Bayou Bennett and Daniel Lir Bring Good Values Back to Hollywood

Think of any Hollywood Director Duo, and the ones that really come to the top of mind are The Cohen Brothers, and The Wachowskis. Today, a third can be safely added to that list, and they are remarkably, a happily married couple that want to bring good values back to Hollywood, willing to only work on projects that help lift up humanity, bettering society.

They are – none other than Hollywood’s own Dream Team Directors (also the name of their company); the talented Bayou Bennett and her husband Daniel Lir. Bayou and Daniel have worked on projects involving some of the biggest names in Hollywood including Coldplay, P Diddy, Billy Idol, Mick Jagger, and many more, with an impressive resume that is growing daily, and their work is becoming in ever increasing and greater demand.

Hollywood Award Winners

Impressively, Bayou Bennett and Daniel Lir recently just won not one, but two prestigious Telly Awards, and their documentary, “Hope for the World Foundation” won Best Documentary Short at the Wind International Film Festival. Recently, their latest shot music video, “Show Time” for Korean artist, Annalé, about living your dream despite people trying to stop and block your goals, was just released. 
 All these messages fit into their mission of entertaining in order to inspire, and to bring good values back to Hollywood.

Their film short “Text Me,” which is a brilliant and beautiful film that has racked up over 3 million views, will be discussed more in detail here in another story.

Hollywood Sentinel had the great pleasure to meet and speak with the outstanding writers and directors recently. What follows here is a transcript of that exclusive conversation, exclusively for NewsBlaze.

Bayou Bennett and Daniel Lir

Bayou Bennett Daniel Lir.
Image: Daniel Lir and Bayou Bennett; Photo Credit: John Kelly, 2009. Used with permission, all rights reserved.

Hollywood Sentinel: For those that don’t know about you both and your work, please tell us about you, who you are, and what you do.

Bayou Bennett and Daniel Lir: Well, we are a husband and wife filmmaker duo that are passionate about creating work that makes a positive impact on the world. Whether creating a change the world documentary for Coldplay, Write Girl, Whole Planet, Teen Cancer America, a super visual innovative music video or writing and directing an original comedy like “Text Me” we want to open people’s eyes and inspire.

Hollywood Sentinel: That’s amazing. How did you get started doing this?

Bayou Bennet: I got a Masters of Fine Arts, realized I wanted to teach filmmaking, moved to NYC and got a teaching job at the top schools like Parsons New School and New York Institute of Technology. Meanwhile I was making my own films.

I met Daniel in 2007 who was on a different but complimentary path. He had graduated from the prestigious NYU Film School and got his first experiences working and learning from top directors, Jake Scott and Chris Cunningham at Ridley Scott’s production company. In the years following, he specialized in music and fashion video content. His clients were P. Diddy, Isaac Hayes, and Tricky from Massive Attack among others, but was also working towards his original passion-narrative films.

So, Daniel and I connected and did just that. We wrote and directed a short film called “Text Me,” which was based on my college students who were more comfortable with texting than in-person communication. I was noticing a real decline in the ability to communicate in the new generation and also exaggerated realities in social media profiles.

Our goal was to capture the social media generation and it quickly became a big viral hit and won awards which felt great! It convinced us that working as a team was where the magic was.

Hollywood Sentinel: It is such a great film. I love it. What do you love most about your work?

Bayou Bennett: We love that we can make a film that reaches millions. And make the audience laugh, truly identity with the characters, have an eye opening experience or learn something new and meaningful.

Hollywood Sentinel: Very cool. What is a wild, crazy, or funny story you can share with us that has happened to you on the job?

Bayou Bennett: Daniel and I had done tons of pre-production on a music video we were directing. When we arrived to set on a street in downtown LA, not only was it raining but a giant commercial production had closed down the street. Things looked pretty grim for us and the production.

However, I charmed a security guard to let us get a couple shots on the street and we were able to shoot in front of an exploded bus set which must have cost a fortune and it totally fit our story. It was amazing and the images were truly memorable. Also, the rain looked incredible in slow motion. We truly believe our barriers can also be our greatest triumphs.

Hollywood Sentinel: That’s a great story! What advice do you have for those who are trying to pursue a career along your same paths as filmmakers and directors?

Bayou Bennett: For women I think it’s just celebrate that you are female filmmaker and pave the way for other female filmmakers by setting a good example. Use your strengths as a director and enjoy the process/journey all the way from raising the money to seeing it on a big screen.

Daniel Lir: I would say surround yourself with the most talented and positive team you can. Be around people that enhance your life and dreams, that has been the secret to our success.

Hollywood Sentinel: Nice. Who are some big names you have worked with that we would all know and what work did you do with them or for them?

Bayou Bennett and Daniel Lir: It was an incredible honor to collaborate with British super stars, Coldplay on a video and project that raised over $1M for at-risk youth in England. Also, working with Oscar nominee Mark Ruffalo on documentary content, educating the world about the dangers of fracking was incredible. There have actually been so many great experiences such as casting Lea Michele in our TV pilot, “Around the Block,” before she became a megastar in Fox’s “Glee” and Matt Bennett in “Text Me” before he was a regular on Nickelodeon’s “Victorious.” Working with and getting glimpses into the lives of people we work with like Golden Globe nominee, Anthony Mackie, Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones, Billy Idol, super model Bella Hadid … is fascinating and educational.

Hollywood Sentinel: That’s all so great. I’m a big fan of Billy Idol, and The Stones of course. That’s so cool. What is it about Los Angeles that makes it such a great place for the film industry?

Bayou Bennett and Daniel Lir: The whole city is full of creative people that are super talented and wanting the same thing. You can just feel the creativity and it’s actually full of culture and diversity which makes for fantastic imagery. The weather is predictable, the light is really beautiful and there are such diverse locations which allow for so many possibilities.

Hollywood Sentinel: I totally agree. What things do you love most about LA?

Bayou Bennett and Daniel Lir: We ‘love’ the weather and the beach! We love that we can go and meet creative directors, writers and producers of our favorite films that inspire us to write and direct.

Hollywood Sentinel: That’s great! I love all that too. Can just anyone hire you or do you have specific criteria, and if so, what is that?

Bayou Bennet and Daniel Lir: We tend to work on projects that improve the world in some way. Projects that uplift you, make you think or are super aesthetic. We don’t work on projects that are negative and feature violence and disturbing imagery with no greater message.

Hollywood Sentinel: Wow, that’s so cool. That’s really great you have integrity with the work you create, and I think it is really important how you are committed to bring good values back to Hollywood.

What is the best way for people to reach you and learn more about your work?

Bayou Bennett and Daniel Lir: Thank you. Please reach out to us through our website, Also, we are constantly updating our website. We are currently working on a web series hosted by Daniel and I where we will be giving tips to our audiences and fans on how to achieve their dreams in the industry. It will feature interviews with some truly spectacular Filmmakers, Musicians, Producers, Marketers and Artists.

Hollywood Sentinel: Cool. Well I know you are both super busy, so hopefully we will talk again soon. It’s been great meeting you both and I know everyone will love your work – all the new fans you will make here when they see it.

Bayou Bennett and Daniel Lir: Thanks so much Bruce! We really love connecting with our fans and love creating content that they can learn from or be inspired in some way to follow their own dreams. We love hearing from them on all our social media. Especially our Instagram:

Hollywood Sentinel: Thank you! We’ll see you on the red carpet!

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