Documentary Filmmaker, Mary Mazzio, Visits Racepoint Global

Racepoint Global

Written by: Ani Jigarjian – VP, Global Marketing & Business Development

Racepoint Global had the pleasure of hosting Documentary Filmmaker and Founder and CEO of 50 Eggs, Inc., Mary Mazzio. 50 Eggs is an independent film production company that is focused and dedicated to creating films that have social impact. In the production company’s latest film, I Am Jane Doe, the focus takes us into the dark world of sex trafficking. What may first come to mind is a third world country, far away from you. WRONG. It’s happening in your backyard. In the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. The victims? Middle-school girls. There is a battle raging against a sex-trafficking site – Backpage.com (the adult classifieds section that was part of the Village Voice for years) – and this war is being fought by the victims and their mothers. These courageous heroes are what make up this compelling, frightening and life-awakening film.

You may have already seen it, but if you haven’t, be sure to watch the PSA with Amy Schumer and Seth Meyers, that was recently released. It is extremely impactful and so raw. It will definitely awaken your insides and make you want to do something about the horrific crimes that are being committed to our children. This PSA garnered more than 1 million views in less than 48 hours after it was released.

Now, onto Mary. She is fascinating. Her energy is contagious and what I loved most was seeing how much she loves what she does. She is authentic and will walk away from any opportunity that is unfit, and any amount of money, if it isn’t true to what she does and she believes. Her sole focus is social impact.

We talked about time and the journey to get things done. The journey to create a documentary will ideally have an allocation of 9 months. However, depending on the subject and the timing, the journey can be shortened to 4 months. When there’s a shorter time period to create a documentary, artistry needs to come second, and opportunity has to come first. The subject and the testimonials are what create impact.

Then there’s the go-to-market strategy. You must have a precise message and know the type of dialogue you want to have an impact on. Strategy is key, because there’s no wait and see – the opportunity will be lost. Also, you’re speaking to such a broad audience. The average age of a documentary viewer is so broad – ranging from age 8 to 65 years old. Having a broad set of eyes and ears is a toughie, and that’s why your message has to be on fleek.

Content is still king, right? Well, according to Mary, the conversation starts when people want more. Abbreviation is a good thing when it comes to trailers and promos. When you omit different climaxes, people are going to be hungry for more.

Every human has an interesting story. Mary’s objective is to always figure out who they are, make them comfortable and establish that unique rapport so they comfortably begin to step out of their shells. However, the most challenging, emotional and difficult interviews are always the victims, and for I Am Jane Doe, these are vulnerable and helpless children. Mary also talked about how important it is to her to protect the individual who’s on camera. It’s so intimate, so fragile – it’s something that needs to be handled delicately.

There are SO many layers that go into creating a documentary. And so many different types of personalities you’re dealing with. There’s got to be another word on steroids for multitasking that we can insert here. When Mary described all the aspects of pulling a documentary together, it was fascinating. There are endless things to consider – from funding, to legislation, to back and forth communication on one single question, to the type of people you’re dealing with, to timing, and the list goes on and on.

I have more too that I can reflect on, but in short, we loved having Mary come speak to us. She’s had some major speaking gigs, and we were fortunate to hear her speak and to ask her questions in such an intimate setting. We can’t wait to see all the great work that is to come. In the meantime, don’t forget to watch I Am Jane Doe, available on Netflix.