Peking is the directing duo of Nat Livingston Johnson and Gregory Mitnick, who began their collaboration in 2006 at NYU’s Graduate Film School and enjoy an enduring creative partnership today. They most recently directed a series of award-winning commercial films for Skype’s “Stay Together” campaign via top digital agency Pereira & O’Dell, featured in tastemakers ranging from Adweek to Creativity, FastCoCreate, Mashable and Behance. The work thus far has received 1 Gold and 2 Bronze One Show Pencils, an AICP/Next honor, 4 Silver and 2 Bronze Cannes Cyber Lions. Peking has been called upon for their inspiring approach to documentary storytelling by brands such as Starbucks, Google, Audi, Blackberry and Shaw, and has directed a range of branded content for coolhunting.com.
Peking’s creative bent surfaced early. For Johnson, communicating visually became a necessity early on while surviving kindergarten in communist China. Without command of the language, he developed a vocabulary of hand gestures and other visual demonstrations as a means to relate to his Chinese classmates. Meanwhile, stateside, a precocious Mitnick was directing his first spot for Sony’s “Colorbrand” TV sets. Featuring choreographed dance, ghostly chanting and stop-motion animation, the ad went on to win 1st Place at the Myers Elementary School Ice Cream Festival.
Fifteen years later their paths converged. After collaborating on several projects, they decided to make it official, calling themselves Peking, a name born out of their shared associations with China, and the ancient city’s renown as a dynastic cornerstone of the arts. Since Peking’s conception the duo has been, put simply, a highly prolific juggernaut. In the past year Peking has garnered numerous awards for directing work in the commercial world, including four ADDY Awards and a Kodak Vision Award. And they were honored at the 2009 AICP Show for two more of their spots.
Peking directs commercials, online content, films, documentaries, music videos and installations. They also conceptualize and edit their work for various media platforms. Their short films have received numerous accolades and have screened at festivals such as Sundance, Telluride and Tribeca. They produce a Webby Award-winning video series for Coolhunting.com and have worked on commissioned film projects with The Open Ended Group for Lincoln Center and The EMPAC Performing Arts Center.