LOS ANGELES— Continuing to add unique talent to its creative roster, Yard Dog has signed directors David Serota and Henrik Hedin for exclusive representation in the United States. Both directors are known for their storytelling ability and skill in creating emotional bonds between consumers and brands.
Serota’s credits include commercials and branded content for American Express, UPS, Levi’s, Participant Media, United Health Care, International Medical Corps, Chevron, The Nature Conservancy, Marriott, JP Morgan Chase, Starbucks and Patagonia. The Swedish-born Hedin has helmed international campaigns for Volkswagen, Volvo, Burger King, Etisalat, Rewe, Grolsch, Bosch and the Swedish amusement park Gröna Lund (which won an IAAPA Brass Ring Award). This is his first affiliation in the United States.
“David is a gifted filmmaker who we felt an instant connection to his work,” says Yard Dog partner/ executive producer Joe Piccirillo. “David is a storyteller with a lot of heart and an uncanny ability to capture unaffected, genuine performances from talent.“
Serota specializes in telling real stories about real people as well as scripted work that’s meant to feel real. A graduate of Los Angeles Film School, he first garnered attention when his short film won the Really Real Shorts Award at SXSW in 2007. He has since produced numerous short films, documentaries, branded content and commercials centering on heartfelt stories of the human experience. Notable credits include the film series We Are JP Morgan Chase¸ conceived by Mcgarrybowen. In a production that spanned the U.S. and Europe, it captured true stories of the bank’s employees and customers.
“I believe in directing campaigns that reflect the values I live by,” Serota says. “The ones that put an importance on things like family, friendship and adventure but also themes like one’s ability to persevere, where you discover strengths you didn’t know you had. They provide me with opportunity to seek what’s real inside of me so that I can craft a story as authentically as possible.”
In discussing his move to Yard Dog, Serota says that he sees it as an opportunity to access interesting creative assignments and broaden his agency relationships across the United States. “Joe and Beth appreciate the realistic nature of my work,” he notes, “and I look forward to working with the entire Yard Dog team on projects that will challenge me as a storyteller.”
Hedin began his career directing short films and music videos and got his start in commercials via Flodellfilm, Stockholm. Since then, he has directed commercials for agencies across Europe. His work is distinctive for its cinematic quality and larger-than-life feel, often accompanied by a comic twist. A prime example is Next Time, Send Flowers for Sweden’s Interflora. In it, a man goes to elaborate lengths to prepare a Valentine’s Day surprise for his girlfriend, including disrobing, only to have her arrive with her parents in tow.
“I like to take audiences on a journey where they feel they are watching something that could happen,” the director explains. As a bonus feature, Hedin directed several short films that expanded on the scenario from the Interflora ad. The 15-second films became very popular on Instagram and other social platforms. “Henrik is a young star with polished skills and a great sense of humor. The range of his work and his passion for what he does is inspiring” says Beth Pearson, Yard Dog, partner and executive producer “We’re excited to introduce him to agencies here in the U.S.”
Hedin applied a very different style of storytelling to a campaign for eyeglasses maker KlarSynt. It features lifestyle scenes of people in natural and home settings that make subtle allusion to the value of eyesight. “Our aim was to show, in an epic and poetic way, the diversity of people who depend on glasses,” he says. “It became a journey through Sweden. You get to know the characters and you instantly understand who they are and what they value.”
Yard Dog is located at 1265 S. Cochran Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90019. Call 310.209.8992.