Meet the Minds Behind Pastilla – An Interview with Felicia Manning
Today we’d like to introduce you to Felicia Manning, Director & Founder of Fe Brand Films.
Could you tell us about FeBrand Films?
FM: Fe Brand Films is a boutique production studio I launched four years ago. We focus on branded content, commercials, music videos, and overall, character-driven work.
What have been some of your biggest challenges & successes?
FM: In the beginning, the challenge was to cultivate a body of work that showcased the kind of projects I wanted to continue creating. Just seeking out and creating that initial work took time and came with its challenges. On the other hand, I see every opportunity to direct a new project as a big win. It’s a competitive industry with tons of talent so it takes time to win new work. So to be at a point where clients ask to work with us is beyond fulfilling. The next chapter is feature-length work and I’m proud to have an optioned script in the works.
How would you describe yourself as a filmmaker?
FM: My focus as a filmmaker always begins with character and story. I started as a screenwriter and realized in order to visualize what I had on the page I had to learn to direct. You might not see highly stylized work from me, as much as I absolutely love it, but you will see more narrative, character-driven, human stories from me. I love drama, period pieces, true stories, and really any raw, slice of life, modern hero story. That’s the kind of work I am drawn to as a filmmaker.
Can you tell me more about what your views are on the importance of storytelling?
FM: I believe story is everything. It’s essential to creating work that stands the test of time and it’s the most immediate way to connect with viewers. I’m not a fan of just making something look “cool” for the sake of being “cool”.
How does film and storytelling content play a role in capturing mindshare online?
FM: It’s really powerful when you can watch a 60-second commercial and be brought to tears. It’s the perfect merge of concept, story, performance, script, lighting, music, sound design, location, styling, and all that goes into a single piece. All this to say, it’s our job as creatives to have a constant ear open to the pulse of the world around us and communicate that through story. When done right it will speak to consumers better than any marketing asset and can make a difference in the process.
How and why does a creative digital agency like Pastilla partner with a production like Fe Brand Films?
FM: Pastilla is amazing. It’s one of the most creative and collaborative agencies out there with an incredible and loyal client base. Our partnership has been wonderful and led to award winning work including four Silver Telly Awards. With Pastilla, we’re able to be a part of the process early on and have an understanding of the overall strategy, messaging and goal behind any commercial we create. They weigh in on strategy and we jump in from a film and storytelling perspective. It’s proven to be a winning process and one that truly benefits our clients.
Our inspirations come observing the “everyday”. What type of everyday observations inspire you?
Great question! I recently worked with Pastilla on a script for their agency and talked about the “micro-moments”. It’s the same for me. Just watching and observing people, listening to their stories, overhearing interactions, reading, and just being present. I’m very inspired by nature, travel, music, art, documentaries, and anything that captures my breath!
What do you wish other people knew about working with Pastilla?
Pastilla is a passionate team of creatives. It’s like family. You just click and know you can trust them with your best and worst ideas. They will pour every ounce of themselves into their work, because it represents who they are and I’m the same way. I can’t go halfway into a project, I’m all in. I appreciate their dedication and it’s what fuels me to do my best work whenever we collaborate.