Flying High, Longlist - Branded

The Hiring Chain

Rich Lee

Indiana Production

"The whole idea of promoting inclusion in the workplace of people with Down Syndrome is such an important one and I think the team at Small did a really wonderful job at expressing it in a magical way. I had seen Luca and Luca’s work for Diesel and Coordown and was excited to work with them. They are crazy talented and also very down to earth, always supportive of the creative and asking all the right questions and turning over all the rocks to find interesting ideas. I’ve worked with Indiana and Karim Bartoletti before and it’s always fun getting a call from him, because it usually begins with …”I’ve got a crazy idea” or “I’ve got this interesting project…” This film was a little bit of both, it was a beautiful concept that was also a bit crazy considering Covid was just starting to rear its ugly head. We filmed in Spain but the client and production team were from Italy, which was about to be shut down, so it was a bit tricky to navigate through these strange times, but everything else clicked. I loved seeing how everyone, the crew, talent, producers helped put the film together. Also Martina at Coordown was just wonderful. It was great to frame up shots and to see her reaction to them. The whole process, other than covid, was really fun. It was definitely a labour of love. The whole team was in alignment creatively and technically and it all just really came together perfectly ..oh, and of course STING!"

Rich was raised in an artistic family in New York, and his mother worked to nurture his innate creativity from an early age. When Rich was young, he was exposed to a wide variety of artistic mediums through the art classes his mother taught at area prisons – but these childhood field trips ended when one inmate used a paper cutter to make an art project out of another inmate’s hands. Later on, Rich spent his high school years participating in a work- study program within the art department of a Broadway set production shop. There he learned the tricks of carpentry, steelwork, sculpting, and more, helping to build sets for shows like Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, and Titanic The Musical all before he could legally see an R-rated film. Rich’s time in the art department helped him hone in on a desire to pursue creature effects, so he packed up and moved out to Los Angeles – only to arrive right as CG technology was phasing out hand-crafted practical effects. He rolled with the punches, landing a job at Walt Disney Imagineering and learning CG on the job. From there he moved to Pixel Liberation Front and used his combined art department and CG skills to learn previsualization, working on films such as Minority Report and Constantine. And then, Rich was bitten by the directing bug. Since entering the directorial phase of his career, Rich has helmed award-winning music videos for artists such as Eminem and the Black Eyed Peas, visually-striking commercials for top brands from Hyundai to Carl’s Jr., and he recently made his TV debut with CBS’ Limitless. His diverse background and extensive technical knowledge put him at ease with projects of any size or style, and true to his roots, he often assists with building set pieces and completing visual effects. Rich has just shot and is editing his first Hollywood feature film. It’s safe to say that Rich has made his mother proud.