Samuel Bayer

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Samuel Bayer
Bayer in 2013
Samuel David Bayer

(1962-02-17) February 17, 1962 (age 61)
  • Visual artist
  • cinematographer
  • music video
  • director

Samuel David Bayer (born February 17, 1962) is an American visual artist, cinematographer, and commercial, music video and film director. Bayer was born in Syracuse, New York. He graduated from New York City's School of Visual Arts in 1987 with a degree in Fine Arts. He relocated to Los Angeles in 1991, where he continues to live and work.


A prolific music video and commercial director, Bayer's resume includes Nirvana's music video for "Smells Like Teen Spirit", Blind Melon's "No Rain" video as well as award-winning commercials for brands like Chrysler, Nike, and Coca-Cola.[1] In addition to Nirvana and Blind Melon, Bayer has shot and directed videos for Michael Jackson, the Rolling Stones, the Cranberries, Green Day, David Bowie, Iron Maiden, Garbage, the Strokes, Metallica, Ramones, the Smashing Pumpkins, Justin Timberlake and My Chemical Romance, among others, in his trademark style. Bayer has won seven MTV Video Music Awards including Video of the Year in 2005 as well as Best Direction in 2005 and 2007.

With a successful music video career under his belt, Bayer has received equal acclaim within the commercial world. Well into his second decade of advertising, Bayer's work continues to be recognized. In 1996, his Nike commercial, "If You Let Me Play", won an Association of Independent Commercial Producers Award for Best Direction. In 2011, his Super Bowl spot for Chrysler, "Born of Fire", received multiple awards, including an Emmy and a Cannes Gold Lion.[2]

New Line Cinema and Platinum Dunes selected Bayer to helm their remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street.[3] Bayer finally agreed to direct the film after a personal plea from Michael Bay, who also was the producer.[4] With a production budget of $35 million, the film held the number one spot at the US box office in its first week in April 2010. The film starred Academy Award-nominee Jackie Earle Haley and introduced Rooney Mara in her first major studio role. Bayer originally suggested he would not be open to returning for a sequel, but later retracted the statement in the weeks leading up to the film's debut.[5] The film received negative reviews and, despite commercial success, no sequel was produced. Platinum Dunes confirmed in 2018 they were no longer intending to remake any further films based on existing IP.[6] In 2013, Bayer acknowledged the production had been fraught, but the experience had allowed him to return to advertising with renewed vigour and passion.[7]

Music videography[edit]




On March 3, 2013, Bayer opened his first major solo exhibition at ACE Gallery Beverly Hills entitled, "Diptychs & Triptychs". Bayer presented a series of sixteen twelve-foot-tall, female nude triptychs as well as four ten-foot-tall diptych portraits. In an Interview magazine article, Bayer commented that "the initial effect of the portraits are overwhelming, and a bit spooky." Bayer's understanding of Hollywood's constant superficial dissection and scrutinization of women, lead him to strip his subjects of all artifice in order to provide an alternative view of womanhood in contemporary culture. Exposed full frontally, these women might have been perceived as vulnerable on a smaller scale; however, the straight gaze and the enlarged scale creates an intimation of a "new race of superwomen."[36][37]

Bayer's series discussed the ongoing biological and sociological evolution. For studies of the female form, these women would not have existed in the mid-twentieth century prior to the sexual revolution of the 1960s when artists began to reconsider the body as a politicized terrain and explored issues of gender, identity, and sexuality which manifest in the work of photographers Diane Arbus, Robert Mapplethorpe, Larry Clark, Hannah Wilke and Nan Goldin.[37]

Bayer treated "Diptychs & Triptychs" like a film project, holding open castings for hundreds of women. Bayer's subjects held poses against a simple white backdrop for up to four hours during marathon fourteen-hour-shoot days. Bayer enlarged the 4" x 5" film negatives into the series of twelve-foot-tall triptychs and ten-foot-tall diptychs in what was a deeply personal process, one that afforded him the benefit of complete creative control.

