Identity Continues to Expand Directorial Roster, Signs On Commercial Mainstay Daniel Sheppard

On the heels of recent key additions such as EP Molly Mitchell and directors Laura Martinova and Ronald Koetzier, New York-based production company Identity continues to build on its acclaimed directorial roster by signing on commercial vet Daniel Sheppard.

A self-proclaimed “billiards player who directs commercials in his free time,” Sheppard has spent nearly two decades in the advertising industry, first starting out as an agency creative before finding his true calling behind the lens. In the nearly 15 years since, Sheppard has crafted and honed his own unique directing style, one that is reflected in eye-catching, often humorous spots for the likes of Hershey’s, LG, Sprint, Little Caesars and VH1, to name a few. Describing his approach, Sheppard says, “I like to push the style of the worlds I’m shooting in. Even when our location calls for a simple living room, I think there are creative and subtle ways to push the look of the film so it still feels familiar, but stylized in a way that gives us a customized look. As for the humor, I often try to find the weirdness in the script and figure out how to turn that into an unexpected twist.”

While his commercial work has provided an invaluable showcase of his talents, Sheppard has also made waves in the industry through his more subversive personal projects, in particular the “Dannes Lions”. A one-time, “semi-real” event he proudly launched in 2015 that highlighted his affinity for quirky comedy in advertising, the Dannes Lions gave Sheppard the opportunity to offer his own unique twist on the industry’s biggest event, the Cannes Lions. “I made over a hundred real trophies and hosted a call for the funniest ads in the world and gave out trophies to the ones I liked.”

While comedy has been a driving force for Sheppard throughout his career, the director has also found other sources of inspiration for his work. “Sometimes I’m inspired by other commercials/movies, sometimes a music track, sometimes it’s literally just a TikTok or IG reel,” he says. “But one thing I am always inspired by is a deadline. Something about the sound of a clock ticking that gets the ideas flowing. I think I do my best work when it has a due date.”

Now as a part of Identity’s expanding directing roster, Sheppard has found an ideal space in which to channel his various inspirations amongst a close-knit, like-minded, and innovative team. “After many years as a freelance director in the US, I wanted to be a part of a family again,” he says. “Identity has a tight roster of talented directors and it feels like I’m bringing a flavor that complements the others. It also really seems like they get my sense of humor and appreciate my style of work.”

It’s in fact Sheppard’s distinctive style, vision, and output that make him a perfect fit for Identity according to the company’s Executive Producer Molly Mitchell, who is quick to lavish praise upon her newest signing. “Encountering an individual like Daniel is a rarity unto itself,” she says. “His touch transforms each script, infusing it with a uniquely intricate perspective that becomes an integral part of his creative tapestry. A true maestro, Daniel embodies not just profound expertise, but also a pioneering zeal that resonates harmoniously with our company’s core values. His brilliance is nothing short of captivating, and we’re absolutely elated to announce his addition to our esteemed roster.”

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About Identity:

In a world where sameness is on the rise, Identity wins by imprinting every project with refreshing individuality. Identity is gaining notoriety for its visually sophisticated reel, which showcases directors who are sought after all over the world. Owner Joe Masi has made his mark on award-winning work for Nintendo, Honda, Budweiser, 7UP, Tommy Hilfiger, Infiniti, and Gucci, creating an environment where creativity is allowed to flourish. Headlining the visual-style genre, Identity’s directors cover the complete range of storytelling and effects.

Identity thrives in an open forum loft located in Manhattan’s meatpacking district. At this collective, it’s not unusual to find directors collaborating on other’s projects. It’s all part of the company’s credo to have a great time doing remarkable work in a relaxed atmosphere.