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'How Did They Do It?' With Creative Director and Forbes '30 Under 30,' Rylee Ebsen!

One of the many reasons I was so excited to chat with Rylee is because she's a woman who wears many hats (proudly) like myself. With a background in film and tech, she's paved quite a unique career path from being an Executive at Snapchat to a creative director, startup advisor, (the list goes on) but above all, a storyteller who has worked with well-known actors such as Seth McFarland to some of the biggest media conglomerates- Disney, Facebook and even Zillow. It's no wonder she has made a name for herself in the entertainment industry landing on Forbes 30 under 30 list in 2020...

LA: What is one interesting thing that people may not know about your career?


R: I’m a creative director, live action director, and startup advisor. I am a multi-hyphenate and that’s perfectly fine. I don’t subscribe to the idea that you have to “pick a lane.” I can redraw the box. Due to my unique beginning at a startup, I sit at the intersection of tech and film. I wear different hats depending on the project. I enjoy product design AND I also love being on set working with actors. For me, it’s all storytelling.  



LA: During your professional journey, what is one mistake you made that you learned the most from?


R: I wish I was more comfortable negotiating and advocating for my time and value. I’m sure a lot of people can relate to this, but I also know that this mostly happens to women. Linda Babcock did a study for her book Women Don’t Ask, and she found that about 7% of women attempted to negotiate, while 57% of men did. I think it’s really important that women share information, advocate for each other and talk more openly about compensation, market value, equity + cash, etc. There’s a lot we can do to help each other. The onus shouldn’t only be on women to close the gender pay gap, but we do need the right data and information in order to have a productive discussion at the negotiating table. 


LA: What are you most proud of at this moment?


R: After being in-house at a company for several years, I’ve worked really hard in the last two years to build my own career as a storyteller—and it’s just the beginning! In 2019, my first year out, I worked with incredible brands like Disney, Zillow, and Facebook and joined the Director’s Guild of America (as a 28 year old lady, this was huge!). In 2020, I landed on Forbes 30 under 30 list under my own company. I have a lot of exciting projects this year and I can’t wait for the future. I like to say… Here's to strong women in film. May we know them, may we be them, may we give them funding.


LA: I wish people would stop doing this in business...


R: From a marketing standpoint, save room for fun and don’t get too data fatigued. We’ve never had more information—once mobile phones got connected to the internet, it was all over. Don’t get me wrong, customer insights are extremely important, I just believe a little data goes a long way. A good idea is a good idea! Every year you should plan on doing partnerships and projects that move the needle and lead to direct ROI, but also plan for some fun moments too. Ideas that are timely, compelling, and spontaneous. Projects that help build your brand.


LA: The place I find inspiration is....  


R: We are very connected these days, which is why I find it important to disconnect. I love to travel! In the last year travel meant road trips to nearby states like Oregon or Utah, or even to the park down my street. I’m my best self when I’m in nature accessing my parasympathetic nervous system. Going on walks or hikes, taking deep breaths, grounding, making gratitude lists, meditating and zooming out a bit to look at the whole picture.


+Follow Rylee here 

+Check out her website here

+Photo credit here