Lake Bell is expanding her production chops, joining the production shingle London Alley as a director. An actor known for series like “Childrens Hospital” and “Harley Quinn,” Bell has also branched out into production — most recently as the co-creator, executive producer, director and star of the comedy “Bless This Mess.”
At London Alley, Bell will join with collaborator Luke Anderson, who has signed on as a partner and executive producer.
“I’m excited to be continuing my relationship with London Alley and officially joining the team as a director,” said Bell in a statement. “It’s an exciting opportunity to have a lane to create a new genre of work in ads and creative, and I can’t think of a better collective to join.”
Bell joins the London Alley team with more than 20 years of experience in the industry as an actress and 12 years behind the camera as a producer and director. Her other directing credits include “Pam & Tommy” and her feature film directorial debut “In a World…”
Prior to the appointment, Bell and Anderson previously collaborated with London Alley on a short film for Cann titled, “Cann-Do Holiday.” Anderson is the co-founder of Cann.
“I was in love with Lake’s work ever since I saw ‘In A World…’,” Anderson tells Variety. “When we finally put our heads together, and put out something that was really radically diverse and inclusive of turning traditional advertising tropes for beverage and vice faces on its head — the more we got into it, the more we realized we wanted to make this bigger and and try to create a world in which brands that are owned by women, people of color, queer people, and that, importantly, are doing the right thing with their dollars rather than just pocketing it in executives’ wallets, this became a bigger and broader subversive exercise.”
While the production company is known for creating music videos like SZA’s “Kill Bill” and Lil Nas X’s “Industry Baby,” the duo will be tasked with coming together to focus on producing creative projects as well as brand campaigns. Some of London Alley’s recent ads includes major work for brands like Pepsi (“The One That I Want”) and the 2023 PGA Tour.
Anderson says there’s three projects immediately coming down the pipeline, highlighting initiatives like a woman-owned alcohol brand, an underwear company with a focus on body positivity and inclusivity, and potentially an electric car ecosystem brand.
“The best part is London Alley has been a bootstrapped but very large and profitable company for quite some time so these projects are either self financed, or the brands that are in our ecosystem are footing the bill for the production budgets,” said Anderson. “We can get projects that normally would take 18 months of a cell cycle off the ground and create not just physicals but full episodes and in some cases, full features without relying on the traditional entertainment industry process to get that made and the power of the intersection between brands, world class talent behind the camera and in front of the camera, and stories that deserve to be told in any format.”
In some of their first major moves with the company, Anderson and Bell hope to expanding London Alley’s reach into TV projects both in the scripted and unscripted space with plans to move into more long-form content. News of the forthcoming projects remain under wraps but Anderson and Bell say they are optimistic about the future with London Alley as they proceed with their vision of fuller and more inclusive storytelling — behind and in front of the camera.
“As a long-time client and collaborator with London Alley, I have experienced firsthand their ability to produce world-class creative content that shapes culture. It’s a dream to officially join their team,” said Anderson. “Getting to work directly with Lake on subversive, comedic, and authentically diverse and inclusive storytelling projects is an honor – she truly is one of the best writers and directors in the world and a fantastic addition to our roster.”
“I’m mostly thrilled because I get to hire the way I want to hire, I can cast in the way that I can to make the movie because by the way, the moviemaking process is like, you have to really, really stomp your feet to make moves there. And I’m doing it. There’s all kinds of foot stomping happening behind closed doors from me on my end,” adds Bell.