The series of work was inspired by a conversation Bayer had with his late father during which he expressed his intense desire to display his work.[37][36]


Music videos[edit]




  1. ^ "Samuel Bayer: From Nirvana to 'Nightmare on Elm Street'". Los Angeles Times. April 29, 2010.
  2. ^ "Chrysler's 'Born of Fire' Wins Emmy for Best Commercial". 13 September 2011.
  3. ^ [1][dead link]
  4. ^ ""Samuel Bayer: From Nirvana To Nightmare on Elm Street", LA Times". Los Angeles Times.
  5. ^ Sciretta, Peter (3 May 2010). "A Nightmare on Elm Street 3D Sequel". SlashFilm. Retrieved 25 October 2020.
  6. ^ Falcone, Joseph (8 April 2018). "Platinum Dunes Will No Longer Remake Classic Horror Films". We Got This Covered. Retrieved 25 October 2020.
  7. ^ "Ad Icon: Samuel Bayer". Retrieved 20 November 2020.
  8. ^ "Reviewing TV commercials". Retrieved 2018-08-29.
  9. ^ "Barnardo's: Faces - Video - Creativity Online". Creativity Online. Retrieved 2018-08-29.
  10. ^ "Bud Light 2013 Super Bowl TV Commercial, 'Voodoo' Song by Stevie Wonder". Retrieved 2018-08-28.
  11. ^ "Bud Light 2013 Super Bowl TV Commercial, 'Lucky Chair' Featuring Stevie Wonder". Retrieved 2018-08-28.
  12. ^ "Chrysler's 'Born of Fire' Wins Emmy for Best Commercial". Retrieved 2018-08-28.
  13. ^ "2015 Chrysler 300 TV Commercial, 'The Kings and Queens of America'". Retrieved 2018-08-28.
  14. ^ "Converse: From Robbins, Illinois - Video - Creativity Online". Creativity Online. Retrieved 2018-08-29.
  15. ^ "Dodge - Wisdom - Ad Age". February 2015. Retrieved 2018-08-28.
  16. ^ "Dodge Film Advert By The Richards Group: Wisdom | Ads of the World™". Retrieved 2018-08-28.
  17. ^ "Domino's Pizza: Gotham Delivery - Video - Creativity Online". Creativity Online. Retrieved 2018-08-28.
  18. ^ "GE: Model Miners - Video - Creativity Online". Creativity Online. Retrieved 2018-08-29.
  19. ^ "Kia Cadenza TV Commercial, 'Impossible to Ignore' Song by David Bowie". Retrieved 2018-08-28.
  20. ^ "Kia Cadenza TV Commercial, 'Luxury Features' Song by David Bowie". Retrieved 2018-08-28.
  21. ^ "Extended Black Panther Super Bowl Commercial Arrives Early". MovieWeb. 2018-01-25. Retrieved 2018-08-28.
  22. ^ "Bayer". Retrieved 2018-08-20.
  23. ^ "Microsoft/Intel: Digital Joy - Video - Creativity Online". Creativity Online. Retrieved 2018-08-29.
  24. ^ "Mountain Dew - "Showstopper"". AdForum. Retrieved 2018-08-28.
  25. ^ "Mountain Dew: "SHOW STOPPER" Film by BBDO New York". Retrieved 2018-08-29.
  26. ^ "Samuel Bayer Heads To Broadway For Mountain Dew". SHOOTonline. Retrieved 2018-08-29.
  27. ^ "Mountain Dew: Animated - Video - Creativity Online". Creativity Online. Retrieved 2018-08-29.
  28. ^ "Mountain Dew DEWshine TV Commercial, 'Rebel Spirit'". Retrieved 2018-08-28.
  29. ^ "Nike: Long Time Coming - Video - Creativity Online". Creativity Online. Retrieved 2018-08-28.
  30. ^ "Sony: Walk This Way - Video - Creativity Online". Creativity Online. Retrieved 2018-08-29.
  31. ^ "Y&R Blends Sony 'Connect Music,' Products". Retrieved 2018-08-29.
  32. ^ "Driving Technology: "Greatness" – Verizon & IndyCar". Vimeo. Retrieved 2018-08-28.
  33. ^ "Verizon + INDYCAR — Driving Technology". Jason Paul. Retrieved 2018-08-28.
  34. ^ "Driving Technology: "Perspective" – Verizon & IndyCar". Vimeo. Retrieved 2018-08-28.
  35. ^ "Volvo: Car Wash - Video - Creativity Online". Creativity Online. Retrieved 2018-08-29.
  36. ^ a b "Samuel Bayer's American Image". March 14, 2013.
  37. ^ a b c "Director Samuel Bayer Debuts Photography Exhibition at L.A. Gallery". The Hollywood Reporter. 8 March 2013.
  38. ^ Classic Albums, Nirvana - Nevermind (DVD)
  39. ^ "Samuel Bayer - Director, Cinematographer, Artist, Madman". Retrieved 11 April 2023.
  40. ^ "Camerimage - International Film Festival". Retrieved 11 April 2023.

External links[edit]