LA-based director Sam Crawford leaped into the film business after making early strides in NY art world. Crawford entered the film business as an editor but quickly segued into directing, acting as Director/DP and editor on dozens of spots for ESPN, Sports Illustrated, Capital One, the Atlanta Hawks, and Church’s Chicken, among others. Prior to that, he received extensive formal training in fine art from the University of Texas – Austin, then received his MFA in photography from UMASS Amherst where he created art installations that combined video and photography. He was then one of eight people nationally to be accepted into the Core program at the Museum of Fine Art in Houston and, while there, also began working as an art director, set dresser, and draftsman on feature films. He has also spent time as an actor in improvisation groups, learning to understand comedic performance and dialogue and how build upon a scene from the other side of the camera.
This extensive background makes Crawford both a wonderful dialogue and visual storyteller, but at the end of the day, he sees himself as a naturally comedic collaborator who loves the commercial industry. Crawford has recently helmed spots for Verizon, Samsung, McDonalds, Nike, Domtar Paper and Fox Sports. The tone and style of each is as different as the clients themselves, but every spot has its roots in real human scenarios.
“That’s the core of my being as a director. I love to create great storytelling that strikes a deep chord in our collective experience,” Crawford says. “My passion is to make commercials that strike an emotionally chord, making you want to watch them over and over again and share with your friends. When that happens, I’ve succeeded in creating something that goes beyond the typical commercial — The commercial becomes art and touches us in a truly meaningful way.”
Crawford’s work is internationally acclaimed, receiving numerous awards from top advertising competitions such as The Cannes Lions, The One Show and The Clios.