Robert Ford is the founder and CEO of The Creative Mind Group (CMG), in addition to being a talented television and film producer. CMG was founded in 2004, creating a platform that allows college students to break into entry-level positions in the film industry. CMG participants work with top-tier film companies such as Paramount Pictures, Focus Features, and William Morris Endeavor among others, create short films and network at world-renowned film festivals. As the founder and CEO of The Creative Mind Group Robert is responsible for the overall strategic direction of the company.
Coming from humble beginnings in South Central, Los Angeles, Robert attributes much of his success to the guidance he received from others. Rather than succumb to the negative elements of the community, Robert’s mother motivated him to excel in school so that he could one day accomplish his dreams. His love of sports combined with receiving encouragement from his high school history teacher, led him to pursue his interest in sports broadcasting at Howard University.
While attending Howard University, Robert was the Assistant Campus Editor for the student newspaper- “The Hilltop.” His desire to create positive, thought-provoking visual content, led him to be bitten by the film bug, causing him to produce and direct his first short film called, “The Maneuver.” Robert also interned at Fox Family Channel, STARZ!, Entertainment Weekly, and was selected to attend the TIME Inc. Journalism Institute. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in journalism, he received the Kodak Filmmaker Award for his film “Dorm Window” (based on the Hitchcock classic “Rear Window”). This awarded him the opportunity to attend the Cannes Film Festival with a company that advertised internship opportunities and exclusive industry access that would lead to potential employment in the film industry.
Robert was eager to break into the film industry and thought the film program at the Cannes Film Festival would be a perfect segue way. In reality, the advertisements misrepresented the experience and program participants were forced to work a minimum of six to eight hours per day as hostesses, wait staff or as administrative assistants, eliminating the time needed to network and squandering the opportunity to connect with influential industry professionals.
Although Robert felt the experience was disappointing and exploiting, if done correctly he saw the great potential a film program could have if the focus wasn’t exclusively on monetary gain. He then tapped into his entrepreneurial spirit and launched The Creative Mind Group, to give students and young professionals a genuine opportunity to launch their careers in the entertainment industry. While building CMG, Robert began working on his film and television career, simultaneously. He has produced shows on top television networks including the OWN Network, Discovery Channel, Bravo, MTV and many more. As an accomplished producer and member of the Producers Guild of America, he remains on the pulse of the industry and connects students with contacts and rewarding opportunities.
To date we’ve brought over 1,100 participants to film festivals all over the world, setup more than 600 internships, produced more than 75 films and provided over 100 jobs for our alumni. Through charitable contributions to the company’s non-profit organization, The CMG Film Foundation, students are able to receive financial aid/scholarships to help cover the cost of attending the company’s film programs.
Robert currently resides in Southern California. He enjoys spending time with his daughter Imani, watching films and plays, traveling, bike riding and long distance running.