Santa Monica, Calif.— Norwegian commercial director Anniken Lien has signed with The Joneses for exclusive representation in commercials. The award-winning, British- and American-educated director is excited to have renewed and vigorous representation in the United States. Her credits include work for such brands as Volkswagen, Nivea, Kraft, L’Oreal, Nestle and Lego in association with agencies and production companies across Europe.
Mel Gragido, executive producer of The Joneses, said that he was impressed by the immediacy of Lien’s storytelling skills including her ability to tackle difficult and in some instances controversial subject matter. He cited in particular, Lien’s work for a unique, even for Scandinavia, 7-Eleven campaign in which two women openly discuss dating and sexual liaisons. “Women directors in the U.S. are, sadly, often confined to health care, beauty products and other soft subjects,” Gragido said. “Anniken challenges those stereotypes and has shown that she can pull off stories that, if they weren’t handled by a woman, might come off badly. She sets just the right tone.”
Lien was introduced to The Joneses by the well-known feature film and commercial director Hans Moland, who is also represented by the company. “Hans is a great director and he has worked with Mel for a long time and has had wonderful experiences,” she said. “I feel very much at home.”
Lien trained as a fine artist at Parson’s School of Art in Paris, the Art League of New York, Scuola Lorenzo de’ Medici in Florence and at the Royal Academy of Arts in Oslo. She studied filmmaking at the London International Film School. She got her start as a director with MTV Scandinavia and then leveraged that into an ascending career in commercials. She was shortlisted at Cannes for her spot Drink for Norwegian Pollution Control.
Lien’s taste for provocative concepts is evidenced by her work for the European body lotion Fenjal. In one spot, a woman is standing in a hotel lobby when her dress slips off, leaving her naked. (The product has given the woman “dangerously smooth skin.”) In another spot, a woman’s panties slip off when she stands in church. The campaign won European Directors Club and Epica awards.
Lien likes to build stories organically. For the 7-Eleven campaign, she had the actors improvise scenarios in rehearsal before filming them. “I like to create characters and then see them spring to life, much like they do in a feature film,” she said.
Lien adds that casting plays a central role in her method. “I am very interested in the casting process and love to find people who are warm, charming and sexy,” she observed. “Every director has his or her strengths and I think on of mine is to find the right characters.”
The Joneses is located at 1501 Colorado, Suite C, Santa Monica, California 90404. For more information, call 310.656.8300 or visit www.thejoneses.tv