Division7’s Ray Smiling brings humor, soul and visual flair to his directing projects

Projects released in 2023 for Nike and Foot Locker have only enhanced Smiling’s reputation as a director with a unique worldview and impressive technical chops. The Creativity Awards judges all remarked on how accomplished his directing work has been thus far—particularly given that he’s only a few years in.

“I did a deep dive on Ray,” said one juror. “I was looking around and wanting to know more. I was very impressed with performance in particular because that’s so hard for a newer director, I think, to really nail. I was super impressed. The lighting, the framing—I felt it was just beautiful work.”

“I was crazy about his work,” said another. “I was like, wow, such a new, fresh take. It was all done so, so well.”