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Brian Belefant
Director

Brian Belefant believes that in order to be a competent director, you have to master a bunch of related skills. So he’s spent the past 24 years getting good at a lot of different things.

He began his career as a writer. He worked in the creative departments of several prestigious agencies—Scali McCabe Sloves, Chiat/Day, Stein Robaire Helm, and Borders Perrin & Norrander—eventually becoming Senior Vice President/Creative Director at BBDO/New York.

He’s also had a long, passionate love affair with photography. He invented a unique camera filtration system that allows him to photograph through various liquids—he’s shot Turkey through Turkish coffee, Montreal through maple syrup, Mexico through tequila, and the American south through Luzianne ice tea. In 2006 he was named Photographer of the Year by the International Color Awards for his body of work.

In order to better understand how to work with actors, Belefant studied acting at the Beverly Hills Playhouse, the Stella Adler Academy. And he took classes at the Groundlings to get better at improvisation, and even dabbled in stand-up comedy in order to get a better understanding of comedic timing.

But there’s no substitute for actual directing experience. Belefant has directed well over 200 commercials for brands as diverse as Sony PlayStation, McDonald’s, Nintendo, Nissan, and Samsonite. He’s worked with nine-month-old babies, stupid chickens, and temperamental cats, as well as professional football players, the actual members of the Publishers Clearing House Prize Patrol, and a native tribe in Africa that had no concept of television, much less an ability to speak English.

Belefant believes that it’s his preparation that has enabled him to win all sorts of awards: Two of his commercials reside in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and his films won Gold Awards in Houston, Newport Beach, Crested Butte, and New Hampshire, as well as Audience Awards in Los Angeles, Crested Butte, and Chicago.

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