Content studio Big Block welcomes director Neil Abramson to their expanding roster of talent. The versatile Abramson is known for turning out compelling work across mediums and genres, including commercials, music videos, documentaries, feature films and still photography.
As a South African living in the United States since his teens, Abramson brings a global perspective to his work, and combines sensitivity with an unflinching eye. He’s driven to craft films that explore the human condition and psyche, whether it’s focusing on the quiet moments in life for a Subway commercial, or following a young Marine being deployed for active duty in his film American Son.
Abramson’s feature work, both scripted and documentary, highlights his desire to shine a light on important aspects of modern life. His evocative feature debut, Without Air, premiered at Sundance, and went on to win Most Promising Newcomer and landed Abramson on Daily Variety’s “10 To Watch” list.
Abramson’s gripping documentary Soldier Child, became a calling card for the issue, culminating in Amnesty International presenting the film at the United Nations to bring awareness to the plight of child soldiers in Northern Uganda and worldwide. A book of Abramson’s photographs taken in Uganda accompanied the film. After the success of Soldier Child, Abramson traveled to Sierra Leone with the UN to document the atrocities of the civil war there, with the film and his photographs being used to raise money for a refugee relief fund.
Abramson’s 2008 feature American Son, starring Nick Cannon, Matt O’Leary, Melonie Diaz, Tom Sizemore and Jay Hernandez, is a riveting statement of the times which garnered a glowing review from The Hollywood Reporter: “A front-and-center medal to Abramson for his exemplary direction, distilling a representative story though the power of the personal scope.”
Not content to only work in the dramatic space, Abramson also has an eye for the absurd. Bob Smith U.S.A., his most recent feature documentary, is a reflection on American society and culture shown in a uniquely poignant and often hilarious manner, as seen through the eyes of seven men named Bob Smith.
Abramson began directing after graduating from Art Center College of Design, helming music videos for acts like Deborah Harry, Dwight Yokum, and Mark Knoffler. He transitioned to the commercial side and was soon shooting motion/print campaigns for high-profile clients like Merrill Lynch, Nike, McDonald's, Cadillac, Coca-Cola, United Airlines, and Toyota. Abramson’s fresh approach to advertising has been lauded by his industry peers, with his work earning awards including Clios and Cannes Lions.
On joining the ranks at Big Block, Abramson says: “Big Block is a progressive company that has their finger on the pulse of a new paradigm of production and media creation - not only commercials, but content of all types. Their offering is way beyond that of other shops…that’s what really got me excited about joining.”
Big Block Managing Director Kenny Solomon echoes the praise, saying: “I have been a fan of Neil’s for some time. He has that uncanny ability to evoke the human condition and unearth true emotion in all his work, across the mediums of branded content to feature films to his still photography. I even got a bit teary-eyed when I watched what he shot for Subway…now that’s good creative! ”