Daniels is comprised of two guys named Daniel. Daniel grew up in Massachusetts and began working in animation and graphics, when one day, he met Daniel. Daniel is from Alabama and comes from a comedy and theatre background. Together, they direct, edit, create special effects, and when necessary, act, dance, and even stunt double. They have a penchant for weird dramas and straight-faced comedies. Self-aware, honest stories that tear themselves apart and show audiences something new and exciting.
The duo gained attention with their boundary-busting music videos. Their video for Foster the People’s “Houdini” was nominated for a Grammy and received a Silver Ciclope. They have won three MTV VMAs, one in 2014 for Best Direction for DJ Snake and Lil’ Jon’s wildly popular video, “Turn Down for What,” which has racked up over half a billion views to date. Their Manchester Orchestra “Simple Math” video took home the UK MVA for Video of the Year, and in 2013, Daniels received the UK MVA for Best Alternative Video for Passion Pit’s “Cry Like a Ghost.”
They have also won the Grand Prix, the highest award at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, as well as Gold, Silver, and Bronze Ciclopes and Yellow Pencils from D&AD. Additionally, they have won Best Music Video at the Vimeo Awards and multiple London International Awards. Their videos have screened at the Saatchi & Saatchi New Directors’ Showcase in Cannes, the 2012 SXSW Film Festival (where they were awarded Best Overall Music Video for Battles’ “My Machines”), and at the Los Angeles Film Festival (where their work was featured as part of an interactive retrospective).
In addition to their radical music videos, Daniels has taken their visionary approach to commercials, directing spots for Levi’s, Toyota, and Delta, among many others. Their acclaimed Weetabix “Dancer” spot received a Silver A-List Award for Best Visual Effects, while SHOOT Magazine nominated their J20 commercial for the Shoot 2012 Top Spot of the Year poll. Their Instagram micro-series “Spring Is Weird” for Gap, starring Jenny Slate (Obvious Child) and Paul Dano (Ruby Sparks), won Silver in the 2015 Cannes Lions mobile category, Gold at the 2015 Shots Awards, and a 2016 AICP Next Award.
For their biggest brand content project to date, Daniels directed a high-profile ad for Nike’s “Unlimited” campaign, which aired during the Rio 2016 Olympics and stars numerous professional athletes including Serena Williams, Kevin Durant, Giancarlo Stanton and Mo Farah.
Daniels are no strangers to long-form content. The directing duo has helmed episodes of Children’s Hospital, as well as NTSF:SD:SUV:: for Adult Swim. In 2014, they released Interesting Ball, a series of surreal vignettes presented in collaboration with Dazed Digital. The short film was an official selection at the 2015 SXSW and Los Angeles Film Festival. Daniels followed up with Possibilia, a groundbreaking interactive short film commissioned for Xbox Live, which Daniels describes as “a love story set in the multi-verse.” Actors Alex Karpovsky (Girls) and Zoe Jarman (The Mindy Project) star as a couple on the verge of a break-up, while the audience seamlessly slides between the multitude of possibilities stemming from the couple’s decision. The film premiered at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival, took home the top prize at the Future of Storytelling conference, and was featured in the New Frontier exhibit at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.
Daniels’ first feature film, Swiss Army Man, starring Paul Dano and Daniel Radcliffe, premiered to wide critical acclaim at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and won the U.S. Dramatic Directing Award. It made its theatrical debut in the summer of 2016 and was later distributed worldwide by A24.
This film was followed up with the direction of Manchester Orchestra’s dream-like music video for their single “The Sunshine.” Later on, in 2017, Daniels executive produced the comedy-dance-sketch-fantasy film Snowy Bing Bongs Across The North Star Combat Zone, starring the Cocoon Central Dance Team.