NELSON HANDEL

CARS: Porsche [Look & Feel]

There’s power in contrasts. You can’t have fast without slow, loud without soft, or release without restraint. Each visual dimension of a film becomes engaging when seen and experienced against it’s opposite.

This spot is a study in perfect contrasts. It should dance on the razor’s edge of tension and release, holding back as long as it can while suggesting an explosive thrill to come. It should immerse the viewer in the physical nature of the Boxster experience.

Building tension means suggesting the possible without revealing it fully. In this spot, I’ll use powerful restraint to show the restraint of power. I’ll shoot in extreme close-up and with an extremely shallow depth of field. I’ll show just bits and pieces of a moment, focusing the eye on those essential parts that express its pent-up energy.

We will be visually harnessing motion and energy throughout the first part of the spot using super slo-mo. The slower and more restrained we are, the faster will seem the car when we unleash it in real time later on.
BEAUTY: Avon [Opening]

Sparkling light and beautiful skin. A product of the highest purity and most advanced thinking. As time begins nipping at your heels, Avon Solutions can restore you.

A young woman on the edge of maturity, turning from the girlishness of her twenties to the womanhood that lies ahead. Inside, she’s still a little rock and roll, and wants to keep the jewel of youth glittering a time longer. Composed of many beautiful fleeting moments and images, this vibrant spot for Avon captures that liminal moment.

We must seek to blend a range of tones and feelings as we move through the moments of the film:

Humanité: the beauty and vivacity of our model and her vibrant skin,
Élémentaux: amethyst crystal, water, stone, light, and air
La Science: The special touch of modernity that makes Avon products so effective

Throughout the spot—in the main action, abstract images, and product demonstration—we must blend these elements into a cogent and emotional whole while giving it energy and movement.
BEVERAGE: Heineken [Opening]

No matter how beautiful your film, how cool the setting, or how hot your talent; great stories start with moments based in truth. That’s what I like about these two Heineken spots—they ring true. These are moments I can relate to, moments that speak to an age group. There is a time in your life when making connections is everything. Connections with friends drive much of what you do. For guys, connections with girls mean the world.

These two spots feature smart, quick thinking characters who find ingenious—and good-natured—ways of getting past obstacles to obtain their heart’s desire. Each quickly and clearly presents our heroes with a challenge that they solve with a creative solution, Heineken at its core. Most importantly, each story ends with a positive vibe, as competition between friends who together enjoy the night. Heineken doesn’t just solve the problem; it connects everyone and makes everything better.
FINANCIAL: Suntrust Bank [Humor]

On a perfectly normal day on a normal city street, a perfectly normal couple sets out to run a simple errand to the bank that turns out surprisingly... well... abnormally. The comedy in this spot for Suntrust comes from the challenging situation in which our characters find themselves, a situation that exaggerates the barriers to convenience that have become the “new normal" in the banking industry and positions Suntrust as the accessible bank of choice. I love the opportunity it gives us to film a surprising little gem of a comic moment.

The engine of humor is our lead couple's simple, but increasingly strong, desire to get a banking question answered. The comic beats emerge from the verbal and physical lengths to which they will go to fulfill that desire. This is an unexpected moment, and the more it comes out of seeming nowhere, the funnier it will be. No one could anticipate the ludicrous rules being applied to what should be the simple action of going to the bank. If we build the scene grounded in the reality of the situation, we will have great latitude to explore its inherent comedy.
PHARMACEUTICAL: Seroquel [Opening]

The world emerges and you recede. The vibrancy of life continues, passing you by. But you feel more and more isolated from your environment until you are no longer an active participant in the world you know.

When the pendulum of bipolar depression consumes you in lassitude, you feel invisible. You long to emerge again, not to the manic rush of the positive charge, but to a more even state, a more manageable mood in touch with the life around you. It will not be easy, but with your doctor's help you can take steps. You can emerge again.

At the heart of this spot is the tension between being consumed and reemerging. We want to balance the powerful visual metaphor of being devoured with the sense of possibility awaiting beyond the condition, to find in the emotion of the images and storytelling the resolve to change.

Not a transformation spot holding out the false promise of cure, this spot is a poetic and emotional moment that explores the threshold between fitting in and fading away.
CARS: Toyota HiLux [Humor]

This script provides the opportunity to tell a true love story, a love story between a tough-as-nails farmer and his unbreakable truck. It is an epic tale: first, the tragic, high drama as he loses his love due to his own negligence; then the heart-wrenching story of powerful sentiment as he becomes unglued while pining for what has been lost; finally, when all hope is abandoned, our story becomes an uplifting and inspirational tale of love regained, a romantic beach reunion that puts From Here to Eternity to shame. We are taking the audience on a journey. HiLux, I wish I knew how to quit you.

Of course, what we’ve really got is a clever way of demonstrating the quality, reliability and durability of the Toyota Hilux. To get there in a way that gets a good laugh, I want to build a very believable and palpable love story between a man and his truck, a film full of earnestly humorous detail and skilful homage to the genre.

