- Monday, Jul. 23, 2012
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- LOS ANGELES
Academy Award-winner Dustin Lance Black has joined Bully Pictures for exclusive representation as a commercial and interactive content director.
Black--a director, writer, producer and civil rights activist--won numerous awards including an Oscar, a Writers Guild of America Award and an Independent Spirit Award in 2009 for his screenplay for the critically acclaimed feature Milk.
As a director, Black's credits include the recently released feature film Virginia, starring Jennifer Connelly and Ed Harris, the feature documentaries My Life with Count Dracula and On the Bus, and a television series for the TLC/BBC networks called Faking It. His arrangement with Bully Pictures marks the first time that Black has made himself available to direct for advertising.
"Lance is a very special artist and human being who brings passion to every project he undertakes," said Jason Forest, Bully Pictures executive producer. "He understands how to get a message across creatively and eloquently and has done so consistently for his own projects, both through conventional and viral means. Those skills can be applied very effectively on behalf of the right clients and brands."
An honors graduate of UCLA--s School of Film and Television, Black began his professional career as an art director in TV commercials and quickly transitioned to directing. His feature documentaries led to a successful stint producing and directing Faking It, which received high notices for its unflinching sociological commentaries.
In 2004, Black became a writer and co-producer of HBO's Emmy and Golden Globe nominated series, Big Love. He subsequently wrote the screenplays for the feature films Milk, Pedro and J. Edgar. He made his debut as a narrative feature film director with Virginia, a drama centering around a schizophrenic single mother and her relationship with her illegitimate son.
Looking back on his early career as a commercial art director, Black notes that he has long admired the storytelling skills of commercial filmmakers and looks forward to applying his skills to the medium, particularly in the company of Forest. He also feels that his film, TV, stage, activism, and personal life experiences can bring a fresh perspective to advertising.
"I offer an outsider's instincts, perspective and storytelling skills that, I think, speak to a lot of people out there these days," he said. "I feel that in advertising, great success can be found in telling stories from an individual perspective. The more distinctive we make that perspective, the more universal it feels."
Black is currently writing The Barefoot Bandit for Fox and Under the Banner of Heaven based on the Jon Krakauer novel for Imagine Entertainment and director Ron Howard. He also wrote the script for 8, a stage play on the landmark federal trial over California's Proposition 8, that was directed by Rob Reiner with leads George Clooney, Martin Sheen, Kevin Bacon, Brad Pitt, and Jamie Lee Curtis among many others.
Since his Oscar win in 2009, Black has emerged as a major civil rights activist. His Oscar acceptance speech included a moving statement about equal rights for gays and lesbians. He is a founding board member of the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) and has been a featured speaker on civil rights issues at events nationwide. He was among the organizers of the LGBT March on Washington in October 2009 where he spoke to an audience of over 150,000 demonstrators.