AD 201 | Nicholas Lam
“The Three R’s”

The son of Chinese immigrants, Nicholas came to LA by way of Hawaii and Hong Kong. Working as a truly international director, he has helmed global campaigns for brands like Google, Samsung, Disney, P&G, Kia, Dewars, and Nestle, working closely with top agencies such as BBDO, Ogilvy & Mather, and Iris Worldwide. In the music world, he is an MTV VMA nominated director having shot videos for Nick Jonas, Blink-182, Sara Bareilles, Bastille, Snakehips, Jess Glynne, Monsta X, and more.

Known for his cinematic, emotional, and dynamic visual language, Nicholas' films often center on character-driven stories deeply grounded in humanity and sensitivity. His work has been featured in most major publications including The LA Times, Rolling Stone, Billboard, Variety, The Telegraph, The Independent, Entertainment Weekly, Vogue, Forbes, Booooooom, Shots Creative, Little Black Book, and many more.

When not on set, Nicholas will be found tearing through the canyons in his cars or motorcycle, creating new recipes in the kitchen, or talking watches with fellow nerds.

Show Notes:
  • 00:03:04 - The “Three R’s” Philosophy  
  • 00:05:41 - Finding one’s voice 
  • 00:08:34 - Filtering your work through a personal lense  
  • 00:10:14 - Navigating through the music video and film world 
  • 00:13:10 - Hardships within directors transitioning from music videos to feature films00:18:59 - “The new aesthetic”  
  • 00:21:06 - Keeping a healthy mindset  
  • 00:24:36 - Pattern recognition  
  • 00:27:21 - Psychedelics 
  • 00:32:27 - The catch-22 nature of technology  
  • 00:37:00 - Difficulties and rewards within directing 
  • 00:41:54 - Having a balanced ego 
  • 00:46:29 - A director’s relevancy in the commercial world 
  • 00:49:44 - Nicholas’s first feature film 
  • 00:51:27 - The importance of representation  
  • 00:53:34 - Redefining the structures within the film industry & Asian American cinema
  • 01:09:38- Wrap up

Nicholas’s Instagram
Nicholas’s Website

Posted 5.10.2021


"I started this series as a means for exploration, an exploration of self, and an exploration of the perspectives of other artists.

This series is an unabridged documentation of conversations between artists. It’s a series dedicated to breaking down the barriers we tend to set up in our own minds. I want to inspire future creatives to have the courage to explore and experiment. This is about making dreams a reality and not about letting our dreams fall to the wayside.

My intention is to give my audience a sense of real human connection, something that feels rich and organic.

When I was thinking of a title I thought of the word “movement”.

In relation to the Renaissance period in art, my goal for this program is to signify a rebirth of consciousness towards the way we look at contemporary art."

- Yoshino