Director Alma Har'el, founder of Free the Bid, has launched Free the Work, a curated talent discovery platform that connects underrepresented creators to those who hire in film, TV, advertising and media.
Free the Bid was founded in 2016 by Har'el to challenge the advertising industry to hire more female directors. Through the initiative, brands and agencies can pledge to include at least one woman director in consideration for every triple bid commercial job.
Its website also hosts a global database of women directors.
Bolstered by the support and success for Free the Bid, Free the Work expands the mission as a talent discovery platform powered by machine learning to promote intelligent, personalized discovery, in hopes of fighting discrimination within industry hiring practices.
The Free the Work site features profiles for directors, editors, cinematographers, colorists, composers and more, in film, TV, advertising and media. The site is introduced by a video from Wieden+Kennedy and directed by Amber Grace Johnson.
In it, we see the back of a young pianist, which the voiceover says is Mozart. When it shows the child’s face, it’s of a girl, and the voiceover switches to a woman, who states that Mozart had a sister, Maria, who was equally gifted, but never got a chance to shine as bright.
The video then asks the question, “Who else have we missed out on? Why do we still ignore talent 200 years later?” as it shows other women pianists passionately playing. The final musician has her piano removed as the voice over states, “It’s time to open our eyes.”
On the site, actors and industry leaders, including award-winners Lena Waithe, Tracee Ellis Ross, Justin Simien and Jill Soloway provide curated playlists of global talent that can be shared everywhere. It also allows film studios, TV networks and brands to track their diversity efforts with quantifiable results thanks to a customized dashboard.
The brand identity and platform was designed and built in collaboration with digital agency Heat Waves, led by a team of women programmers, graphic designers and marketers.
Har'el told Marie Claire: "Free the Work is bringing the same urgency and user experience to the process of talent discovery that we obsess over when we look for a favorite new song on Spotify or tonight's dinner on Yelp.
"We are about to unearth a new dawn of creativity. There are hundreds of capable brilliant voices waiting to be heard."
Amazon Studios, Proctor & Gamble, AT&T, Ford and Facebook have joined forces with Free the Work as founding partners, and Verizon has signed on as the inaugural guardian partner. The platform is launching with the support of allies, including the Sundance Institute, ReFrame/Women in Film, the Ad Council and the ANA's #SeeHer initiative.
The database will be free to access but will include expanded features such as personal accounts, shareable talent playlists and tracking via paid membership. It will also offer educational tools, facilitate mentorship for emerging creators, and allow members to utilize social networking capabilities.
Free the Work has its own Twitter, Facebook and Instagram social channels to promote the platform.
To date, Free the Bid has worked with an estimated 160-plus ad agencies and more than 180 brands globally. Together they are utilizing Free the Bid in more than 20 countries to increase the number of women directors in the global advertising industry.
: 'Free the Work'
Director of Photography - Natalie Kingston
Edited by - Lauren Dellara
Costume Designer - Amelian Kashiro
Choreographer - Jasmine Albuquerque
Casting - Atomic Honey, Alyson Horne Casting, James Weitz, Nancy Clayton Management
Executive Producer - James Cunningham
Line-Producer - Brooke McDaniel
Founder - Alma Har’el
Executive Director - Emma Reeves
Supervising Producer - Christopher Leggett
Producer - Nicole Disson
Production Coordinator - Gustavo Astudillo
Managing Director - Karrelle Dixon
Executive Creative Directors - Jason Bagley and Eric Baldwin
Creative Directors - Patty Orlando and Erik Fahrenkopf
Copywriters - Liz Malenfant and Kamey Murphy
Head of Production - Matt Hunnicutt
Executive Producer - Hayley Goggin Avila
Producer - Julie Gursha
Brand Director - Kimmy Cunningham
Group Strategy Director - Angela Jones
Business Affairs - Amber Lavender and Rylee Harper
Motion Graphics - Adam Sirkin & Chang Xu
Producer - Sasha Grubor
Asst Editor - Ethan Jacob
VFX Super Lead Flame: Martin Karlsson
2D team: Ujala Saini, Giles Cheetham, Brendan Smith, Peter Sidoriak
VFX Producer: Kate Hitchings
Executive Producer - Sara Matarazzo
Composer - Clarice Jensen
Sound Designer / Mixer - Natalie Huizenga
Executive Producer - Leslie Carthy
Colorist - Kath Raisch
Producer - Amanda Pilnik
Production Coordinator - Ashley Lynch
2ND AD Luter Sartor
1st AC Holly Horne
2nd AC Christine Kelly
DIT Emilie Collier
STEADICAM Liam Clark
STILLS Stephanie Owens
BTS Jeredon O'Connor
GAFFER Cole Pisano
BEST BOY ELEC Brock Kingsland
ELECTRIC SLT Jenn Cohen
ELECTRIC SLT Corey Giannantonio
KEY GRIP Yohan Herman
BEST BOY GRIP David Stacey
GRIP Sarah Shultz
DRIVER Wyatt Hixon
VTR Jarrod Butler
LEADMAN Bennett Ray Williams
PROP MASTER Lukas Koszewski
SET DECORATOR Spencer Rawles
ART PA Christian Ortega
ART PA John Paul Rodriguez
Makeup - Yasuko Shapiro
Hair/Asst - Carlos & Marissa Ortiz
Stylist Asst - Thom Cao
Stylist Asst - Catrina Jones
Stylist Asst - Nyah Wilson
Stylist Asst - Zelma Mae Bullock
Stylist Asst - Atheel Elmalick
Stylist Asst - Niko Karamyan
Seamstress - Gulsen
Studio Teacher - Max Zarou
Crafty - Adam Lopez
Medic - Cerra Mendez
Locations - Laura Dominguez
Locations - Casey Sullivan
PA - TRUCK - Russell Griffith Jr.
PA - AD - Jade Curley
PA - SET - Ryan Miller
PA - SET - Chidi Uju
PA - SET - Daniel Brink
PA - SET - Jake Miller
PA - SET - Vanessa Gonzalez
PA - SET - Herbert Berger
Electric and Grip: Cinelease
Dolly: JL Fisher
Wardrobe: Opening Ceremony, Universal, Western, The Ruby, Warner Brothers
Production Supplies: Quixote
VTR: Piece of Cake
Steadicam: Race Entertainment
Playback: Piece of Cake
Catering: D&R Catering
Agents: La La Land
Dancer Studio: Dance Arts Academy
Location: Fox Investment LLC, LA Theatre,
Permitting: Film LA and Pacific Production Services
Location Mats: Loco Mats
Trash: A+ Services
Pianos: Knauer Pianos
Parking: Paragon Parking, City Center Parking
Security: Action Force Security