- CULVER CITY, Calif.
Filmmaker Daniel Lawrence Wilson, who counts Lexus, Össur and BMW among his clients, has signed with Contagious for exclusive representation in the branded arena. The L.A.-based Wilson has spent the past 12 years as a prolific writer, producer, director, and editor, creating branded content that combines lush, kinetic storytelling with a human touch. Most recently, Wilson helmed a string of tonally diverse projects for Lexus Global, including the launch film for the 2022 ES, which debuted at the automaker brand’s presentation in Shanghai, China. Contagious is the first production company roost for Wilson, who joins a company roster consisting of directors Andrew Laurich, Brandon Bray, Emilie Silvestri, James Mann, Jeff Jenkins, Kevin & King, and Tamara Rosenfeld.
“Daniel is a fresh voice who complements his A-level filmmaking with a broad set of skills, from his way with a crew to collaborating closely with agencies and clients,” said Contagious EP Natalie Sakai. “He’s the kind of person I can fight for as we go after the most challenging jobs.”
Wilson added, “Having run my own business for a decade, I have experience with budgets, problem-solving, and selling a vision, so I can understand and speak to clients on that level. That said, it’s time for me to focus on my directing, and I’m thrilled to have found the right partners to help me do that. Ultimately, I want to position Natalie so well that the client calls and says, ‘We want Daniel.’”
That refrain is being heard more frequently of late, particularly from clients like Lexus, for whom Wilson has directed an array of assignments spanning romance (“Memories”), athleticism (“Omotenashi”), yachting (“Beyond the Road”), food (“Culinary Perspectives), and, of course, the road (“Speed of Life”). The throughline for the director is storytelling with a driven, cinematic quality dating back to his first gigs straight out of college, shooting videos in the Florida hip-hop scene c.2010 with DJ Khaled, Rick Ross, Meek Mill, and others. This evolved into opportunities with blue chip brands like GMC, for whom Wilson shot three episodes of a series featuring outdoor adventure photographer Travis Burke. In 2016, Wilson co-directed the short, Allerton, which was accepted into 14 festivals throughout the country, went on to win 11 awards, and was showcased on Amazon Prime. When a creative director acquaintance viewed “Dream,” a cycling piece directed by Wilson, it led to the Lexus yachting assignment, followed by the run with the brand, beginning in 2019.
Wilson is currently in postproduction on his solo short film debut, A Brush of Violence; this 40-minute tale is a dark, suspenseful descent into a fateful interaction between two artists, and the question of whether creativity is about futility, longevity, or a union of the two. Wilson’s mood is much brighter, as he contemplates his future with Contagious. “I’m always striving for the best--the best shot, framing, locations,” he related. “I swing for the fences, and so does Natalie. But we do it thoughtfully, through the prism of experience.”
“Daniel definitely syncs up with the familial, collaborative vibe of the Contagious set,” Sakai affirmed. “He brings small town values to large-scale production. I’m excited to break him into other car brands, tech, and additional new markets.”
Contagious is a WBEC certified woman-owned and NMSDC certified minority-owned company.