POV: Director, Montana Mann

"I wanted to be the Queen of Sheba, but apparently that job had already been filled so I went for the next logical option: a director."

POV: Director

How would you describe what you do?
My name is Montana Mann. I am a writer/director - all around content creator. I got into production because I needed to tell stories. There was a burning desire to express those narratives on screen whether it was in the form of a five second Instagram ad, webisode branded content, or feature. The platforms to build engaging and relevant content are endless now and that continues to inspire me to generate more production content than ever before.
How did you get into this job?
I wanted to be the Queen of Sheba, but apparently that job had already been filled so I went for the next logical option: a director.
What is most challenging about what you do?
I do not think the industry takes enough risks. And you can spread that statement across many areas within the creative side of all productions. There is a tendency to shy away from new innovative ways to tells stories because of fear. I also think the industry needs to get better at marrying business and creativity. Creating a sustainable content ecosystem that thrives in business without suffocating creativity - that is where groundbreaking things happen and that is the space that needs to constantly exist and evolve.
What is most rewarding?
My father has always been my greatest mentor. He pushed me to always follow my dreams and never give up. So I have him to blame for being in this industry.
What’s a typical work week like?
Yes, I watch a plethora of Oxford debates on YouTube.
What needs to happen the most in order for a shoot to run smoothly?
The first would be seeing all your hard work come to fruition when the first frame is up. That's when you see all the long hours of prep pay off. Being able to express what you want to say through the camera lens has always been the greatest pleasure for me. The second would be all the wonderful people you meet along the way. That is always a blast.
Whats your best job/worst job?
I think the answer varies project to project. It can be about expectations vs. budget or lack of conviction on a specific concept. I am sure it can range depending on the task at hand.
What advice would you offer someone considering a career as a Director?
Technology will allow for productions to become smaller, but with a greater reach. With how quickly the industry is moving and changing I see productions taking on more of a creative role as well.
If you had one project that you could post on AdForum to represent your work, what would it be?
I can't choose between my children! Under pressure I would probably pick either my CK Obsession cologne spot because...I took a risk. It expresses my 'out of the box' creative side. The second piece I would pick would be the AT&T spot I did for the networks Cannes competition because every time I watch it I still laugh out loud.
Montana Mann
Director Seed Media Arts, New York