- LOS ANGELES
Production company Couscous has expanded its directorial roster for U.S. commercial representation. Officially added to the lineup are company co-founder and partner Bear Damen as well as director Henry Kaplan.
Damen’s work has been tapped for the festival circuit including the Leed International Film Festival, Nederlands Film Festival, LSFF, Byron Bay Film Festival and the Raindance Film Festival. His music videos have earned or been nominated for Dallas Independent Film Festival honors, La Guarimba Film Festival honors, the Berlin Music Video Award, and the Independent Shorts Awards. He was born and raised in the Netherlands.
As co-founder and partner, Damen first united with Couscous co-founders El Arja and Jordan Cardoso when collaborating on the Benny Sings music video “Not Enough.” The three creatives became business partners afterward to continue extending the production company’s global reach. Damen is additionally represented by Czar in Europe for commercials and ANORAK in Berlin for film.
Damen currently resides in Amsterdam, and is working on two feature-length projects and a music video for Mac DeMarco + Benny Sings.
Inspired by short films with styles that convey a highly specific concept, Kaplan’s strategy hinges on “effective” directing and leading with thorough communication. By choosing to prioritize the intended emotional effect of a work on his audience, he reverse-engineers the appropriate filmmaking style to match, rather than embrace one routine aesthetic. His many spanning styles are put to great effect for musicians and bands including Charly Bliss, TW Walsh and St Lucia.
Prior to Couscous Kaplan was with Green Glow Films for U.S. spot representation.
Hailing from Connecticut, Kaplan attended Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, to study film. He fondly calls the institution “a Ninja academy for filmmakers,” famed for its intense study of traditional filmmaking, shooting film on 16mm and cutting by hand on a Steenbeck editor. His background in editing as a result directly informs his directorial choices, with past clients including Zoe Saldana’s company BESE, Apple, Smashbox Cosmetics, several record labels including RCA, Warner and UMG, and many more. His scope also includes editing music videos for award-winning artists including MUNA, Rüfüs du Sol, Jay Prince, Vagabon, 6lack and others. He is currently in-progress writing his first feature film, and in the midst of postproduction on his latest short film.