After joining Wondros in Fall 2019, Executive Producer Danielle Peretz has been on a mission — to expand the commercial/branded content division’s Directorial roster in a thoughtful way. “Our focus is on strong storytelling,” she notes, ”and finding Directors who can work across all genres and categories.”
One such filmmaker and storyteller is Emmy Award-winning Lee Farber, who joins the company after years of directing comedy for television (The Wayne Brady Show, The Soup) and feature films. Farber’s newest project, for Stand Up To Cancer, is in final post-production and debuts in March.
“The most exciting arena for a Comedy Director is Commercials,” explains Farber. “It’s ‘Get in, Make ‘em laugh, Get out.’ I’ve been writing and directing for TV and features for a long time, but I love the challenge of getting people to crack up in just 30 seconds.” He adds, “Jesse Dylan and Danielle Peretz at Wondros share my desire to make commercials that are as funny as any TV show or movie, and they’ve created a division that is the perfect home to meet that challenge.”
Farber hails from a rent-controlled apartment on the Upper East Side of New York City. After graduating from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts with a focus on directing, Lee spent years schlepping on commercial sets, carefully observing the Directors of each spot, while writing comedy in his spare time.
Eventually, his work caught the eye of legendary talent manager and producer Bernie Brillstein, who hired him to work for The Wayne Brady Show, a variety series on ABC.
This led to writing and producing Wayne’s daytime talk show, earning Lee an Emmy Award. Lee was then asked to join a revamped version of Talk Soup, simply called The Soup, for what was supposed to last 6-8 weeks. It ended up lasting 11 years.
During that time, as Writer/Co-Executive Producer, Lee helped steer the show to become a staple on the television landscape. He also directed many bits and segments that would gather millions of views on YouTube. Over the show’s run, Lee wrote and directed material for hundreds of guest stars, including two of his idols, The Muppets and The Kids in the Hall.
Lee’s first feature film, The Lonely Italian, a comedy about online dating which he wrote and directed, premiered on Amazon Prime in 2018 and was awarded “Best Comedy Feature” at the San Diego International Film Festival. Shortly after that, Lee directed the filmed segments for The Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale on Netflix.
Most recently, Lee directed This Giant Beast for Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, starring Zach Galifianakis, Rashida Jones, Ted Danson, Ed O’Neill, Jason Sudeikis, Mary Steenburgen and Colin Hanks, which premiered in 2019 on Amazon.
“Lee is such an incredible talent,” concludes Wondros EP Danielle Peretz. “We are so fortunate to have found him and are thrilled to introduce him to the commercial and advertising world,” Peretz adds.
Reel 360 wishes Lee all the best in his new venture.