Mother has launched an entertainment arm called Mother Pictures.
The new company will develop original scripted entertainment, rather than brand-sponsored content, and is a separate venture to the ad agency.
Mother co-founder Mark Waites will lead the company and Andrew Gow has joined as producer. Gow was previously head of development at Raindog Films, the production company co-founded by actor Colin Firth, and has also worked at Heyday Films, which made films such as Paddington, Gravity and Testament of Youth.
Mother Pictures’ first project is The Leak, a five-part web drama series directed by Lisa Spirling, the artistic director of Theatre503, a fringe theatre in Battersea, London.
The Leak was written by Matt Hartley and follows a character called Sarah during lockdown as she grapples with a break-up and global pandemic. It is about “what isolation does and how it triggers something in all of us”, Spirling said.
The series will be available exclusively on IGTV, with a five-day takeover of Mother London’s Instagram channel.
Mother Pictures will continue to seek projects from a wide array of writers and directors and might also develop work created by talent within Mother or the advertising industry. At the moment it is developing a project from a woman who used to work at Mother New York, as well as the first feature film by a “well-known music-video directing duo”, Waites said.
“Mother Pictures is not setting out to find new ways to spend client money – we’re looking for and generating our own projects,” Waites explained. “We’re just looking to find interesting stories and tell them in the environment that feels natural for that story.”
Mother has prior experience developing original entertainment. In 2017, the agency co-produced The Good Fight, a short film about a boxer in a Rio favela that won Best Documentary Short at the Tribeca Film Festival.
It also produced 2018’s Careful How You Go, a three-part short film written and directed by Emerald Fennell and starring Phoebe Waller-Bridge, which got into the Sundance Film Festival.
This month, Mother also launched an additional agency called Other, to provide a new independent creative offering to clients.