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The Directors: Drake Doremus


WETHEPEOPLE director on human experiences, the joy in love stories and connecting with work

The Directors: Drake Doremus

Modern day auteur Drake Doremus has consistently captivated audiences with his specific brand of emotionally honest cinema. As a writer and director, Drake has collaborated with some of the most sought after talent such as Felicity Jones, Kristen Stewart, Nicholas Hoult, Guy Pearce, Jennifer Lawrence, Ewan McGregor, Lea Seydoux, Laia Costa, and the late Anton Yelchin. Premiering at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival, his latest film Endings, Beginnings continues this trend by teaming him with Shailene Woodley, Jamie Dornan, and Sebastian Stan.

Drake’s feature-length directorial debut, Douchebag, made its world premiere in Dramatic Competition at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. In 2011, his second feature to premiere at Sundance, Like Crazy, won the Festival’s Grand Jury Prize for Best Picture. The film was glowingly received by audiences and critics alike and was released by Paramount the following October.

Name: Drake Doremus 

Location: LA/London 

Repped by/in: WETHEPEOPLE

Awards: Sundance Grand jury prize, Emmy award, Cannes Lion grand prix, etc…

LBB> What elements of a script sets one apart from the other and what sort of scripts get you excited to shoot them?

Drake> Scripts that focus on human experiences and human relationships that make us think and feel connected to the journey we’re all going on. 

LBB> How do you approach creating a treatment for a spot?

Drake> Finding the emotional core and digging as deep as I can into the truth of the story. 

LBB> If the script is for a brand that you're not familiar with/ don’t have a big affinity with or a market you're new to, how important is it for you to do research and understand that strategic and contextual side of the ad? If it’s important to you, how do you do it?

Drake> Super important. I’ll do a ton of research if I’m unfamiliar. I’ve found a lot in the past though that I’m brought in to change course or rebrand. 

LBB> For you, what is the most important working relationship for a director to have with another person in making an ad? And why?

Drake> I love having a great relationship with the client and agency head so that I can get inside their head and bring my touch to it. 

LBB> What type of work are you most passionate about - is there a particular genre or subject matter or style you are most drawn to?

Drake> Love stories mainly but I’m super passionate about all types of human stories whether it be a film like my ORANGE spot or the Toshiba/intel film THE BEAUTY INSIDE. 

LBB> What misconception about you or your work do you most often encounter and why is it wrong?

Drake> I don’t think there is one:)

LBB> Have you ever worked with a cost consultant and if so how have your experiences been?

Drake> no. 

LBB> What’s the craziest problem you’ve come across in the course of a production – and how did you solve it?

Drake> I think that would have to be shooting ORANGE in Africa. That was a very small shoot and we were on safari basically. Being nimble everyday when the weather would turn on us or shooting with real villagers or animals or just the grind of that process was rewarding because of how difficult and unconventional it was. 

LBB> How do you strike the balance between being open/collaborative with the agency and brand client while also protecting the idea?

Drake> I often think my job is to protect the original vision they had for them and remind them why we are pushing things and taking chances on not being safe or derivative. 

LBB> What are your thoughts on opening up the production world to a more diverse pool of talent? Are you open to mentoring and apprenticeships on set?

Drake> Of course! I taught a short course at The American Film Institute in 2018 and going back there and being inspired by the fellows was incredibly rewarding so I’d love to continue to mentor, teach and also learn and grow . 

LBB> How do you feel the pandemic is going to influence the way you work into the longer term? Have you picked up new habits that you feel will stick around for a long time? 

Drake> I think just being safe and protecting your team is important and being grateful that we get to make art for a living. 

LBB> Your work is now presented in so many different formats - to what extent do you keep each in mind while you're working (and, equally, to what degree is it possible to do so)? 

Drake> I pretty much only think about streamers, computer screens and phones now and love it. As long as the piece connects emotionally that’s all that matters. 

LBB> What’s your relationship with new technology and, if at all, how do you incorporate future-facing tech into your work?

Drake> Haven’t yet but would love to!

LBB> Which pieces of work do you feel really show off what you do best – and why?





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WETHEPEOPLE, Thu, 06 Jan 2022 08:10:58 GMT