Director Lisa Gunning Joins Imperial Woodpecker
Lisa Gunning
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Lisa Gunning has signed with production company Imperial Woodpecker for her first official commercial representation as a staff director in the U.S. Gunning started her career and found success for many years as a film and commercial editor with The Whitehouse Post in London. Inspired by decades of work with top agencies, brands, directors, and on feature films, her transition to directing has been at once seamless and unconventional. In 2013 she wrote, directed and edited the award winning film “Tales of Us” for the band Goldfrapp based on five stories from their album of the same name. She officially left editing in 2017 after completing her last project, P&G’s “Love Over Bias,” and has spent the past year freelancing as a director. She is the first woman to join the roster at Imperial Woodpecker.

While at Whitehouse, Gunning worked with agencies such as Wieden & Kennedy, 72andSunny and Mother, and brands including Nike, Levis, Adidas, VW, Guinness, Samsung and Landrover. Her work with directors such as Stacy Wall, Daniel Kleinman and Jonathan Glazer led to awards from D&AD, AICP, and a Gold Lion at Cannes. Her non-commercial success sprung out of a chance encounter with director Anthony Minghella in 1998, which led to a long-running collaboration on projects like The Talented Mr. Ripley and her editing Breaking & Entering. Other editing credits include Lasse Hallstrom’s Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, Martin McDonagh’s Seven Psychopaths, as well as extensive work with artist and filmmaker Sam Taylor-Johnson, first on her Palm D’or winning short Love you more, then Nowhere boy and Fifty Shades of Grey.

Gunning moved to Los Angeles in 2017, marking a turning point for her commercial directing career. Following a commissioned body of work from Nowness for the MINI Countryman, she was brought on to direct campaigns for Kaiser Permanente and Hewlett Packard on “Diversity in the workplace.” Her latest work includes an OnStar campaign out of Campbell Ewald. The Nowness project was produced by in the U.K. by Good Egg while the other jobs for the U.S. market were all produced by atSwim, a production house with which Gunning had a nonexclusive working relationship.

In addition to her commercial pursuits, Gunning is in the process of completing a documentary short called Tigerman, which she filmed during the ancient festival of "Pulikali" in Kerala, India.  

“Simply put, directing makes me happy. I so enjoy the process of capturing and weaving together images as a means to explore different themes and forms of storytelling. I’m humbled by the creative and professional arc of my relationship with filmmaking and am thrilled to now be directing full time,” said Gunning. “My relationship with Imperial Woodpecker runs deep; I’m inspired by their support and am excited by the opportunities that will come with joining a company of their caliber and size.”

Doug Halbert, managing parter of Imperial Woodpecker, said, “Through our years of collaboration, we’ve always known Lisa to be a supremely gifted talent, and so it comes as no surprise that her most recent directorial work is beautiful, smart and full of promise. We’re excited to have her with us in this new capacity as she dives head first into a familiar-yet-new role, and we’re confident in the success that she will find.”   

Lisa Gunning and Imperial Woodpecker are represented in the West by Dexter Randazzo at The Department of Sales, in the East by Tara Averill & John Robertson at Representation, and in the Midwest by Mary Kate Hatfield at MKH.


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