American Dreams

David Holm

How did you get into directing?
I started as a graphic designer, and I got into motion graphics around 2001. I spent the next eight years or so working as a designer/animator for Superfad, Digital Kitchen, Brand New School and many others. Directing was something that was always at the back of my mind, my father was a CD at several ad agencies when I was growing up and he used to take me on commercial shoots…I have always been drawn to it. Working as a creative on the post end, stepping into the role as director was the next logical step. At the same time the DSLR revolution was happening which gave me the chance to start experimenting with live action. Josh Taft, a great director and fellow Seattleite took me under his wing as a B cam operator on a few of his shoots. He landed me a meeting with Tim Case of Supply&Demand Integrated. Tim took a big risk on me and funded my short film American Dreams.  It basically all started then and there.

What is your most recent project?
I have spent a good portion of the past year collaborating with the agency Heat in San Francisco on their Bank of The West campaign. I have done several spots for them, documenting real customers who are exceptional examples of forward-thinking West Coast entrepreneurs.

What is the best part of being a director?
Each project is a new adventure! I get to go new places meet great new people and create something from scratch.

What is the worst part of being a director?
There are lots of highs and lows, when the going gets tough all eyes are on you. It also entails a haywire schedule.

What is your current career focus: commercials & branded content, TV, movies? Do you plan to specialize in a particular genre–comedy, drama, visual effects, etc.?
Right now I am focused on being the best commercial director I can be. I love ads, I would like to have a lot of range in the types of work I create. I do not want to be known for just one style.

Have you a mentor and if so, who is that person (or persons) and what has been the lesson learned from that mentoring which resonates most with you?
I would have to say my biggest mentor has been my father John Holm. He is extremely creative and has always shown me different ways to look at things. My dad has been a big supporter of all my endeavors and taught me a lot about advertising and life in general. I look up to him. Professionally, Tim Case and Josh Taft from Supply&Demand Integrated have both been huge mentors for me. Josh saw something in me and opened some major doors for me. He showed me the ropes and taught me the power of staying positive. Tim Case is like my coach in the corner of the ring, he is constantly pushing me to my limits. He demands greatness and I like that kind of pressure.

Who is your favorite director and why?
Tough…I have three (focusing on commercial directors here). Johnny Green, for his surreal and dramatic style. I love his use of CG/VFX, it feels very naturally integrated into his style. There is something very unique about everything he does. Iain Mackenzie, he is the master of capturing natural beauty. His compositions are breathtaking and he always seems to capture the perfect light. Noam Murro, I think his range is ridiculous. He is not just good, he is great in all genres.

What is your favorite movie? Your favorite commercial or branded content?
There Will Be Blood is up there. It is a different answer on any given day. My favorite commercial right now is probably Johnny Green’s “Audi A6 Satellite”.

Tell us about your background (i.e. Where did you grow up? Past jobs?)
I was born and raised in Seattle, WA. I went to school at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. I studied graphic design there. After school, I started working at Superfad in Seattle then soon transferred to their New York office. After my time at Superfad, I bounced around LA, NYC, and Seattle freelancing. I currently live in Seattle with my beautiful fiancé Christine and our two dogs Buster and Shooter.