Currently based in New York City, Damian Bao is a casting director, photographer, filmmaker, transmedia producer, talent scout, digital media strategist, and creative consultant.
CASTING DIRECTOR / PRODUCER
Damian began his casting career in 2011. Since then, Damian has worked on the casting of major global advertising campaigns, editorials, runway shows, branded content media, commercials, and featured films. As a top and respected casting director, his work involves researching and identifying top models, actors, influencers, musicians, and artists from all around the world and assessing the portfolios of countless potential newcomers. His success comes from having sharp visual and emotional perception, natural intuition, a quick understanding of personality dynamics and chemistry, and expert knowledge and insight gained through years of experience working and interacting with thousands of talent in fashion and film.
From the age of 7 assisting his mother at her beauty salon, Damian has always been fascinated by beauty and its cultural, social, and political impacts. His interests extend beyond the standard boundaries and interpretations. He is an avid supporter and big advocate for more diversity in the media, advertising, and film and visibility for the images and stories of those who are disenfranchised and voiceless.
His keen eye has made him a dynamic street casting connoisseur with a discerning taste for authenticity and substance. He is an expert in the art of real people casting. With the goal of finding beauty in many different forms and providing clients with a diverse selection of talent, he has found many interesting faces in the streets of New York City and beyond. His street casting repertoire showcases people with unique faces and an ability to speak genuinely to the stories being told via still images and motion videos.
As a top and respected casting specialist, Damian’s strength is being able to finely mix high aesthetic with strategic casting, ethnographic research, and versatility, as well as a mastery of all the latest casting technologies and tools. Damian also works closely with brands, producers, photographers, and directors from around the world to maximize and exhaust casting possibilities by being involved with creative direction, logistics, and pre-production. His innate organizational and planning skills as a natural producer who can maintain any budget also adds strength to his ability as a savvy casting specialist that can deliver and meet every client’s expectation.
PHOTOGRAPHER / FILMMAKER
Damian’s interest in storytelling through photography and film originated from his childhood in the Vietnamese refugee camps of the Riau Islands of Indonesia, where he first witnessed the voicelessness of the poor. His family later immigrated to the United States and settled in New Orleans, Louisiana, which Damian considers his hometown. Raised in an ethnically diverse trailer park, the surroundings of Damian’s childhood provided him with a rich exposure to the human experience. His upbringing taught him empathy for the derided outcasts of society: queers, prostitutes, con artists, circus freaks, runaways, voodoo queens, and others whom he called his neighbors.
His down-to-earth and open-minded perspective has led him to work successfully in the fashion industry from a unique angle. In a business that often exploits young women and portrays them as objects devoid of personality, Damian’s genuine connection with his subjects allows him to convey their true essence and humanity, reflected in the spontaneous moments he captures of laughter, kindness, intimacy, and mischief. Along with promoting diversity and highlighting beauty in its many forms, he strives to depict genuine souls and spirits, not just pretty people in expensive clothing.
Damian Bao’s creative method is passionate and intuitive. Every project is considered a personal journey to him. He is deeply interested in creating and supporting works that give a voice to those who are marginalized.
SELECT PUBLISHING CONTRIBUTIONS:
Vogue, Vogue Australia, voguechina.com, Vogue Girl, Vogue Netherlands, Vogue Turkey, Elle China, Eurowoman, Femina, Grazia China, Grazia Germany, Harper’s Bazaar Korea, Nylon Korea, Self China, style.com, Teen Vogue, CNN, Lucky, Allure, H&M, Glamour Germany
SELECT CASTING CONTRIBUTIONS:
Barneys New York, Tory Burch, Rodarte, Helmut Lang, Band of Outsiders, Acne Studios, Calvin Klein, Shinola, Apple, Facebook, Edun, Diesel, Gap, Uniqlo, Joe Fresh, Mac Cosmetics, Reed Krakoff, NARS Cosmetics, Vigoss, Nike, Foxiedox, NFL, Warby Parker, Mezcal Tequila, Lucky Jeans, Levi’s, Jack Spade, Kate Spade, Lowe’s, Amazon, Maybelline, Target, Nordstrom, Abercrombie & Fitch, Bulova, Cadillac, Net-a-Porter, DKNY, Gucci, Conde Nast, GQ, Hewlett Packard, Mall of the World, Hudson Yards, Burberry, DVF, Vice, Nylon, 20th Century Fox