Alek Keshishian’s professional journey began straight out of college as a music video director creating award-winning clips for artists like Bobby Brown, Elton John and Vanessa Williams. This was followed by Truth or Dare, a film that offered a rare glimpse into Madonna’s inner psyche. The film illustrates Keshishian’s singular ability to see past celebrity to capture something uniquely honest.
The feature With Honors came next. Starring Joe Pesci and Brendan Fraser it became the No. 1 movie in America and cemented Keshishian’s status as a film director. Keshishian traveled to London for a two-week vacation after the movie – and stayed for eight years focusing on photography and commercials for clients including Coca Cola, VW, Max Factor, Baileys and Peugeot.
Keshishian’s commercial work displays a talent at packaging the one thing consumed more than anything in the world—the universal commodity of celebrity. He recently directed an outrageously funny promo campaign for “Chelsea Lately,” with Sandra Bullock and Conan O’Brien that is set in the Chelsea Lately Studio showers. Gwyneth Paltrow, Natalie Portman, Madonna, Heather Graham, Darryl Hannah, Orlando Bloom and Jean Reno are among other celebrities that have embraced his creative spirit.
Keshishian is less about the manufactured neatness of fame, and more the infamy of everyday, something he achieves by magnifying the real behind the surface. He does this brilliantly for SmartWater with actress Jennifer Aniston where he takes her celebrity and dons it with surprisingly frank and open humor. The viral exemplifies how Keshishian gives us is a real glimpse of the person behind the celebrity mask, unveiled through Aniston’s honest, self-deprecating humor.
“What I find interesting is uncovering real moments with whomever I am shooting, whether they are a celebrity or not,” says Keshishian. “I’m fascinated with finding those unguarded moments where the truth of a person comes through and allows you to see them in a way that you haven’t seen before.”
Keshishian has also pushed the pen on projects for Paramount and Universal Studios, and is currently writing a psychological drama for David Fincher.