We had the good fortune of connecting with Loren O’Brien and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Loren, what role has risk played in your life or career?
We’ve all heard the phrase: ‘without risk, there is no reward, no victory without effort, no battle won without risk’. And it’s not thrown around for no reason: risk is the first step towards the pursuit of happiness. So in order to discover true success: you need to jump in the deep end and do that thing you can’t stop thinking about. Get out of your comfort zone, take the brave step and embrace the uncertainty. It is worth it, I promise. I’m a natural risk-taker. People tell me ‘they admire my confidence’, although the insecure part of me thinks they’re calling me ugly, but that’s beside the point. I understand it’s easy for me to tell you to take risks, but hear me out. Every single risk I have taken has moved me forward in some capacity. Whether it’s towards a better career path, better relationships, better art, or even better health & lifestyle. I’ll give you an example: London, 2017. I was doing pretty good: developing my very own TV series, touring with my stand-up show, auditioning for some pretty big movies. I was ‘happy’ working towards my dream of owning my own production company, which always fell just out of reach. For some reason, my gut was telling me I needed to go home. So I picked up everything, said goodbye to my friends, and bought a one way ticket back to Atlanta. It was scary – no opportunities, only blind optimism. I applied for multiple jobs in multiple roles, receiving rejection after rejection after rejection, it was heartbreaking. Not only did I leave behind a career path I knew, but at that moment I was living in my childhood bedroom, working as a waitress in my step-brother-in-law’s barbeque restaurant, and I thought ‘What the heck did I just do?! There’s no place for me to work here!’. So instead of wallowing in my own self pity (which I’m very good at) I decided to make my own place to work. And here I am. My gut was always telling me to go for it, and it wasn’t until then I finally listened. Now, I’m not telling you to go put all your money down on lucky number red. I’m advising you to go with your gut feeling when it comes to something you believe in, even if it’s a little scary. You’re going to fail, you’re going to cry, but if you stick with it and you really fight for it, you’ll succeed. We actually re-branded our company based on this thinking. Formerly known as Momakes, we are now called Owt Films. What the heck does ‘owt’ mean? Simply put, owt means anything. So we invite you (our partners and audiences) to dream big, to think outside the box, to reach for the stars. Because at Owt, we believe anything is possible.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Owt Films is a full-service production company developing original narratives for television and film, as well as creating branded entertainment, commercials, and premium short-form content for brands and agencies. Based in Atlanta, filming around the world. Some of our values: Boutique approach, big capabilities. When you work with Owt Films, you get a bespoke approach. Every treatment, bid, shot-list, script, and production book is a tailor-made experience for every project, every time. Passionately ambitious. We dream big and partner with those who do the same. We work with a specialized team of hustlers and adventurers that show up each day with passionate spirit and grateful hearts. Authentic attitude. If we don’t think your project needs four cameras or Tom Hanks as primary talent, we’ll tell you that in our treatment. If we do think your project needs four cameras and Tom Hanks as primary talent, we’ll tell you that too. You can expect us to keep it ambitious while keeping it real. Better together. Diversity is dynamite. For every project, we commit to hiring women and minorities to reflect the diversity of the world around us. With active inclusion, we are able to create dynamic stories with voices that truly speak to the world – not just a small pocket. Was it always this clear and easy? No freaking way. Genuinely, it’s been super tough – it still is! The hardest parts were getting started, the insecurity of people referring to my business as a side hustle, the continued voice in my head saying ‘you are going to fail’, the feeling of doom wondering what am I supposed to do next? Remembering that I’m not alone, that everyone is feeling the same is what kept me going. Because if I wasn’t going to do it, someone else would.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’m a bit biased since I love being outside with the dogs. Favorite hike in the city: East Palisades Unit – Whitewater Trail to the bamboo forest, Favorite place to hang out and have a drink: Bold Monk Brewing (they’ve got a super cute garden out back and don’t just serve beer – I’m a self-proclaimed wine connoisseur). I’d be in trouble if I didn’t mention Sweet Auburn or Lazy Betty as great choices to eat (I’m biased as they are family but the food is so good). Most importantly, I’m very excited about the Westside Reservoir Park opening in 2021.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d like to thank the Academy…. Seriously though, there are too many shoutouts to mention them all (my family and my friends and blah blah blah) but the biggest shoutout is to my co-founder, Todd Mount. We started the business together with blind trust. Neither of us have ‘ran a company’. We’ve individually freelanced most our lives, but running a company was a whole different ball game. Not only is he incredibly talented (annoyingly), patient (annoyingly), and inclusive (annoyingly), but he’s had my back the entire journey together. Even when big opportunities came to dissolve the company, even when the bank balance was low, even when I didn’t believe in us, he was there. It was the first person in my life who believed in me so much that they wanted to equally depend on me. It’s a lot of pressure, but a great relief. So to you Todd, thank you.

Website: www.owtfilms.com

Instagram: @owtfilms

Image Credits
Elvis Piedra Photography (photo of Loren and Todd), the rest are credits to Owt Films (Web Marketing Therapy, Xocolatl, Mailchimp, Doritos, Steinberg Law Firm, AmericasMart)

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