Doug Pray is an American director, editor, writer and cinematographer best known for his work in feature-length documentary films that focus on underground subcultures.
After graduating from Colorado College with a degree in sociology, Pray earned his MFA from the Graduate School of Film and Television at UCLA.
In 1996 he directed his first documentary, Hype!, about the emergence and explosion of the Seattle grunge rock scene in the early 1990s. The film debuted at the Sundance Film Festival, where it was also nominated for a Grand Jury Prize. In 1999 he served as an editor on the cult-hit feature film American Pimp, directed by Albert and Allen Hughes.
Scratch (2001) was Pray’s next music-centric documentary, this time looking at the behind-the-scenes world of hip-hop DJs. The documentary was nominated for a Grand Jury Prize at Sundance and an IFP Independent Spirit Award. Some of his other documentary work includes Sundance 20 (2002), Veer (2004), Red Diaper Baby (2004), and Sidewalk Gallery (2005). In 2005 he directed Infamy, an exploration of the world of illegal graffiti culture and six of America’s most notorious graffiti writers.
Pray has also done commercial and music video work. He won a Best Public Service Announcement Emmy in 2006 for an HIV-AIDS awareness campaign he directed in El Salvador for Kaiser Permanente and Viacom, and also won a Bronze Clio and a Bronze Lion at the Cannes Advertising Festival for his work on a national television campaign for gay rights in the workplace.
Pray had two documentaries come out in 2007. Big Rig showed the lives of American long-haul truck drivers, and Surfwise is a portrait of Dorian “Doc” Paskowitz, the 84-year-old surfer, health advocate, doctor, sex guru and legend within the surfing community.