Director Duncan Wolfe Returns to One at Optimus from Obama's White House
January 25, 2017 by Screenmag
Director Duncan Wolfe fresh from working behind-the-scenes as a filmmaker and creative digital strategist for President Barack Obama has officially returned to Chicago-based One at Optimus.
“We’ve always been impressed by Duncan’s sweeping, documentary-style storytelling,” says ONE Executive Producer/Managing Director Lisa Masseur. “He is able to connect with subject matter on an emotional level. And, his background in film, photography and political media gives him a unique and authentic approach. Now we add his expertise gained in bringing the most visible brand on the planet, the Obama White House, to audiences across the globe. His fluency in the fragmented and increasingly youth-driven media landscape will be so beneficial to our clients. We are thrilled have him back at ONE.”
For the past year, Wolfe has served as a senior digital producer and filmmaker within the White House’s Office of Digital Strategy. As a part of his team’s mantra of meeting people where they are, that meant creating content where people already felt comfortable on the Internet. He launched Snapchat accounts with the First Lady and for the White House, collaborated on a first-of-its-kind virtual reality experience with the President in Yosemite, and traveled side-by-side with the President everywhere from Midway Island in the Pacific to the northern reaches of Laos.
Throughout that time, he leant his signature creative vision to scores of digital content, searching out new and innovative ways to document the 44th American Presidency across the next generation of media, including Twitter and Facebook. On these channels, a single video would often be seen and shared by millions of people, creating an engaging dialogue between 21st Century media consumers and one of the oldest institutions and brands in the United States.
As a member of the White House traveling staff, Wolfe also documented the President, First Lady, and Vice President everywhere from the Oval Office to Air Force One. With them, he traveled to five continents and 19 countries, including Iraq and the President’s history-making trip to Cuba.
However, it was the opportunity for public service that had the biggest impact on Wolfe.
“My work at the White House has been the honor of a lifetime,” says Wolfe. “I feel so grateful to have been able to leverage my filmmaking knowledge to connect President Obama to people all over the country and all over the world. I came out of this experience with an incredible appreciation for public service, as well as an even deeper understanding of the importance of storytelling.”
Working at the White House, Wolfe honed his ability to operate creatively in a rapid response environment, mastered problem-solving on the move, and learned how to create and tell an impactful story from start to finish, sometimes with only a single day’s lead time.
Now, with this next phase of his career, Wolfe strives to help brands and organizations that are looking to tell their stories in the real-life, authentic style he’s developed in his time at the White House.
Before working at the White House, Wolfe was a director with ONE. Prior to that, he worked independently, directing projects for Lincoln Motor Company, Need Supply Co. and The Collective Quarterly.