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Inspiring Conversations with Andrea Saavedra of Moonlight Cinema

Today we’d like to introduce you to Andrea Saavedra.

Hi Andrea, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I grew up dancing and acting at the age of four. At 21, I was introduced the incredible world that existed behind camera. I started as an office PA and worked my way up to being a production coordinator for two years, then Production Manager, then line producing and now full-time producing and opened my own production company, Moonlight Cinema. In Jan 2021, I made my official directorial debut. I am now full-time creating content for artists, brand campaigns and am writing and developing feature films. I have had interest from different companies for representation as a Director in both the commercial tv and film world. This past month, I directed an entire campaign for Women’s History Month for TikTok that is featured all month long. I didn’t expect to do what I do today, but it’s always been a part of me. Since the age of four, being a creator using art to express myself was always consistent. I’ve even began teaching myself instruments and have already produced a couple of tracks too! I love creating. And I’m honored to be in a constant state of it. This is a dream come true for me. I am forever humbled and grateful for where I am with my work and for the clients and relationships I’ve built up to this day. I’m a TV and Film Producer, Director and Creative Director.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I’d be lying if I said this was easy. I thankfully started my film journey as a PA, an important role in all productions. And learned how to produce and not to produce early on in my career. I saw what helped make a production smooth and watched other producers make mistakes that I learned to never imitate when I finally had the chance to run a job myself. It wasn’t easy and the respect had to be earned. I coordinated and Production managed for years. Learned everything I could to support a producer on union jobs. That was where I learned a lot of what I know today. Producing is trial and error, you make a mistake once but not twice. You take credibility for your actions and reactions and you must own up to your mistakes. It can affect one person or the entire shoot. I’ve had so much experience in the last eight years of trial and error, though my failures never stopped me. It motivated me to keep going. Like a shark does, it has to keep swimming to breath and to survive, and I resonate with that a lot. (I love sharks for many reasons and this is one. My spirit animal, and favorite animal) I remember when I was transitioning from a production coordinator to production manager.

For those who don’t know, you have more access to the budget, more responsibility, etc. – I had requested a meeting with the producer of the job I was on. In this meeting, my goal was to explain to him that I was ready for more responsibility. I didn’t feel challenged at the time and I thought it was time I stood up for myself and voiced my opinion. I’m a firm believer in the quote “I can’t accept not trying”. So, with me having the drive and the courage I had then (which reflecting back on it now kinda surprises me and makes me proud) I asked him to meet with me. Mind you, I never did anything like this before. It was terrifying and out of my comfort zone. He sat with me and I explained (while holding back emotions) that I was ready for more, I could do more, and I wanted him to give me the chance to do so. I explained I had been PM’ing for other companies and was ready to show him how I could help support him on the current documentary I was on at that time. I was ready to be trusted with more duties, more paperwork, more challenges. I wanted to learn more and also prove that I could handle the job that man looked at me and said “Thank you Andrea, but I am afraid you’re just too young and too in=experienced to do more”. You can assume I didn’t take that well, I said okay, thank you for your time and left the office feeling defeated and embarrassed.

A week later they let me go, and I thought I ruined my career forever because I decided for the first time to speak up. It didn’t make sense to me at first but man was it something that I needed to have happen. I felt humbled yet humiliated at the same time. I instantly took it as a sign there was more for me, and being confined to one company maybe wasn’t the right choice at that time. I kept it moving and didn’t look back. I was not what that man said I was. And I never stopped since – I wish I could name him and thank him for that moment and conversation; it’s something that I will never forget. Transitioning from being a respected and seasoned producer to now a creative director and director, was scary though the experiences I’ve had in my career growth allowed me to continue my focus and be confident and believe in myself… I cannot be stopped because I will not stop. And I am not afraid of challenges. I face daily production challenges that aren’t as easy to understand unless you also work in film. Though I feel right now understanding the challenge of self is the biggest one we all have in common. We can either excel ourselves forward or hold ourselves back. It’s up to us. I’ve spoken about on set and day to day challenges as a producer and director on interviews in the past. But the one that I appreciate at this very moment is challenge of self. The fearlessness to push myself and to do more. I think we have to do that for ourselves, no matter what career path you follow. And trust me when I say it doesn’t get easier, it’ll only harder but you cannot quit.

To be a Young Latina Woman with her own business is not easy, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. There are days where I feel like my effort isn’t enough, or I’m not being respected by my peers or being credited fairly on projects – but I do not let that stop me. Knowing my worth and knowing no one has had the experience I do will always be mine. No one can take that from you. I push myself further and harder because I know I can be better. I hope others can take my life / my experiences and words and inspire themselves to do the same. A women with inability to be silenced or stopped is POWERFUL.

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Moonlight Cinema is a tv and film production studio from Los Angeles CA. We specialize in all forms of creative including but not limited to: branded content, to feature films, tv shows, commercials, music videos, documentaries, brand campaigns, and more. We love creating meaningful, story-driven content. Moonlight officially launched in January 2021 with the production of the Machine Gun Kelly’s “Downfalls High” film. It was an incredible experience to have produced this project through Moonlight Cinema. We loved our cast and crew! Additionally, we’re happy to announce the newest campaign we produced for TikTok’s Women’s History Month program – celebrating women all month long! Band campaigns are a huge love of ours. We love taking a client’s idea and making them make sense. We’re also a woman and Latin owned small business. It was an important movement that we were honored to be part! Moonlight is also very excited to announce our newest department that is launching this year! Where we will offer full-time animation services for all of our clients across the board. Moonlight Media is a team of high-end digital artists with a strong focus on still and animated imagery combining 3D technology with digital illustration and photography.

We’re excited to announce our newest partnership with artist Jorge Pena, who has positioned himself as one of the most important image producers in the Chilean advertising industry… With a vast experience working with global agencies and clients, such as Pepsi, 7up, Vovlo, Nike, Mercedes Benz and more, we’re excited to launch the same services for clients here in the states. What sets us apart is our ability to constantly evolve, By opening up a department that allows us to be a one stop shop. Now with the ability to create 3D content in house and offering better deals for clients in every industry. Our team of seasoned creatives and producers also sets us apart from other companies as well. We’re built with a team that knows production inside and out and has been on the frontline of incredible projects time and time again. We’re here to take your ideas to the next level and create meaningful thought-provoking and engaging content. We’ll offer strategies with the client in mind first. We’ve been trusted with the power of bringing brands to life, time and time again. This team of once incredible freelancers have joined forces to see Moonlight Cinema reach its highest potential with artists from all around the world!

What do you like and dislike about the city?
I love Los Angeles, it’s the city of dreams. It’s given me opportunity time and time again. Though traffic may not be ideal, it’s home to incredible artists and creatives. It’s filled with art and life. I love LA, I’m thankful to have called it home for so long. I also have my heart in orange county as well, I grew up there. It will always a love of mine. I just wish I could bring that calmness and serenity that OC can provide to LA. Our jobs can be hectic. I hope everyone finds a home in an area they can focus in. I’ve been lucky to have a safe space that I can decompress and come home to after long workdays.

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