“I wanted to come out to LA with more than ideas on paper,” says St. Louis native Daniel Lawrence Wilson, in what is arguably a vast understatement of the content with which he’s arrived. From its very first frame, A BRUSH OF VIOLENCE swirls with meticulous artistry, unspooling a dark, suspenseful tale. Apropos of Hollywood, its central figures are artists - one unknown, the other iconic - and the question of whether creativity is about futility, longevity, or a union of the two. ‘Brush,’ which premiered on YouTube March 26, stars Mia Krystyna as a striving art photographer and Yavor Vesselinov as the reclusive painter who becomes the subject of a lifetime (the trailer can be viewed here).

At 40 minutes, the piece is more featurette than short film, which is completely by design. “I treated it like a feature,” said Wilson. Indeed, the scale of A BRUSH OF VIOLENCE is more typical of a feature film, with four months of prep, looking at over 25,000 casting profiles, 14 days of production with talent hailing from St. Louis, Los Angeles, New York, Austin and Berlin. “During this process, I received a lot of no’s, or no responses at all. There was plenty of rejection and even more skepticism. But I was also blown away by the number of people who said ‘yes,’” Wilson wrote in a piece for NoFilmSchool.com. “Your responsibility as a filmmaker is to ensure everyone who is a part of the project is fully on board, excited, and clear about your direction,” says Wilson. “At the end of our shoot, I’d created a community of people that had helped bring this ambitious story to life involving 16 locations, 25 cast/crew members, and a total of 50 extras.”

The filmmaker recently held screenings in St. Louis and Los Angeles, sharing the film with nearly 300 audience members. “This was Daniel’s directorial debut and he punched above his weight class, for sure,” said moderator of the private screening’s Q&A, Austin Brooks. “We live in a day where many want to direct, but not many know how to be a leader on set. Daniel isn’t a typical director. He’s a person who elevates the people and creatives around him. You can see that not just in how he celebrated the work of his crew throughout this process, but also in how you hear his crew talk about him and the creative environment he fostered on set. Many of them said it was the best set they ever worked on.” 

For Wilson, the film and the recent move to LA is the culmination of 12 years as a prolific writer, producer, director, and editor, creating branded content that combines lush, kinetic storytelling with a human touch. Directing assignments include a string of tonally diverse projects for Lexus Global, including the launch film for the 2022 ES, the carmaker’s most sold car, which debuted at the brand’s presentation in Shanghai, China. 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 - evolved into opportunities with blue chip brands like GMC and BMW. In 2016, Wilson co-directed the short, ALLERTON, which was accepted into 14 festivals throughout the country, went on to win 11 awards, and showcased on Amazon Prime. When a creative director 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. 

For more information about A Brush of Violence and its public release, visit abrushofviolence.com. To explore Daniel Lawrence Wilson’s other work, visit daniellawrencewilson.com.

Watch the Film on YouTube: https://youtu.be/sn2nFK4ejjc?t=34


Cast | Akila: Mia Krystyna, Vio: Yavor Vesselinov, Vaasefa: Sausan Machari, Abel: Garland Scott

Production | Writer/Producer/Director: Daniel Lawrence Wilson, Director Of Photography: Darren Streibig, Assistant Director: Austin Hanner, Assistant Camera/Additional Photography: Michael Fenton, Gaffer: Curtis Mccardie, Key Grip: Justin May, Dolly Grip: Liam Webner, Grips: Miles Mannar - Nicholas Wallace - Mason Beck, Location Sound: James Styron, Hair/Make Up: Jenna Brown, Art Director: Anna Brockmeyer, Assistant Art Director: Abigail Horton, Key Production Assistant: Donald Wilson, Production Assistants: Gab Lobato - Jane Long, Special Effects Makeup: Meredith Johns, Chef: Josh Charles, Behind The Scenes: Toms Musts

Post Production | Edited By: Lexi Hiland - Daniel Lawrence Wilson, Music Composed By: Snakes Of Russia, Sound Design/Mix: Colton Jackson, Foley: James Styron - Colton Jackson, Colorist: Lutz Forster, Visual Effects: Julia Kietzmann, Violins By: Francesca Guccione

About Daniel Lawrence Wilson 
Daniel Lawrence Wilson is a filmmaker based in Los Angeles, California, whose obsession with authentic narrative has led him to partner with brands, agencies, and production companies worldwide. He has spent the last 12 years working as a successful writer, producer, director, and editor, focusing on creating branded content that integrates lifestyle and stories. He is currently promoting his short film debut, A BRUSH OF VIOLENCE, released on March 26, 2023.