- LOS ANGELES & NEW YORK
Bicoastal production company Durable Goods has signed multi-hyphenate director Danny Lee for commercials and branded content in the U.S.
This marks the first exclusive spot representation for Lee who has directed ads and branded documentary shorts for clients including Nike, Adidas, and Red Bull. For the latter, his “Skate or Die” campaign was inducted into the Smithsonian Institute. Lee is also an accomplished film and television director and producer with credits such as Who is Stan Smith? The Clinic and Defining Moments for Hulu, feature film Public Disturbance for Lionsgate, and Niiice Shot with Stephen Curry for NBC.
“When I met Danny, I felt an instant connection with him both personally and as a filmmaker,” said Roxanne Artesona, EP/head of sales at Durable Goods. “His culture-forward approach to storytelling is incredibly intimate and relatable, and we are stoked he is bringing it to Durable Goods.”
Lee said, “I had met with other commercial companies, but it was Durable Goods’ enthusiasm that won me over. It’s a supportive and nurturing company, and felt like the best fit for me to continue my work in the commercial and brand space.”
Growing up in Los Angeles as the child of Korean immigrants, Lee became obsessed with the intersection of music, sports, fashion, comedy, and lifestyle in the culture around him. Realizing at an early age that he had a natural talent for visual storytelling, he studied filmmaking and screenwriting at UC Santa Barbara before beginning his career with his critically acclaimed debut Rock Fresh, a documentary about graffiti artists that premiered on Showtime.
“I speak the language of culture,” Lee said of his approach to storytelling, “and I like to connect with people on the ground to create beautiful things. Working with Durable Goods, I’m excited to bring my worldview to the commercial arena, working with the brands that embrace culture and deeply entrench themselves in it like Nike, Beats, and Apple have all done so well.”
Through his work, Lee is passionate about mentorship in his industry, especially when drawing on his own experiences growing up in the turbulence of ‘80s and ‘90s Los Angeles. “Coming up in the industry, I had to learn on the job and trust myself to figure things out. Not only did it help me develop my own style, I gained a ton of knowledge along the way, so I’m at a point in my career where I want to share it and uplift the next generation of filmmakers, especially those who come from immigrant backgrounds like myself.”
Lee is also a writer and occasionally works on the postproduction side, including editing some of his work.
“The culture you establish on a project is everything,” concludes Lee. “So I always look to empower everyone on set, to create an alchemy where everyone is as inspired as you. Because no matter what your role is, everyone brings a unique perspective. And just as a filmmaker who knows who he likes, I strive for emotional energy in every frame, every second of a story.”