Walter Thompson-Hernández is a multi-faceted writer and director, recently added to Los Angeles production company Reverie’s distinctive roster of talent. Known for his award-winning storytelling across journalism, podcasts, and film, Thompson-Hernández’s work often meditates on the concept of belonging in communities of colour throughout the United States and the world.
Name: Walter Thompson-Hernández
Location: Los Angeles
Repped by: Reverie
Awards: Sundance U.S. Jury Prize U.S. Fiction, Vimeo Best Director Jury Prize
Walter> I’m looking forward to working with Rich and Cathleen to create work that is compelling and beautiful. Reverie’s strong director lineup speaks volumes and stands out as one of the best in the industry.
Walter> I’m working on a few different things right now. I’m currently wrapping up my first feature and in pre-production for another short set in Barcelona. I also just wrote words for Dr. Dre, for the Made in LA Beats by Dre spot that launched Super Bowl Sunday. Dr. Dre’s music means a lot to me. [It] Feels wild to hear his voice says the words that I wrote for him.
Walter> I’m excited by the opportunity to create narrative-driven work in the advertising space. I think there are a ton of important stories and narratives that are being woven into the ad space and it feels exciting.
Walter> I’m excited by scripts that let the story and the actors breathe.
Walter> I think about what I want to feel emotionally and then think about the writing, visuals, and sound design.
Walter> It’s very important. I think we have to do our homework as directors and a part of that means understanding every aspect of the ad.
Walter> The most important relationship to have is with the actors and with my crew. Everyone has a really important role in creating beautiful things.
Walter> Story. And narrative.
Walter> Because I have recently entered the directing space I think there’s an assumption that I’m finding my bearings as a director. I think directing takes on many forms. And directional practice can also come from working outside the ad or tv and film space.
Walter> We had multiple rainy days for a feature about a boy and a kite. I ended up making the rain a part of the story.
Walter> I think we have to be open to our ideas changing. It takes trust on all ends.
Walter> I’m a big fan of diversity.
Walter> I think it’s forced us to work harder and smarter. Every move is so much more intentional these days.
Walter> I think different stories require different things. I’m open to letting the story dictate how it wants to be told.
Walter> My Sundance short feels really special. It’s partly autobiographical.
My Olympics surfer spot also feels special. Spending time with that group of friends was a joy to experience.