David Daniels (filmmaker)

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For other people named David Daniels, see David Daniels (disambiguation).

David Daniels is an American commercial director, filmmaker, and co-founder (along with Ray Di Carlo and Chel White) of the Portland, Oregon based animation studio Bent Image Lab. With a master's degree in Animation from The California Institute of the Arts (Cal Arts), Daniels’ expertise includes computer (or CG), clay, foam, character, and mixed-media animation.


Early in his career, Daniels animated parts of Pee-wee's Playhouse,[1] and sections of Peter Gabriel’s music video "Big Time." David later directed the original twelve M&M's spots, helping define the CGI designs of Yellow, Blue, Red and Green personalities that are still being used over a decade later. His industry awards include an AICP award, a Clio, Mobius awards and a Daytime Emmy. His clients include Hewlett Packard, Fox, MTV, NBC, Pepsi, Nabisco, Mars, Sesame Street, Tinactin (featuring John Madden), and Kelloggs.


Daniels invented a technique he termed Strata-cut animation,[2] a form of clay animation in which internally packed "loaves" of clay are animated in thin slices, revealing the movement of the pre-sculpted images within.[3] The technique of strata-cut was used in animated segments of the Pee-wee's Playhouse series during the mid-80s, and in the music video for "Big Time" by Peter Gabriel (1986). His www.stratacut.com website [4] offers a complete 'how to' course for those who wish to learn, and countless examples of the technique in action.

At Bent Image Lab[edit]

In 2008, David Daniels and Bent co-founder Ray Di Carlo co-directed "Hidden Formula,[5]" a Coca-Cola television commercial created for the advertising agency Santo, in Buenos Aires, Argentina.


Daniels' experimental animated film, "Buzz Box Remix" premiered at the 2007 International Film Festival Rotterdam.[6] His Masterclass presentations in person at Anima Mundi 2011[7] in Rio and São Paulo, and at Chilemonos 2012[8] in Santiago introduced a whole new generation of animators firsthand to this unconventional artform.