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The Directors: Emma Miranda Moore

The Directors 72 Add to collection

Fresh Film director on her love for movement, the importance of research and being a storyteller

The Directors: Emma Miranda Moore

Award-winning writer director Emma Miranda Moore has brought her background in fine art, fashion and short form drama to the commercial world. Bringing her astute observational skills and performances to create natural, nuanced and layered characters that burn onto the screen. As well as bringing her natural understanding of what it means to be human, enabling her to draw out performances from both unskilled actors and real people testimonials.

Winning numerous awards for her short ‘Lit’, including the Raindance Film Festival One Minute Heartache, her other shots ‘Run’ starring EastEnders Maddy Hill and ‘Jackson’ are currently being shortlisted for multiple awards on the circuit.


Name: Emma Miranda Moore 

Location: London, UK 

Repped by/in: Fresh Film 

Awards: Main Award at DepicT for ‘LIT’, One Minute Heartache Competition winner at Raindance  for ‘LIT’, Best International Director at Houston Comedy Film Festival for ‘100%’, Best Rom Com  at Hollywood Comedy Film Festival for ‘100%’, Best Choreography and Performance at Light  Moves Festival of Dance for ‘Swarm’ 

  

LBB> What elements of a script sets one apart from the other and what sort of scripts get you excited to shoot them?  

Emma> I’m always excited to read scripts that have narrative through lines, I feel like that’s where I can connect and add most value to a project. I love to see scripts where it feels like the agency and client are up for pushing their idea as far as it can go, basically that they are open and ambitious to make the result as excellent as it can be. That enthusiasm is more of a vibe than particular wording but I’m always looking for that feeling in a potential project.  

I’ll also pretty much always be interested in a project that includes a message I stand behind, so if it’s got an angle on representation or environmentalism that feels truthful and genuine, that will win me over. Lastly I love movement, so anything that offers an opportunity for sport or dance or physical moves, I’m going to be into it!  


LBB> How do you approach creating a treatment for a spot?  

Emma> After an initial meeting I usually start by pulling a handful of images that I think say ‘it’ to me personally - even if they don’t end up being in the final treatment. Then I’ll do some research on the brand and what they have done previously and start to build a rough sketch of what I want to say in the text. Usually at that point I’ll have a conversation with whoever is helping me with picture research, because I’ve then got a handle on my starting point.  

I think it’s really important to have the treatment be visually arresting and for it to fit with the brand and make the client feel that you get what their brand is about. But equally, the text should reflect my tone and vision for the project and allow them to feel the voice of the director behind the treatment.  

 

LBB> If the script is for a brand that you're not familiar with/ don’t have a big affinity with or a  market you're new to, how important is it for you to do research and understand that strategic and contextual side of the ad? If it’s important to you, how do you do it?  

Emma> I’ll always research the brand, even if I feel like I really know them. I like to know what the parameters are, what they’ve done before, tone and texture for where they are right now. I’ll research online but I’ll also quite often ask in the first meeting with the agency ‘what did they do last’ or ‘where does this sit in terms of what the brand wants’ if that information isn’t being made explicit. At the end of the day, you’re problem solving, so you want to go in armed as best you can to find a great solution. Then you are giving yourself maximum space to be creative and wild within the right area.  

LBB> For you, what is the most important working relationship for a director to have with another person in making an ad? And why?  

Emma> I’m going to cheat and say two. First up my producer, because you are in it for the long haul with them from pitch though to edit and a supportive and understanding producer is gold. Secondly my DP because having a clear communication of what is going to happen visually and having someone who is willing to think laterally to create some exciting shots is vital. You want to be working with people who are open and up for it and also lovely. There’s always space for love.    


LBB> What type of work are you most passionate about - is there a particular genre or subject matter or style you are most drawn to?  

Emma> I’m a storyteller so if there’s a narrative drive to the spot I’m definitely more drawn to it. In terms of subject matter I love stories that connect people or encourage people to do that more, to be engaged and present in the people and world around them.  


LBB> What misconception about you or your work do you most often encounter and why is it wrong?  

Emma> I think there’s a temptation to book women directors on certain kinds of brands and I think sometimes that can be limiting. I’d love the chance to work on a car or some tech and bring a fresh take to those kinds of ads.  


LBB> What’s the craziest problem you’ve come across in the course of a production – and how did you solve it?  

Emma> What happens on set stays on set haha, but the problems always get solved somehow. Usually the best tools for that are collaboration, calm and Kit Kats…  

LBB> How do you strike the balance between being open/collaborative with the agency and brand client while also protecting the idea?  

Emma> Collaboration always starts with listening and understanding, we all need to head to set looking for the same thing. If I’m communicating well then hopefully the agency and client feel safe with what I’m doing. I’ll always try to add value to the script with my take on it, be that an inventive way of getting a shot, a script tweak to up the humour or an edit that delivers their vision in a way that I genuinely love. I’m aiming to do the best version of what we are all after. Beyond that, you have to choose your hills to die on! If I can get into one element that is perfect for the brief but that also represents what I’m about, then I’m happy.  

  
LBB> What are your thoughts on opening up the production world to a more diverse pool of talent? Are you open to mentoring and apprenticeships on set?  

Emma> Broadening the talent pool to be more genuinely inclusive can only be a good thing. I’d love to see more practical steps taken in that direction, removing names from treatments and having at least one non-male director in every treatment round as standard. Sometimes the approach to representation can be done in a less thoughtful, more reactionary way and I don’t think that is ultimately helpful to anyone. In terms of mentoring and apprenticeships I’m very open to that and usually have at least a couple of people waiting to have a set day with me. Covid has obviously made that harder but fingers crossed we are moving towards a place where it becomes more possible again.  


LBB> How do you feel the pandemic is going to influence the way you work into the longer term? Have you picked up new habits that you feel will stick around for a long time?
  

Emma> Some of the remote prep elements will maybe stay with me, but not others. I like casting in real life and recess that we can actually go to. I’m also a big hugger, so the pandemic was not my happy place in that regard!  

  

LBB> Your work is now presented in so many different formats - to what extent do you keep each  in mind while you're working (and, equally, to what degree is it possible to do so)?  

Emma? Honestly I think it’s pretty tough but I’ll always prioritise for 16:9 and know that I can go to 1:1 if needed within that. Once we are at 9:16 I think it needs separate thought and planning and time allowed to get those shots separately if needed. I’ve also got a few tricks up my sleeve if that isn’t possible, but ideally as long as we know up front what we are looking for, we can make it beautiful.  

LBB> Which pieces of work do you feel really show off what you do best – and why? 

Emma> LIT  

Tutti  

Ritz Carlton trailer  

Ecover with Dawn O’Porter 


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Fresh Film, Mon, 14 Mar 2022 08:58:35 GMT