Film production (why video?)

  • Copywriting, scripting, storyboarding
  • Producing, Directing
  • Shooting, editing, sound design, sound mixing, color correction
  • Motion graphic design
  • Types of video: Broadcast, brand storytelling, social media and web video

Creative consult

  • Positioning and branding
  • Development strategy
  • Campaign rollout


645 Griswold Street
Suite 2300
Detroit, Michigan, USA 48226
(313) 744-2009






The DL! creative factory. All photos by: John D’Angelo (


Philip Lauri – Partner, Executive Producer

With experience in sourcing and creative marketing for firms in Chicago and Portland, Lauri returned to hometown Detroit in 2008 to start DL!.  Philip handles all of DL!’s business development and is executive producer on all projects, but when he’s not, he’ll take every chance to jump a plane to Colombia or sit on the couch with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.

Other: Tumblr, Email


Steven Oliver – Partner, Director

After writing for a few different television shows in Los Angeles while directing and producing films of his own, Steven came to Detroit to shoot the film “After the Factory.”  He stuck around in the city for all of the production and eventually made it home.  Today, Steven directs shoots for DL! and oversees DL!’s post-production team. It should be noted he also has an odd penchant for pistachios.

Other: Email


DETROIT LIVES! is an award-winning video production studio based in downtown Detroit. We started our operation in 2009. But let’s back up a bit because getting here has been, well, pretty fun.

Philip Lauri moved to Detroit in 2008 after working stints in Chicago and Portland. Just about everyone under the sun thought that was crazy. “Detroit is so bad though!” Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. And so DETROIT LIVES! was born. The idea was kind of simple: create work that shifted the perception of the city. Lauri gathered friends– Scott Waraniak, Mike Sack, Courtney Burgam, Chazz Miller, Travis Wright– and created street art, film content, a clothing line, a blog and various installations and events. These little lightning bolts gained random attention of their own– inspiring VICE’s “Detroit Lives” series featuring Johnny Knoxville, press from TIME and Monocle.

All the while, Lauri had some ideas about turning the collective talent behind DL! in to a working creative studio. In 2010, this took shape. DL!’s work led to a curiosity by the folks at the Detroit Creative Corridor Center, an upstart business accelerator. They had ideas about growing and attracting creative sector businesses to the D. DL! chimed in with some thoughts on some marketing materials that could be developed to coincide with their efforts. A video web series was born, effectively the company’s first client project. Soon after, DL! was enrolled in the DC3’s Creative Ventures program, with a focus on continuing the growth of the company as a viable studio taking on client work while also using its collective skill to initiate thoughtful design-related initiatives in the city.

2012 became a big year with the company creating and directing the documentary film “After the Factory.” The film examined what comes after the industrial age told through two such landmark cities: Detroit and Lodz, Poland. The world premiere took place at the Detroit Film Theatre to a sold out crowd of 1,200 and went on to tour cinemas and festivals in Europe and the US. Steven Oliver, a childhood friend of Lauri’s, and the films Director of Photography, was drawn to Detroit while working on the film, and eventually took permanent post in the city becoming Lauri’s business partner. Together they created a viable combination: Steven handling production components, Lauri managing the business and growing the client base.

Today, the company is housed in 4,000 square feet inside the Penobscot Building in downtown Detroit. Client projects include work with Chrysler, Blue Cross, Quicken and United Way. DL! continues to forge a path forward re-defining the traditional notion of a creative studio, effectively translating its collective skill as a group in to a commercially successful production house that takes pride in not just “giving back” to its city, but being an active part.

Press Coverage

Detroit Free Press
Crain’s Detroit Business #1, #2
Huffington Post 2014, 2012
Upworthy #1, #2
Gazeta – Poland’s National Paper #1,#2
Monocle (2012)
Cool Hunting
Monocle (2011)
The Metro Times
Detroit Regional News Hub
NPR, The Craig Fahle Show
Current TV
THECUBE London Part I, Part II