Mary Crosse’s 17 years of experience bridges both the agency and production company worlds, offering clients creative and efficient production management and content distribution strategy. She is known for supporting filmmakers who are powerful storytellers and have a keen understanding of technology and modern distribution to make every project a success. Prior to founding Derby in 2015, Crosse founded Big Block Live in New York, developing the company’s New York office and first roster of directors and live action production discipline. Prior to that, Crosse held an Executive Producer role at Click 3X and at Lucky Branded Entertainment. She also spent more than a decade at a variety of agency heavyweights, including FCB, Publicis, Havas and mcgarrybowen. Crosse’s entrepreneurial spirit led her to co-found On My Block Films in 2012, a non-profit that facilitates the building of stronger neighborhoods through the creative and collaborative process of filmmaking
What do I do best?
I’ve curated a really strong roster of talent. I’m known for identifying and developing emerging directors. After doing this a few times now, I’ve realized casting a roster is something I’m really good at and meeting new talent is something I’ve always enjoyed as well.
What makes me the best version of myself?
Good company. I’ve been lucky to have been surrounded by a lot of quality people in my life, and they are certainly responsible for bringing out the best in me. I’ve always enjoyed staying connected to the myriad of people I’ve met over the years.
What are my aspirations?
Both personally and professionally, I just want to make great work and have a good time while doing it. If we can make the world a tiny bit better or more beautiful through that, then it’s a cherry on top. Professionally, I’ve been working to build a sort of creative playground as an all-in-one studio. I like this as a way to control the creative output and service across the entire process as well as to open up the possibilities of play within work.
My Biggest Success?
Launching Derby is the obvious answer here, but that’s really just the beginning of a long journey, not the success itself. I suppose I should be celebrating the small daily successes more often because it’s so hard to get lost in the grind. I recently had the opportunity to screen a selection of Derby work from the past two-and-a-half years since launching the company, and it was such an incredible moment of reflection. First, it was so hard to choose what to share. Second, I had been so busy I had not only forgotten the quantity of our projects but also the consistent quality that I’m proud to showcase.
My Most Challenging Moment?
We’ve all had challenging moments, let alone challenging years. If it were too easy, would it still be as rewarding in the end? I don’t think it’s about the specific obstacles I’ve faced versus what anyone else has had to tackle, but it’s always about the attitude of how any challenge large or small is navigated. I do my best to to not let too much get to me and, well, for getting my way regardless. I’m an eternal optimist and like to see the opportunity in any obstacle.
“What you allow, is what will continue.” We’re all responsible for our own happiness and success.
My Favorite People/Role Models?
I wish I could give you a more unique response here, but let’s face it, Oprah is inspirational to so many millions for a reason.
My Favorite Places/Destinations?
I’ve traveled to well over 60 countries around the world, and I will never stop exploring, but New York City will always be my absolute favorite place and the only place I could ever call home.
My Favorite Products/Objects?
I’ve become known for my Bandolier phone case (it’s a producer’s dream come true), as is my Mophie Powerstation (I can even charge up my laptop with this and recharge my phone for an entire business trip without ever going near an outlet. It makes me a lot of friends on set.) I gave up real cameras long ago, but recently got a set of Moment lenses and am loving the ability to do more with my iphone camera on the go. I try to get by carrying nothing more than my phone, but when I do need to bring my laptop, I found this Haerfest backpack that is the perfect stylish professional leather bag that is a great carry-on. I also love my Rimowa suitcases. I can’t live without them. I’ve been spending way too much time in front of my computer lately and started wearing blue light filter glasses that very quickly became one of my favorite things.
My Current Passions?
I have a lifelong passion for global exploration, and I truly hope it takes me a full lifetime to see it all. Currently, I’m also very passionate about installation and experiential art. We are even launching Derbyx to focus attention there, as I love to see how storytelling is moving into the physical space. I’ve been curating a roster of experiential artists, and it’s been so exciting for me to take everything I’ve learned in film and apply it to