2 Minutes With ... Nancy Lan, Co-President of Creative Advertising at Territory Studio

On Guardians of the Galaxy, Past Lives and AIR

Nancy is co-president of creative advertising at Territory Studio, a global creative and marketing company that draws on expertise in narrative design. Her career has spanned domestic and international markets, blockbusters and arthouse, and the evolving intersection of tech and entertainment.

From leading campaigns that launched Sony franchises such as Spider-Man: Homecoming, Blade Runner 2049 and Venom, to hyping Iron Man 3, Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers: Age of Ultron at Disney, Nancy has linked cinematic worlds and studios. At Searchlight, she helped shepherd independent film onto the world stage with breakout promos for Black Swan, (500) Days of Summer and Slumdog Millionaire.

Nancy works with the Georgetown Entertainment Media Alliance Externship to help students make industry inroads and supports organizations like Soapbox Women of Color that champion diverse voices in the industry. She is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, and a mom of two.

We spent two minutes with Nancy to learn more about her background, creative inspirations and some recent work she's admired.

Nancy, tell us...

Where you grew up, and where you live now.

Born in Taiwan, raised in Culver City (OG Culver City). I settled at the other end of Dogtown in Mar Vista.

Why you pursued a career in entertainment.

Twelve-year-old Nancy discovered a u-matic console in the public school library (donated by Sony). I realized you could write a story without a single word, just neon dissolves. Mind blown.    

Three movies/TV shows you couldn't do without, and why.

Bridesmaids - The movie I can watch anytime, from any point, and in any mood.  
Boyhood - I've probably thought more about this film than I realize. It showed me how subtly life and growth can play out, and to be filmed over 12 years? Hats off, Mr. Linklater.
Everything Everywhere All At Once - We've arrived! What a celebration and inspiration from every angle. I aspire to feel like that cast & crew at work every day.  

Your favorite movie trailer or poster.

"All time favorite' questions feel claustrophobic! But my favorite recent trailer is Past Lives. So beautifully constructed, can't wait. Congrats to all who worked on it!

One of your favorite projects you've ever worked on, and why. 

The Guardians of the Galaxy campaign. Our illustrious filmmaker partners looked at us, smiled and told us that they were making a Space Opera for us to market. We knew we were venturing into unknown territory in the MCU. Learning to embrace the film’s quirk and DNA was a valuable discovery journey. Plus, how can you forget a project that culminates in a cake with your green face attached to Zoe Saldana’s body, wielding a sword? Ask around for photographic documentation.

A recent project you're proud of, and why.

Territory Studio was lucky enough to play a part in the AIR campaign. What an opportunity for the team to showcase our conceptual minds and craft. We’re just getting started!  

One thing about how entertainment marketing is evolving that you're excited about.

The ground is definitely shifting under us and it's refreshing to be able to think more critically. There's room now for starting with an idea rather than the established playbook. Creating with purpose is more important than ever, so I’m excited for this timely opportunity to contribute from a new vantage point.

Someone else's work, in entertainment or beyond, that you admired lately.

Patagonia. An example of purpose through and through.

A book, movie, TV show or podcast you recently found inspiring.

Speaking of which … Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard.

A visual artist or band/musician you admire.

Dolly Parton is a gift.

Your favorite fictional character.

Liz Lemon

Someone worth following in social media.

Dust to Digital

Your main strength as a marketer/creative.

Start by understanding why.

Your biggest weakness.

Punny copy

Something people would find surprising about you.

My stature (for those who first meet me in a virtual setting. Apparently my virtual presence is taller. Their surprise is equally surprising to me.)

One thing that always makes you happy.

Reading The Infatuation.

One thing that always makes you sad.

Cold soup

What you'd be doing if you weren't in entertainment.

Running a laundromat, spinning signs, or playing the piano with my feet because my fingers are hot dogs … or maybe I'm already doing it all in the block universe.

2 Minutes With is our regular interview series where we chat with creatives about their backgrounds, creative inspirations, work they admire and more. For more about 2 Minutes With, or to be considered for the series, please get in touch.

Jessica MacAulay
Jessica MacAulay is a contributor for Muse by Clio. She's also a recent graduate of the University of Colorado Boulder's College of Media, Communication, and Information.

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