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The Essential List: Ace Norton



The born and bred Venetian (the California kind) director on pumping iron at ‘the mecca’, his favourite ad ("the one with the horse and all that”), and what reminds him of home when he’s away on a shoot

The Essential List: Ace Norton

Ace Norton (yes, that’s his real name) is an Asian American artist and filmmaker born and raised in Venice, California. Ace creates visuals on a variety of media platforms including music video, advertising, fashion, and film. He also draws, sculpts and is frequently commissioned for his installation and photography work.

A third generation filmmaker in his family, Ace would spend most of his childhood making films and by the end of his high school career, he had written and directed dozens of shorts. Speaking of shorts, we interviewed him last year about ‘Alone in April’, which he made at home during the first lockdown in California. 

Ace attended the University of Southern California in their film production program, and shortly after started a small production company out of his garage with a number of his closest film school friends called Commondeer, then shortly thereafter signed to Partizan and subsequently Prettybird. He is repped by JOJX now in the US, still by Prettybird in the UK and has other representations that stretch across the globe. 

Ace has directed over 80 music videos, television commercials, fashion short, and short films. His prolific body of work includes campaigns for Honda, Coca-Cola, Adidas, Gucci, Samsung, Nissan, Gap, Mercedes, Dolby, T-Mobile, House of Fraser, and Vans, as well as music videos for Foster the People, Jennifer Lopez, Death Cab for Cutie, Scissor Sisters, Norah Jones, Bloc Party, Simian Mobile Disco, Regina Spektor, Aesop Rock and Sebastien Tellier. 

Ace loves to surf, loves to cook, and loves to solicit his best friends to write his biographies for him… we got him to write a little something about himself in this here Essential List! 




o Place of birth: Venice Beach, California 
o Hometown: Venice Beach, California 
o Staycation: Mexico City         
o Vacation: Anywhere with a beach
o Pet: A dog named punk
o Place of work: My humble abode
o Place of workout: ‘The mecca’, Gold’s Gym Venice
o Side project: My film, ‘The Last Carnival’
o Mode of transport: Car / skateboard / beach cruiser
o Bonus travel essential: Swiss Army Knife



o Artist: Salvador Dali
o Musician: Lou Reed
o Commercials / music video director: Michel Gondry
o Film director: Kubrick
o Photographer: Annie Leibovitz
o Film: Kill Bill 1 & 2
o Series: Narcos
o Commercial: That Old Spice one… the one with the horse and all that
o Music video: The Shoes ‘Time to Dance’

o Video game: Street Fighter 2
o Board game: Connect 4
o Book: Catcher in the Rye
o Graphic novel: Black Hole
o Podcast: NPR UP FIRST
o Newspaper (off or online): New York Times
o Magazine: Rolling Stone


Food and Drink

o Breakfast: Two large coffees
o Restaurant: Soot Bull Jeep
o Cheap bite: Street tacos on Lincoln Blvd
o Working lunch: Wirin thai - mixed veggies with tofu
o Favourite dish: Pho ga
o Signature dish: Chicken mole negro with cilantro rice
o Snack: Spicy peanuts
o Guilty pleasure: Diet Coke
o Bar: Hinanos
o Booze: Red wine
o Not booze: Sparkling water
o Bonus food: Sriracha on everything
o Bonus beverage: Iced coffee



o Phone: Still got my iPhone 8 plus, works like a charm
o Computer: MacBook Pro 16 inch
o TV: For watching Raider games
o Headphones: AirPods
o Camera: My phone
o Soundsystem: Portable UE Boom, waterproof
o Pen / pencil: Bic
o Where you document an idea: In a Moleskine notebook then transfer it a folder on my computer
o Casual clothing: Shorts and T-shirt
o Smart clothing: No
o Footwear: Vans
o Watch: I don’t wear one
o App: Miranda - lets you coordinate and match time zones in different parts of the world, absolute lifesaver
o Website: ESPN - while out of town shooting, sports reminds me of back home
o Favourite social media feed: Instagram
o Work program: Microsoft Word
o Digital work tool: Wireless mouse
o Analogue work tool: Moleskine idea book
o Morning grooming / makeup essential: Nope
o Bonus kit essential: Corkscrew

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JOJX, Thu, 30 Sep 2021 15:41:59 GMT