Lincoln Driven to Care’s “Meadows” (web content)
1) What was your first professionally directed work and when was it?
“The Explorers Project” for National Geographic Society in 2014 was my first professionally directed project, and it was the opportunity of a lifetime — I got to travel the world with renowned scientists, artists, activists and thinkers and collaborate with them on intimate films about their motivation and work.
2) How did you get into directing?
I’ve always been obsessed with people, emotions, and social dynamics. This drew me first to writing, then to journalism, and finally to film. I began freelancing as a video journalist while studying at the University of North Carolina, moved to New York after school, and within a month I was shooting and producing for the inaugural seasons of MTV’s Teen Mom and 16 & Pregnant. At the beginning these shows were pure doc magic, and I was passionate about the subject matter and the intimate moments I was sharing and documenting with young girls and families. I bounced between TV and journalism projects throughout my early and mid twenties, took a year-long hiatus to train as a flying trapeze artist intent on joining the circus, and only then finally realized that directing was all I really wanted to do. Then I started doing it.
3) What is your most recent project?
I just directed a PSA for the Hope & Grace Initiative, which is skincare brand Philosophy’s non-profit supporting mental health causes. It was a dream. The concept was to interview strangers on the street and ask them “How are you?,” “How are you, really?,” and finally “How are you now?” People opened up about the most incredible things. One mom was 40 days sober and struggling, one woman had just learned her dad was in remission, and another was working through her mom’s recent rejection of her sexuality. I was able to have these intensely intimate conversations with strangers in the middle of the street, and we paired the stories with this anonymous, lush and airy slow-motion b-roll from around the city.
4) What is the best part of being a director?
The best thing about directing is building a brilliant dream team and creating a dynamic where everyone’s ideas are additive. At some point I realized that different directors have different types of vision, and that is okay. On each project my vision starts as flashes of feelings and visuals and gut instincts, and I just talk and write and think and talk and write and think until something more tangible emerges. I involve my key crew during this process, and in the end inventing the heart of a film is as if we are discovering new land: it was there all along, but we had to sail to get there.
6) 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.?
I’m currently directing commercials and branded films, writing narrative projects, and pitching a TV series with a co-creator. I’m still inspired by a journalistic heart and the realism inherent, but, as Liza Minnelli said, reality is something you rise above…
9) What is your favorite movie? Your favorite television/online program? Your favorite commercial or branded content?
Some of my favorite and most perfect things of all time are Veronica Mars, In a Dream, and Diary of a Teenage Girl.
10) Tell us about your background (i.e. where did you grow up? Past jobs?)
I grew up in Hillsborough, North Carolina getting lost in the woods. I studied journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and as a video journalist I worked with the Washington Post, The Guardian, The New Yorker, The New York Times, Vanity Fair, and NPR. I shot and produced on 16 & Pregnant and Teen Mom for MTV, and served as series and supervising producer for several doc series and pilots on OWN and Discovery Networks. In 2014 I directed “The Explorers Project,” a series of documentary spots for National Geographic Society. I traveled to a dozen destinations — Mexico, Morocco, Kenya, London, Bermuda and beyond — to uncover and frame the insights of leading scientists, artists, activists and thinkers around the world. My recent brand work includes films for Lincoln Motors, Huggies, Facebook, Kleenex, Philosophy, and Motrin. I also teach flying trapeze and have a redheaded mutt named Mango.
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