Born in 1974, Lee graduated from Boston University with a degree in advertising in 1996. In 1999 he was accepted to the American Film Institute. He also produced and directed several music videos as well as a few short films. From 2002 to 2004 he worked at Bobblehead Factory Productions, directing commercials for the Toyota Sienna, Calvin Klein, and WD-40. Two years after winning over NYAFF audience with his first feature, an anarchic comedy How to Use Guys With Secret Tips (2013), Lee is back in New York with his big-budget period drama The Royal Tailor (2014), set during a clash between tradition and modernity in the royal court of 18th century Korea.