Dana Tynan was born in Northern California, and even after living and working in New York and many parts of the world, still considers herself a California girl. Sunshine and open spaces, bright oceans and high deserts, linked by the Pacific Coast Highway, these were the backdrops of her childhood and the continued source of the playful, flirtatious physicality so evident in her work.
After graduating from Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, Dana moved to Manhattan and immediately began assisting some of the industry’s masters: Annie Leibovitz, Richard Avedon, Irving Penn. But there comes a time in the life of every young artist when one must leap without a net and take the sort of risk that ultimately defines you. For Dana, it was the war torn landscape of Belfast and the children of Northern Ireland, its most tragic victims. Over a period of several years she returned again and again to photograph and interact with some of these rough and tumble children, even as shots echoed throughout their ramshackle neighborhoods. The photographs which resulted from this experience were exhibited throughout the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Eastern Europe.
As a result of these disparate experiences she began merging the styles of fashion and documentary photography, shooting for Esquire, GQ, Glamour, Marie Claire, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair and Vogue, as well as the New York Times Magazine. Her gallery included actors, artists, writers, musicians, and celebrities. Johnny Cash, Jeff Buckley, Bonnie Raitt, Kurt Vonnegut, Gwyneth Paltrow, Olivia Wilde, Annette Bening, Eva Longoria, Shia Labeouf, Dakota Fanning, Elle Fanning, Neil Patrick Harris, Alicia Silverstone, Gabrielle Union, and Ryan Seacrest among others.
In addition, she shot album covers and directed music videos for Sony, Capitol, Atlantic, Island/Def Jam, Virgin, Warner Brothers, Universal, Hollywood Records, Interscope, EMI, and Polygram.
Print advertising soon followed for Oglivy & Mather, McCann, Deutsch,Wieden and Kennedy, TBWA, Publicis Worldwide, Avrett Free Ginsburg, McCann-Erickson, Fallon, Young & Rubicam, Campbell-Ewald, DDB, Saatchi & Saatchi. Campaigns included The Gap, Hanes, Jockey, Toyota, General Foods, Curel, Dial Soap, Levis, Expedia, AT&T, Evian, Nespresso, Dolce Gusto, Unilever, Carnation, Pilsbury, One-A-Day, Purina, Shout, Tide, General Mills, Cheerios, McDonalds, Special K, J.C. Penny, Premarin, Seasonique, Differin, Sunny D, Disney Baby, and Tempur-Pedic, to name a few.
This also led to different kinds of campaigns for CBS, ABC, DISNEY, MTV, HBO, AMAZON, APPLE, and NETFLIX.
Commercial directing was a inevitable progression for Dana, beginning with Hellmann’s and Wishbone, followed rapidly by productions shot from Spain to Australia, from Buenos Aires to Budapest. Levis, Coke, Vans, Tempur-Pedic, Apple, Lee Jeans, Marc Jacobs, Daisy, T Rowe Price, Time Defiance, Curel, Purina, Clinique, Walmart, Laughing Cow, Mrs. Dash, Chex Mix, Raley’s, Blue Cross, Sunny D, Oxygen, and two spots for San Diego Tourism that embodied the very essence and spirit of that “California Girl”.
Recently, Dana directed two short films, both of which have gone viral. The first, shot in New York, entitled, ‘The Big Heartbreak’, recently surpassed 3 million views. The other, entitled ‘Stand Down’, starring Billy Bob Thornton, has surpassed 13 million and just won Best Music Video at the Toronto, Florence, Harlem and LA Film Festivals as well as Best Actor for Billy Bob Thornton from the Florence and New York City Indie Film Festivals.
As a result of these twin successes, CAA is now shopping a rock and roll musical for Dana to direct called ‘Spin’. She is also developing a 2nd feature called ‘Sub-Dude’, based on a true story, and several other properties.
Dana is also in pre-production for a documentary about the surprising relationship and brotherhood between Legendary Spy, Juval Aviv, [see Spielberg’s Munich] and Kario Salem which has earned the passionate support of Bob Dylan and Yoko Ono.