We at Neon have a long and fruitful history with our latest team addition. Wes Driver has been a key creative contributor with one of our major clients, HCA Healthcare, since 2006, leading and defining its internal video strategy and team and, in partnership with Neon, writing, directing, and producing many of their highest-profile video projects.
During his twelve-year tenure with HCA’s IT organization, Wes was creative director for the storied IT&S All Hands events, for which he wrote and produced some of the most riotous, ridiculous videos ever to make their way onto a corporate screen. In 2017, he moved to HCA Healthcare Creative Services and became writer and creative director for video projects and corporate events that helped define and uphold the company image.
Wes has deep, diverse experience as both a business-savvy corporate communications consultant and independent creator, with assorted endeavors into marketing, publishing, screenwriting, filmmaking, and theatre production. We’re thrilled to have him fully committed to the Neon team and look forward to our continued, even more ambitious, collaborations.
An Interview with Our New Creative Director
Well, Wes, you’re not exactly new to Neon, but you are new as an official member of the team. So tell us a little about your professional career and personal creative experience.
My career thus far has been divided into three acts. My first gig was as a marketing writer (radio spots, book jackets) and researcher (historical fiction and nonfiction). My second was as managing editor in the tumultuous terrain of political book publishing. My third: HCA Healthcare. I can say from experience the life-and-death environment of healthcare is nowhere near as dicey as the cutthroat world of political media.
But what pays the bills has only been part of my interest and output. I’ve been writing screenplays since I was 15 (just ask me some time about my action-comedy S.I.L.E.N.T., which I just knew, as a sophomore in high school, would be the next Michael Douglas blockbuster). I’ve been writing and producing theatre about as long. In 2010, I co-founded and was Artistic Director for Blackbird Theater, where my collaborator and I had an eight-year run producing our own original works as well as some of the best plays by our favorite writers.
What have been some of your favorite projects you worked on at HCA?
Yeah, I’m actually really proud of the kind of work we were able to achieve within a corporate environment–largely due to the trust and liberty given to us by the leaders within HCA. A few examples that come to mind:
HCA Healthcare Nurses Week 2019
I had the honor to sit and talk with nurses for a whole day (within a set designed to reinforce the recently released new brand). The stories they told, on and off camera, were funny and fascinating, and the nurses themselves were so charming–I love the final result. But . . . I have to confess: I loved the original edit even more, which included the nurses’ most outrageous, unfiltered stories (one was about a patient’s dead pet tarantula).
Power of Partnership: March of Dimes
This was creatively satisfying because we were given the freedom to try a more experimental approach. The concept/script is theatrical, monologue-based. We complement the message with projections instead of standard b-roll. We established a style I think could translate to a variety of other projects and hope to use it again.
IT&S Legacy Collection
Okay, so the most fun we had every year was putting together our videos for the IT&S All Hands events. We’d wrangle up a bunch of employees–always surprisingly game for even our most lunatic ideas–to create the goofiest corporate videos we could dream up. One of my favorites was this homage to old infomercials, which gave us the opportunity to parody music videos/styles throughout the decades. I can’t believe they paid us for this.
What else do we need to know?
I live with one wife, two daughters, three cats, and, according to a quick glimpse at my kid’s aquarium, nine fish. I’m not much of a sporting man, but will play a little tennis when I can and love a good swim–and am a Madden fanatic (find me online: wriggles74). I love games (playing them and creating them), but my most deeply felt, lifelong passion has been the movies. Big fan of the silent geniuses: Chaplin and Keaton. Love the old masters: Billy Wilder and Alfred Hitchcock. And still obsess over the passions of my youth: Kubrick and Scorsese and of course Spielberg. Oh, and the Coen Brothers. And today: Edgar Wright. You want to talk movies, let’s talk movies. Was Scorsese was right about the MCU? Is The Shining just a pulpy horror flick or an epic satire about colonialism? I could go for days.