Acclaimed director/writer/producer enters advertising market.
LOS ANGELES— Academy Award-winner Dustin Lance Black has joined Bully Pictures for exclusive representation as a commercial and interactive content director. Black a director, writer, producer and nationally-recognized civil rights activist, won numerous awards including an Oscar, a Writers Guild of America Award and an Independent Spirit Award in 2009 for his screenplay for the critically acclaimed feature Milk. He has also garnered television nominations for his work on the HBO series Big Love and his teleplay for Pedro. As a director, Black’s credits include the recently released feature film Virginia, starring Jennifer Connelly and Ed Harris, the feature documentaries My Life with Count Dracula and On the Bus, and a television series for the TLC/BBC networks called Faking It. His arrangement with Bully Pictures marks the first time that Black has made himself available to direct for advertising.
Bully Pictures executive producer Jason Forest, a long-time friend of Black’s, believes he offers unique sensibilities to the advertising sphere. “Lance is a very special artist and human being who brings passion to every project he undertakes,” Forest says. “He understands how to get a message across creatively and eloquently and has done so consistently for his own projects, both through conventional and viral means. Those skills can be applied very effectively on behalf of the right clients and brands.” Executive Producer Astrid Downs adds, “His passion is contagious. Lance strives to give everyone a fair voice. We feel that his conviction will be a complete asset to any project with which he is involved. With Lance, you don’t only get a Director, you also get a dynamic influential and creative force.”
Looking back on his early career as a commercial art director, Black notes that he has long admired the storytelling skills of commercial filmmakers, and looks forward to applying his skills to the medium, particularly in the company of Forest. “We collaborated on commercials back when we were just starting out. We have known each other for so long now,” he observes, “It will be nice to come back together again creatively after we’ve both grown and can bring our years of experience to the table.”
Black feels that his film, tv, stage, activism, and personal life experiences can bring a fresh perspective to advertising. “I offer an outsider’s instincts, perspective and storytelling skills that, I think, speak to a lot of people out there these days,” he says. “I feel that in advertising, great success can be found in telling stories from an individual perspective. The more distinctive we make that perspective, the more universal it feels.”
An honors graduate of UCLA´s School of Film and Television, Black began his professional career as an art director in tv commercials and quickly transitioned to directing. His documentaries On the Bus and My Life with Count Dracula debuted to great acclaim and led to a successful stint producing and directing the TLC/BBC reality series Faking It, which received high notices for its unflinching sociological commentaries.
In 2004, Black became a writer and co-producer of HBO’s Emmy and Golden Globe nominated series, Big Love. He subsequently wrote the screenplays for the feature films Milk, Pedro and J. Edgar. He is currently writing The Barefoot Bandit for Fox and Under the Banner of Heaven based on the Jon Krakauer novel for Imagine Entertainment and director Ron Howard. He also wrote the script for 8, a stage play on the landmark federal trial over California’s Proposition 8, that was directed by Rob Reiner with leads George Clooney, Martin Sheen, Kevin Bacon, Brad Pitt, and Jamie Lee Curtis among many others. He made his debut as a narrative feature film director with Virginia, a drama centering around a schizophrenic single mother and her relationship with her illegitimate son.
Since his Oscar win in 2009, Black has emerged as a major civil rights activist. (His Oscar acceptance speech included a moving statement about equal rights for gays and lesbians.) He is a founding board member of the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) and has been a featured speaker on civil rights issues at events nationwide. He was among the organizers of the LGBT March on Washington in October 2009 where he spoke to an audience of over 150,000 demonstrators in front of the Nation´s Capital. Lance continues to fight for causes he believes in with his ongoing charity and legislative work. Through his public speaking, writing, actions, and filmmaking, he provides a voice for all those who have been told by society that they are “less than”. For more on Lance, please check out his website at www.dustinlanceblack.com or check him out on facebook.
About Bully Pictures:
Bully Pictures is a full-service commercial broadcast, web viral, branded content production company located in Santa Monica, California. The company’s roster includes Dustin Lance Black, Juergen Bollmeyer, Fredrik Callinggard, Dana Christiaansen, FRAME, Andrew Hardaway, Gaute Hesthagen, Daniel Kaufman, Franco Marinelli, Michael Shapiro, Craig Tanimoto, Morten Tyldum, and Eric Will. For more information, write [email protected].