Visual Artist, Cinematographer and Director, Samuel Bayer was born with an insatiable thirst for image making. Known primarily for his genre-defining music videos and influential commercials, Bayer has built his career around his ability to capture and translate his vision; exposing unguarded truths. His inimitable style and hands-on approach to directing, photographing and lighting, has made Bayer one of the most prolific and sought after talents in the industry.
Born in upstate New York in 1965, Bayer moved to Manhattan to study painting at the School of Visual Arts. After graduation, Bayer realized his uncanny connection with the camera; he began to devote his life to film-making. Samuel’s career immediately catapulted after the completion of one of the most important music videos of all time; Nirvana’s, Smells Like Teen Spirit. Bayer later went on to make music videos with The Rolling Stones, John Lee Hooker, Marilyn Manson, Metallica, The Cranberries, Aerosmith, Smashing Pumpkins and Justin Timberlake.
While basking in a successful music video career, Bayer received equal acclaim within the commercial world. His groundbreaking spots for Nike, Coke, Pepsi, Nissan, Lexus, Mountain Dew and Packard Bell, have had an undeniable impact on popular culture. Well into his second decade of advertising, Samuel’s work continues to be praised. In 2011, Samuel’s two-minute Super Bowl spot for Chrysler, Born Of Fire, featuring Eminem, received multiple awards, including an Emmy and a Cannes Gold Lion.
Throughout his career, feature length films have captivated Samuel. He has been attached to a wide variety of film projects and currently is in development of a science fiction film, which he wrote. Bayer is also slated to produce and direct Tumor, a Red Crown Studio and Joseph Entertainment film based on a graphic novel by Joshua Hale Fialkov and Noel Tuazon. In 2010 Bayer directed his first feature film, A Nightmare on Elm Street. Nightmare grossed $117mm worldwide with a production budget of $30mm, holding the number one spot at the US box office for the first week in April 2010. It starred Academy Award nominee Jackie Earle Haley and introduced The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’s Rooney Mara in her first major studio role.
Bayer continues to expand his artistic virtuosity with the camera. For the past twenty years Bayer has been producing still images for a number of his projects. This work has paved the way to his first and recent highly acclaimed photographic exhibition, Transitions. Bayer is now firmly rooted in his next innovative artistic endeavor – preparing to release his first photographic publication and accompanying exhibition.
Bayer currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife Ericka and son Ziggy.