ABOUT JOHN O'HAGAN
John O’Hagan is an award-winning commercial and film director.
He studied film and photography at Brown University, Rhode Island School of Design, and New York University, where he received a Master of Fine Arts degree in Directing. His early film work experience included working for directors Spike Lee, Milos Forman, Todd Haynes, and David Byrne.
John began his film career by writing and directing the short film, Five Spot Jewel, which won Best Short Film at three film festivals. He then directed the feature documentary film, Wonderland, a humorous look at America's first mass-produced "cookie cutter" community in Levittown, NY. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and went on to win five Best Documentary Film awards and was purchased by HBO. The New York Post gave the film 4 out of 4 stars and described it as having “enough characters to populate at least five Coen Brothers movies”; the International Documentary Association deemed it "a truly masterful portrayal of human nature"; and The Village Voice called the documentary “downright seductive.” For his work on the film, John was nominated by the Directors Guild of America for Best Direction of a Documentary.
John’s commercial directing career began with the production company Hungry Man in New York. The first commercial John directed, Dial-A-Mattress "Squirrel", won a Gold Lion at Cannes. His Outpost.com “Marching Band” earned him a second Gold Lion at Cannes and was nominated for the Cannes Grand Prix and an Emmy Award. John later went on to join Ridley Scott's production company, RSA.
During the course of his commercial career, John has directed numerous successful campaigns for a wide range of international clients, including Range Rover, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, VW, Toyota, Saab, Hyundai, Honda, Kia, Lexus, Microsoft, IBM, Hewlett Packard, Samsung, LG, Visa, Anheuser-Busch, Miller, Coors, ESPN, NFL, Gillette, Nivea, Chick-Fil-A, McDonald's, Snickers, Kit Kat, Kellogg's, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Adidas. His work is best known for its strong visual storytelling and humor. He is also known for directing a number of popular Super Bowl commercials. In 2019, the Chicago Tribune named John's EDS "Cat Herders" #3 on its list of "The 5 Greatest Super Bowl Commercials of Modern Times".
John continues to direct commercials independently in the US and internationally and is currently completing his third documentary film, The Wall of Chicago, and developing his first feature film, Rainbow Man.
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