- CHICAGO & LOS ANGELES
Ed Han, a former agency creative director turned film director, has joined the roster of Quriosity Productions.
Han’s reel includes work for brands like Lincoln Motor Company, Hershey and One.org, the latter an emotional PSA about stopping the spread of HIV from mothers to babies. Also on his reel is work for iRobot, for which Han not only directed a long-running series of ads launching new products but also developed the strategy, working directly with the client, and served as creative director as well.
Han has always been drawn to creative endeavors, and studied painting, design and illustration in college with a goal of designing and illustrating movie posters. But it was easier to land a job as an agency art director, which he did. That led to almost 25 years as an agency creative, first with FCB, then Publicis, before wrapping up his agency tenure as executive creative director of Walton Isaacson. He made the transition into directing nine years ago, much of this time since then spent working independently, or partnering with production companies on an ad hoc basis.
“What drew us to Ed was that his work is stunning, which comes from his background as an art director and his many years as a CD or ECD,” said Quriosity’s West Coast EP Mark Conley. “He’s also Korean American, and so he’ll definitely benefit from having representation from Quriosity, which is one of the largest minority owned production companies in the country.”
Quriosity founder and EP Qadree Holmes (better known as Q), added, “Ed’s reel is as diverse as he is, ranging from lifestyle to light comedy to the integration of VFX. More importantly, we see quality not only in Ed’s work, but also who he is as a business partner, a husband and a father. Long story short, he is good people.”
The move to Quriosity represents a new phase for Han as a director. “For me, I wanted to further propel my career after almost a decade as a freelancer,” he says. “One of the biggest things is the badge of legitimacy and quality you get when you’re signed to a production company, and I wanted that. When you’re freelancing, the world looks at you a little differently. And as much as I loved being independent, I’m very much looking forward to tapping Quriosity’s resources, their network and their expertise, so I can focus on directing. I think this move will let people see my reel with fresh eyes.”
Both Holmes and Conley see Han’s creative director experience as being hugely influential in his development as a director. “Ed speaks ‘agency’ more fluently than anyone I’ve been lucky enough to produce for,” said Conley. “In most cases, he understands what the client needs before they do. His creativity usually starts from the very beginning of a concept, to storyboarding each frame by hand and collaborating intuitively with the creative teams throughout the process, which ultimately ensures everyone’s trust in his ability to deliver.”
“And his work on iRobot is a great example of this,” assessed Holmes. “Ed helped build the brand’s recognition, developing brand strategy while also writing and directing their campaign. He understood what iRobot needed in order to establish their own identity, which turned them into a household name.”
Han says he’ll bring this discipline to his work on Quriosity projects. “It’s always been about the brand first,” he stated. “I’m not a film school auteur, I don’t approach things that way. It’s always having a conversation with the agency about the brand, learning what the brand’s values are, what the strategy is, and how to get that messaging across.”
Han was a known entity to Conley, who’d bid against him during his years as a freelance producer.
For his part, Han said he’s excited about the new doors that will open up, and is impressed not just with the company but with where Holmes and Conley are taking it. “Mark and I immediately had good chemistry, and seeing how involved Q is in the production and postproduction community, in particular his championing diversity, that really struck me.”