Samuel Bayer Biography

Samuel Bayer photo

Born: February 17, 1962


Date of Birth: February 17, 1962

Samuel Bayer has directed and photographed hundreds of music videos and commercials over the last 15 years, firmly establishing himself as one of the industry's most prolific and sought-after talents. Known for his vérité style and unique vision, Bayer's talents transcend mediums.

A graduate of New York City's School of Visual Arts, this native of Syracuse, New York was a painter who soon discovered that film and video were the perfect medium to deliver his art to a greater audience. A self-taught cinematographer who lights and shoots all his music videos and commercials, Bayer launched his career with Nirvana's landmark video "Smells Like Teen Spirit," which is consistently rated as one of the most influential music videos of all time. Bayer's hands-on approach to filmmaking infused the Nirvana video with his distinct style and attitude.

Bayer went on to collaborate on videos for such diverse artists as The Rolling Stones, Sheryl Crow, John Lee Hooker, Marilyn Manson, Metallica, Smashing Pumpkins, David Bowie, Aerosmith, Lenny Kravitz, Green Day, and Justin Timberlake.

His commercial work includes campaigns for Nike, Coke, Pepsi, Nissan, Lexus, and Mountain Dew and has cemented his reputation as a visual revolutionary, garnering AICP Awards for Cinematography, Direction, and Production Design, and Clio Awards for Best Direction and Best Cinematography. Bayer's commercials are showcased in the permanent film/video collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

In 2005, he received the Kodak Lifetime Achievement Award for his work and cinematography in music videos. Bayer was honored in 2006 by the Music Video Producers Association with his second Lifetime Achievement Award. He has also won multiple MTV Moon Men for music videos over the years.

Bayer made his feature film directorial debut in 2010 with the remake, A Nightmare on Elm Street.

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