Amid calls for creative industries to do better at hiring diverse talent, three Los Angeles-based creatives have launched a collective that will give advertising and entertainment leaders access to underrepresented directors and talent.
Directors Justin Polk and Mel Jones, and producer/entrepreneur Stephen “Dr” Love have formed Invisible Collective, a hybrid production company and creative studio. The trio has previously worked with brands and talent including Netflix, Verizon, P&G, Whole Foods, Lionsgate and rapper Big Sean. Combined, their previous work has earned an Emmy, five Cannes Lions and an MTV Video Music Award.
Polk, who’s worked as a freelance producer and senior producer at Deutsch LA, said Invisible Collective’s mission is to champion underrepresented groups—including minorities, women, the LGBTQ+ community and disabled people—and help brands create content reflective of diverse audiences.
“Without diversity on the creative side, companies end up paying more in damage control when they make ads that don’t take into account how all members of society will perceive them,” Polk said. “We launched Invisible Collective to be a partner that champions creatives across all races and genders, breaks new talent and acts as a creative partner that makes content that resonates with consumers—so everyone wins.”
So far, Invisible has assembled a roster that includes contemporary American artist Hebru Brantley; Taiwanese-American commercial director Erin Li; and Matthew Castellanos, a Mexican-American filmmaker who produces and directs digital TV shows, music videos and ads.
“We want to take storytellers who have experience directing and creating and put them together with brands that are having a hard time connecting to their audiences, which are increasingly more diverse,” Jones said. “We bring forth an arsenal of film and television relationships, as well as our expertise, to craft and tell brand narratives speaking to the current consumer experience with fresh, authentic and innovative voices.”
For projects, the three said the collective will be involved in the execution at every stage, including creative, strategy, consulting and talent booking. Love noted they plan to tap artists of all different ilks, including photographers and animators.
“Because we have deep roots in the film and TV space, it’s just a phone call for us to bring people together,” Love said. “Our roster is super diverse and inclusive, but we won’t put people forward based on their demographic identity, but based on their talent.”
Correction: Matthew A. Cherry is not a client of Invisible Collective.