Daryn Wakasa is a 4th generation Japanese American, an East Los Angeles native and a multi-disciplinary filmmaker with over 15 years of experience in the film, commercial, and advertising worlds. As a descendant of the Japanese-American incarceration camp survivors, he carries his ancestors’ determination to use storytelling as a tool to spark empathy for the unheard and underrepresented.
His unique, thought-provoking work lives between tactile graphic design and lyrical film. Between gaman (keep your troubles to yourself) and NWA’s Express Yourself. Between the model minority myth and Crenshaw’s Yellow Brotherhood activism. Between the spirit world and physical one. Between Japanese and American.
His award winning short films: Seppuku (2017), Giri (2014), and A Lost Generation (2010) have screened in film festivals and theaters across the country. Comcast distributed Seppuku through its On-Demand platform.
With studios Mirada (co-founded by Guillermo del Toro) and Elastic (founded by Angus Wall), Daryn directed projects including: Jack Daniel’s commercials, in-episode content for Discovery Channel’s Cooper’s Treasure, UCLA’s Every/One Interactive Molecule, and projection content for Disney on Ice. Along the way, he was also the Art Director for the Pacific Rim (2013) prologue sequence and Katy Perry’s Roar music video. He also led the design and animation teams for Tad Nakamura’s award-winning documentaries: Pilgrimage, A Song for Ourselves, Life on Four Strings, and Mele Murals.
Daryn is represented by Chris Coggins and Benjamin Blake at Heroes and Villains.