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“I Want to Tell Stories About Genuine People and Things They Truly Care About"

Production Company
Los Angeles, USA
Scholar’s new director, Gerald Ding, on how to get more epic than epic and other issues of cultural relevance

Director Gerald Ding’s work is defined by a mashing up of visual styles in both live-action and animation. When asked about the best medium to create impactful work, he explains that it’s less about a specific technique and more about mixing things that might not go together. According to Gerald, “combinations can evolve and change so much through trends that sometimes when a style just feels right, it’s considered something new.” Along with technique, another important part of directing is to be conscious of your audience. “I want to tell stories about genuine people and things they truly care about. It’s one of the reasons I’m drawn to a mixed visual style because it is a great way to characterise and express emotions, whether heavy or small, happy or sad. It’s like visual poetry.” 

So how do you connect with and surprise audiences when expectations are set so high? For Gerald, it’s not always about bigger and better. Instead, it’s about not shying away from the cultural climate and listening more. Whether it's working with popular icons or speaking to issues facing the younger generations, the more in tune a director is, the more relevant the work they are capable of creating. Finally, great collaborators make all the difference. “Scholar has always been on my radar,” says Gerald, “but lately, it felt like we could really elevate one another. Looking at their recent work, I thought, our worlds go together so well, kind of unexpectedly; I can’t wait to collaborate with all the talent here.” 

And the feeling was mutual. According to co-founder and director William Campbell, “Scholar has always been about building a culture of creativity, and we define that as having a distinct lack of ego. We want everyone to bring ideas to the table, melding minds to create together. It’s about the people and Gerald is the epitome of those values. He’s talented, humble, and an all-around great human.” In terms of how his visual sensibility will fold into the mix, co-founder and director Will Johnson adds that “Gerald has a very keen eye for how he blends and collaborates between culture and medium, style and technique, that is really deliberate. He’s an investigator that has this awareness to him that we can’t wait to support and see in action.” To learn more about Gerald and his passion for celebrating authentic characters and discovering the truth in their stories, check out his Artist page at   

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