Alec Helm is a lifelong storyteller and filmmaker. He picked up a camcorder as a kid, and basically never put it down. Though he majored in film, Helm states he learned mostly by writing, directing, and editing himself, along with obsessively watching DVD special features. He says, “The way school really helps filmmakers is by providing equipment and an audience.” After graduating, Helm freelanced until he joined DDB New York as a jack-of-all-trades—shooting, editing, photography, directing, even making motion graphics.
After successfully filming making-of videos for several ad campaigns, he began shooting low-budget projects which then led to directing “First World Problems” for the charity WATERisLIFE, and a short documentary for the New York City Ballet. A year and half into working at DDB New York, Helm had already directed work that garnered five Cannes Lions, and won a One Show Emerging Director Award. Since then, Helm has directed spots for Under Armour, Microsoft, Facebook, Chevy, Capital One, Spotify, Air Canada, Canon, USAA, Enterprise, Glade, Coca-Cola and Land Rover.
Helm is known for creating emotional journeys that follow characters as they evolve. He says that his job as a director is to “find the heart of a story and translate it into an emotional experience for the audience.” Visually, his work—no matter the topic—is larger-than-life and cinematic, because he says “to each of us, our own life is an epic journey.” Helm’s penchant for drawing the audience into the world of the character via emotion is on full display in a spot he directed for Microsoft and Skype. Alec tells the story of a young girl in Armenia suffering from blindness, and with stunning landscapes and unique architecture, captures the journey she and her family traverse to cure her condition. He litters the spot with tricks and twists using points of light, focus, macro shots of webcams, and eye-shaped objects to tell the narrative of her sight being saved in a way that beautifully blends theme, character, and visuals.
Helm says Hey Baby is the perfect home for the caliber and style of work he wants to create. He explains, “It’s rare to find people who are not only incredibly talented and share your passion for creating great content, but who are also genuinely good people and fun to collaborate with. I’m so looking forward to the creations we’re going to embark on together.”
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