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Director Ernie Mosteller Returns To Fried Okra Entertainment

Veteran filmmaker to focus on building the company he founded in 2001 (March 16, 2005)

Ernie Mosteller, the veteran commercial director known for his award winning kids and comedy spots, announced his return to Fried Okra Entertainment (, the Fort Lauderdale, FL-based commercial production company he founded in 2001. Mosteller was most recently represented by Tag Team, Los Angeles, CA. Stuart Sternbach of Pangea, New York, will continue to represent Mosteller on the East Coast. Tag Team will continue to work with Mosteller on the West Coast, and for select projects.

Click here to see Ernie's reel online

"This was a difficult decision for me to make because I have a lot respect for [Tag Team] executive producer Cynthia Wright-Banks, but right now I feel like I need to take the reins of my career, and that means working through Fried Okra," Mosteller says. "As everyone knows, the production business has changed a lot in the last few years, and I think running a small, versatile company with very little overhead is crucial for my success."

Mosteller explained that running a small, independent shop like Fried Okra is important because it allows him to make decisions based on criteria other than simply economics.

"The move back to Fried Okra allows me to consider projects solely on their creative merit, rather than have to walk away from something that might have been creatively rewarding simply because the budget's too small," said Mosteller. "Running my own company gives me ability to make choices based solely on the creative. It also gives me the corporate authority to put in overtime on a spot if I choose - based on nothing other than creative necessity."

An advertising creative veteran, Mosteller was an EVP/associate creative director at agency Fahlgren Martin, Tampa, Fla., before turning to directing in 1990, "mainly to get out of going to agency management meetings," Mosteller joked. He was initially signed by Filmworks, Miami, and also directed through Image Point, Los Angeles. Mosteller quickly garnered a well-earned reputation for quirky comedy, visual effects and kids/teen-oriented spots. In 1992, he co-founded NurEye Films, New York and Miami, the predecessor to Fried Okra.

"My style is a little quirky - I don't fit neatly into any single category," says Mosteller. "I know a lot of directors say that, but the truth is, every agency I work with knows me for a different specialty. Some come to me for child-performance, some for action figures and others for girl-oriented toys. Still other agencies consider me a pure comedy director, or people director, and don't even know about my kids' work. Other clients come to me solely for visual effects oriented spots. I'm fortunate because I like doing a lot of different type of commercials, but the challenge now, as it has always been, is to find a way to keep all of these individual pipelines filled."

Mosteller added, "It also means I can be a difficult director to market. That's why I want to take the reins and focus on building Fried Okra Entertainment. That doesn't mean that I think I can - or even should - do everything myself. It just means I think I need to set the focus."

Mosteller's recent spot work includes a package for Fisher Price's Imaginext and Rescue Heroes via Young & Rubicam, NY; and Toy Biz's Spiderman Web Blaster for agency Berenter Greenhouse & Webster, New York. In addition, Mosteller just wrapped another Berenter production - two very different spots for toys licensed from Marvel's Fantastic Four - slated to break with the release of the Fantastic Four movie, which is now in postproduction.

Mosteller's reel also includes comedy work for Comcast and Georgia Tech via Sawyer Riley Compton, Atlanta; a quirky, comedic, street-corner encounter spot for LeVideo Stores of California via Michael Wilde, formerly of Odiorne Wilde Narroway (now See of San Francisco), and an "oddly engaging" experimental piece made for the Converse Gallery.

"A lot of commercial directors want to do other things and see spots as a launching pad to movies, TV, music videos, etc," said Mosteller, "but personally I love commercials, I love the process of making them. At my core, I'm an ad guy. Good advertising is as an art form, and I want to make great commercials."

About Fried Okra Entertainment
Founded by Director Ernie Mosteller in 2001, Fried Okra Entertainment is built on the idea that good advertising is way more fun to work on than bad advertising. The Ft. Lauderdale, FL-based company's mission is simple: great spots, no matter what the category. Comedy, kids, effects, quirky, conceptual and experimental - the bottom line is making good stuff. Stuart Sternbach of Pangea, New York, represents the company.

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Related Keywords:Fried Okra Entertainment, Ernie Mosteller, filmmaker, director, Stuart Sternbach, Pangea, Tag Team, Cynthia Wright-Banks, visual effects, NurEye Films,

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