About John O'Hagan

You don’t want to hear my Irish accent. I was born in Dublin, Ireland, but my parents moved to the US when I was only 1. My Irish cousins like to tell me I sound more like a leprechaun than an actual Irish person when I now attempt the accent.

I studied film and photography at Brown University, Rhode Island School of Design, and New York University. During this time I began making short films. My film, Five Spot Jewel, won 3 Best Short film festival awards.

I followed this with a documentary film, Wonderland, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. It went on to win 5 Best Documentary film festival awards, and I was nominated by the Directors Guild of America for Best Direction of a Documentary.

When I realized film festival awards weren't paying the rent, I pursued commercial directing. A producer introduced me to director Brian Buckley who was starting the commercial production company Hungry Man. He gave me an opportunity. My first commercial, Dial-A-Mattress "Squirrel", won a Gold Lion at Cannes.

Since then I’ve directed a wide range of commercials—for cars, phones, computers, credit cards, beer, gum, fast food, sports equipment, soft drinks, hair products, banks. Outpost.com “Marching Band” won a Gold Lion at Cannes and was nominated for the Cannes Grand Prix and an Emmy Award. EDS "Cat Herders" won a Cannes Lion and is often cited as one of the all-time Top 10 Super Bowl commercials.

I love telling stories with a camera.


1 GRAND PRIX Cannes Lion nomination
3 GOLD Cannes Lions
1 SILVER Cannes Lion
1 BRONZE Cannes Lion
1 GRAND Clio
3 GOLD Clios
5 D&AD Pencils
3 One Show Pencils
1 Emmy nomination

I also won the softball long throw contest when I was 10. That's the big one for me.