Commercials are different than any other kind of film-making. Prior to me getting this job there had been months and months and months of focus groups, ideas submitted, rejected, re-written, re-worked and then finally I get 12 hours to get it all in the can, weather permitting.
As a result of all this intense preparation a whole host of people descend on your shoot to make sure that you don’t deviate from the plan and do some cool stuff. It’s a brutal fact of film-making that virtually no director gets to do his own thing creatively without a bunch of people second-guessing his every move over at the monitor. When it goes well, and I think it did go well today, the “interference” is minimal and everyone can enjoy the day. At it’s worst I’ve been pulled away from the middle of a scene to be told by a producer that I wasn’t directing the scene right….and he was in his bed with his sleeping wife 30 miles away!
On a commercial you get to work with the agency producer, art director and writer. Our Producer (Victoria) is responsible for keeping her client’s requests satisfied. The Art Director (Craig) keeps watch on the visuals and the Writer (Chas) on the words. Typically the creatives are clever, funny, driven individuals and the team we’ve had today were just that. Craig is a keen cyclist like me and used to race Porsches, Chas is a huge music fan and I turned him on to Q magazine and he turned me on to Vic Chetsnutt. After the movie this was a fine way to get back into the commercial pell-mell.
And while I wondered through the halls of Grant High what did I find? Two 2gether stickers in a classroom! Oh my God – what have we unleashed on the world?