Bicoastal production company Durable Goods has signed director Paul Schneider to its growing roster of North American directors. With hands-on experience in design, cinematography, and visual effects, Schneider is a multifaceted visual storyteller who creates with a passion for bringing fresh angles and nuanced exploration to the commercial, TV, and film work he directs. The signing comes on the heels of a deal with HBO Max to develop Schneider’s original episodic series Downriver, a darkly satirical drama rooted in his hometown of Detroit.
“Paul is one of the most talented and versatile directors I have ever worked with,” remarks Durable Goods EP/Managing Partner Mike Brady. “He brings a complete vision to each project; and with a skill-set spanning live-action, design, VFX, and color finishing, he has a knack for crafting memorable, performance-driven stories across a fantastic palette. His time as an executive creative director on the agency side also gives him unique insight into what agencies need – and the best way to get there quickly. His work shows it. We’re beyond thrilled to have him on the Durable Goods team.”
“Durable Goods is a modern production company that operates on the pulse of what’s happening in media and advertising and what’s coming down the road,” adds Schneider. “That’s what drew me to them as I approach my work with the same kinship for these things.”
Schneider has had a camera in his hand since he was a teenager shooting skate films with his friends. The kinetic energy, humor, and sarcasm found in his earliest films are infused in his work to this day.
Schneider went on to parlay his early filmmaking efforts into an MFA in Graphic Design from Cranbrook Academy of Art. After that, he co-founded WIDEOPENSPACES, a boutique studio specializing in film and design for the art, fashion, and sporting worlds. A long tenure at Digital Kitchen followed, where as an Emmy-nominated executive creative director, he helmed main titles for shows like Rescue Me and Nip/Tuck, the feature film Second Hand Lions, and acclaimed promos for Sex and the City and The Sopranos at HBO.
Here, Schneider further explored his passion for directing in the commercial space, shooting campaigns for Budweiser, Target, Xbox, and McDonald’s. As a result, he gained extensive technical knowledge of all phases of production – from editing to VFX – leading to a fruitful directing career at production companies Crossroads, A Very Small Office (AVSO), Hello (HKM), Concrete & Clay, and On The Day, spearheading commercials for Wrangler, Toyota, Hyundai, Vicks, and HBO.
“I try to have a very clear vision, so that something really beautiful comes out the other end of the pipeline,” Schneider explains of his process. “I will go to massive lengths to make sure that happens both for me and my clients.”
With years of experience in directing, writing, and design now under his belt, the self-described “culture sponge” is always looking for new angles and challenges to keep his imagination fresh and his inspiration from running dry. Gravitating towards the humor and authenticity in everyday life, Schneider says he finds “inspiration in life’s little moments – the nuances in a conversation or a story that taps into the human condition on the street level.”
In addition to his commercial and promo work, Schneider also helmed the award-winning short thriller “Fifty Minutes,” starring Stephen Tobolowsky and DJ Qualls. The 2017 short played in film festivals across the country, winning awards for both Best Short and Best Actor for Qualls.
Schneider is currently based in Los Angeles.
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