David is president and founder of Character. He has been running the business for almost two decades during which he has presided over nearly 200 story framework explorations for some of the world’s largest brands and companies. David has a degree in history and economics from the University of Chicago but started his professional career as a filmmaker.
He gaffed, shot, edited and produced on everything from feature films (like Scorchy with Connie Stevens) to rock and roll documentaries (he toured with Heart through West Texas and New Mexico) to television commercials (he produced the blockbuster Nissan “Toys” spot starring Barbie, Ken and G.I. Joe) and even an animated feature (The Adventures of Mark Twain).
David joined Will Vinton Studios in 1982 and built their commercial production business into the longest running and most successful animation company in commercial production by focusing on superb character animation. The California Raisins and the animated M&M’s are just a few of the wildly popular characters that came to life during David’s stint at Vinton. In 1998, as part of the continuing effort to bring unique value to the studio’s clients, David began the focused synthesis and exploration of his experiences with successful characters that eventually resulted in his invention of this business.
David is a frequent speaker at corporate and industry events, has taught a popular class on Story as the Key to Engagement at Procter & Gamble’s Brand Manager College and has been a repeat speaker at the TED Conference in the TED University forum.
In his spare time, he climbs mountains.
“Is it better to be loyal or honest?” Ted Conference 2010