Droga5, Director Joshua Kissi Delve Into Questlove For New York Times


Robert Goldrich
Thursday, Jun. 16, 2022


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The New York Times and Questlove launch the next iteration of The Times’ “Independent Journalism for an Independent Life” campaign, this time taking us inside Questlove’s thought process as he reflects on the stories that impact his life and perception of the world. 

Directed by Ghanaian-American filmmaker Joshua Kissi via production house division7, the film gives a glimpse into Questlove, fresh off a Peabody Award, Times 100 (where he named Wordle his one saving grace in his speech), and a Best Feature Documentary Oscar for Summer of Soul (...Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised). The spot sheds light on Questlove’s daily routine, the power of manifestation and meditation (i.e. writing in his “dream pad” and talking to the universe), his Wordle obsession and the community he has created around it, and how guest essays, new music critiques and reporting on places or people he admires help him evolve personally and professionally by offering new perspectives about the world and himself. 

Shot at the iconic Electric Lady Studios in Greenwich Village where Questlove took up residence and produced multiple albums between 1996 and 2002, the film will be featured at the Tribeca Film Festival and shown in independent theaters across the U.S. in addition to TV, digital, print, out-of-home, social and audio spots. 

As part of the campaign launch, The Times is encouraging subscribers to explore how what they read can inspire who they are through a new interactive mobile experience, Story Portrait. Available on The New York Times app or online, The Story Portrait tool pulls from a subscriber’s reading habits to create a unique composite of journalism headlines that draws on a collection of 50,000+ Times articles, translates subscribers’ reading history into headlines, and creates a custom, shareable image.



Client The New York Times Agency Droga5 NY Tim Gordon, co-chief creative officer; Laurie Howell, Toby Treyer-Evans, executive creative directors; Sara Muchnick, Lorne Heller, sr. copywriters; Justin Luu, Jessica Pester, sr. art directors; Hua Chen, designer; Ruben Mercadal, co-head of film and content; Volney Guzman, sr. producer, film; Hugh Copeland, associate producer, film; Mike Ladman, sr. music supervisor; Brandy Ricker, music supervisor; Cliff Lewis, director, art production; Harry Roman-Torres, chief brand strategy officer; Carmen VonPatterson, strategy director; Justin Schneider, group communication strategy director; Katherine Lee, brand & communications strategist. Production Company division7 Joshua Kissi, director; Kamila Prokop, David Richardds, co-managing directors/EPs; Saul Germaine, producer; Donna Imbarrato, 1st AD; Michael Fernandez, DP; Madison Hatch, production designer; Kah Li, wardrobe stylist; Elliot Simpson, hair stylist; Maria C. Scali, makeup. Editorial Cut+Run NYC Beau Dickson, editor; Eli Beck-Gifford, assistant editor; Diana Mendez, sr. producer; Ellese Shell, exec producer; Lauren Hertzberg, managing partner. Postproduction The Mill Luis Martin, exec producer; Matthew Engel, production supervisor; Claire Stiefel, associate producer; Anton Anderson, finishing lead; Ruairi Twohig, finish artist; Laura Nash, design lead; Yimeng Sun, designer. Color Studio Color With Primary Kya Lou, colorist; Diane Valera, producer. Sound Wave Studios Aaron Reynolds, sound designer & mixer; Vicky Ferraro, exec producer; Eleni Giannopoulos, producer. Music Black Sugar by The Three Sounds. Photography Joshua Kissi, photographer


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