Global production company Unit9 has signed experiential director Yehuda Duenyas for global commercial and experiential work.
Duenyas, formerly with m ss ng p eces, has already debuted his first work as part of Unit9--a virtual concert at Intel’s annual conference featuring a motion-capture rendering of music producer and DJ, Diplo. Created with VMLY&R and Intel, the virtual concert utilizes Intel’s new Tiger Lake processor combined with cutting-edge computer-generated imagery, motion capture, and live-action footage to demonstrate how Intel technology allows on-the-go creatives like Diplo to unlock their full creative potential. Duenyas and team pulled from Diplo’s existing DIY digital aesthetic rooted in pop culture references to create his avatar and the accompanying landscape.
Duenyas’ work has online views in the 200+ millions, with over a billion media impressions. He has directed experiences and commercials for brands such as Google/YouTube, Intel, MGM/UA, the Ad Council, Audi, JetBlue, Weight Watchers, LA Tourism and Dixie, among many others, and has worked with agencies including R/GA, Droga5 and Mullen/Lowe. Duenyas is best known as experiential director and designer for the viral 2015 “Love Has No Labels” experience for The Ad Council which showed different examples of love--familial, romantic, interracial, LGBTQIA+, etc--through a screen that hid the actual identity of the individuals involved and depicted them as the equal, undefined skeletons they are underneath. “Love Has No Labels” won eight Cannes Lions (one Gold, three Silvers, four Bronzes) as well as the primetime commercial Emmy Award. (Danielle Levitt directed the Emmy-winning “Love Has No Labels” which came out of R/GA.)
Michelle Craig, director and creative partner at Unit9, shared, “We’ve had our eye on Yehuda and his work for a while and we jumped at the opportunity to have him join our team. He has an ability to merge the most valuable aspects of tech into real life or virtual experiences to build immersive worlds that are true to a brand and enjoyable for consumers.”
Duenyas said he’s enthused over the opportunity to work with the roster of talent at Unit9, noting, “We have an enormous opportunity right now to elevate the landscape of engagement, create new markets, cultivate new audiences, and provide fresh content through hybrid mediums--live action, experiential, digital, virtual, social, and beyond.” He added that “creating engaging storytelling through technological and digital empathy is the next level of brand engagement. Intersectionality of brand and social identity is where it’s at.”
In addition to his commercial work, Duenyas spent time working at Walt Disney Imagineering, leaders in innovative and technological storytelling. He was also supervising producer and creative director on YouTube Red’s Fight of the Living Dead (10M+ views online). Outside of his work as an experiential director, he’s a pioneering certified intimacy coordinator helping major studios, stage and small screen directors safely, accurately and comfortably bring intimate scenes to life. He’s currently working on a training program specifically for BIPOC and underrepresented people entering the field.