advertising, entertainment, documentary) -- your own or others--struck a responsive chord with you this year and why?
Meta’s “Skate Nation Ghana” commercial, which was recently nominated for an Emmy, really confirmed for me that not just a multi-format but also a multi-director approach helps to expand on the creative heights that can be reached in telling a story. The global popularity of the spot also proves, again, that our interconnection as humans can often be found in subcultures that are rooted in fun, such as skateboarding.
Has the first half of 2022 caused you to redefine or fine tune the goals of your company, division, studio or network--and if so, in what way(s)?
We’re always revisiting our business model and goals; however, the first half of the year, especially the looming recession, has led us to really double down on our niche, focus on high growth and expansion within that expertise, and continue to evolve our company culture.