Much of the humour in the film comes from the fact that a hardened farmer who is probably incapable of expressing emotion seems genuinely lovelorn and overly sentimental about a utilitarian piece of equipment. His exaggerated story smartly illustrates how important durability and performance are to our target viewer. If we get it right, it should be infinitely watchable with layers and layers of humour that continue to reward the audience on repeat viewing.
BEAUTY: St. Ives [Opening]

Kicky. Flirty. Frisky and fresh. Celebrating the exuberant spirit of women in the prime flush of life. This playful spot captures the spirit of young women comfortable in the luxuriance of their own skin.

Like a bright peach exploding on your tongue, this spot should put a smile on your face and lightness in your heart. We are not looking to tell a story so much as to capture a feeling. Supple and moist skin means buoyancy, freedom, and ease overall. I want to make frames that shimmy and shimmer with life. Though we might only see an ankle or and elbow, I want each to feel alive, in motion, and bursting with personality.

These images should dance with the words to the beat of the music to deliver the feel-good promise of St. Ives lotion.
PHARMACEUTICAL: Excedrin [Opening]

Thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts about these big-hearted spots for Excedrin Migraine. They are simple stories, really, about connection and community and presence in the world, and my work is all about these sorts of genuine moments. It’s deceptively difficult to create a natural and true sense of human connection with an audience. It requires a sense of honesty, authenticity, and directness that means a lot to me. I think I can bring this kind of confidence and immediacy to these lovely stories and create something absorbing and effecting.

In both spots, I will try to capture authentic portraits of people who you know and can relate to, not commercial actors but rather people who suffer as you do and understand the limits that migraines bring to an otherwise happy, productive life. I want to tell stories based in empathy, understanding, and the real desire to help others feel better and “get back to it.”

Excedrin is a trusted brand and these spots are all about trust.
PHARMACEUTICAL: UHMC [Look & Feel]

Hospital advertising is by its nature emotional. Subjects are personal, stakes high, and outcomes relieving. Too often, I think, it plays on sentiment in manipulative ways, showing you fraught situations to gain empathetic response. In this campaign, we focus on the life that continues, not the illness that impedes it. It’s a positive, life affirming approach that honors the integrity of its characters, rather than exploiting the emotionality of their situations.

I love that. I love that UMHC’s approach seeks honesty and true humanity. This terrific campaign captures the way most people think about hospitals: they are a way to get on with life. To tell these stories in immediate and intimate ways, I think we need to get out of the way, or at least, seem to do so. I want to present these human stories as simply as possible, in a beautiful but unvarnished way. This should be personal filmmaking at its very best, small stories that bring you into the lives of the characters and evoke natural empathy. The stories drive everything.
CARS: Porsche [Story]

An elementary school. An old stone facade. In close-up, we see just the upper corner of the facade. It's an architectural shot, lines cutting frame at an angle. We can just make out a few letters of the word "SCHOOL" chiseled in the stone.

CUT TO a school clock. It's 2:29:16. In super slo-mo, we see and hear it tick off one, interminable, second. It's 2:29:17.

CUT TO ECU, 5th grader, face. Super slo-mo, very shallow depth of field, maybe pan and tilt. We see a part of his face, his eye staring at the clock.

CUT TO his hand, gripping a pencil tightly.

CUT TO ECU, racehorse's eye and face. Almost same slo-mo shot. Around his colors, his face is slick with sweat. The eye has that twitchy sense of being primed for action.

CUT TO low angle on horse's powerful chest and leg muscles as he takes a rearing step into the starting gate.

CUT TO ECU slo-mo, the inner curve of a Boxster headlamp. We trace the curve for just a moment, and then...
FRAGRANCE: Elizabeth Arden [Story]

The camera moves around her as she moves, and we see the fragrance bottle racking into focus as she reaches for it. The camera continues its circle as she sprays the fragrance in the air and walks through the mist. As she does, we see the reflection in the mirror change slightly. In the mirror, her dress shimmers and sparkles a bit more, its colors more intense. And though her image does not change in proportion, the mirror magnifies the wallpaper motif behind her. In the reflection, it is vibrant, colorful, and seemingly three-dimensional.

The camera looks over her shoulder as she gets closer to the mirror, panning from left to right behind her. The chandelier wallpaper reflected in the mirror grows bigger, absorbing the room around her. She starts to turn her head to the camera...

...and we are suddenly in the garden. Seamlessly, the camera has continued its pan and is in front of her traveling backwards as she walks into an otherworldly garden that is impossibly beautiful - both earthy and magical at once. Hanging from the trees are the chandeliers we saw on the wallpaper, now real and twinkling in the pale light. It is surreal and very beautiful. Among the crystals, we notice one or two of the charms that hang on the fragrance bottle. We catch a glimpse of them as we go by.
CONSUMER PRODUCTS: Kotex [Humor]

This spot gives us freedom to do the perfect comic take on direct-address feminine product ads. At first blush, our heroine is all unicorns and moonbeams, an ethereally perfect woman who only seems to exist when women in ads start talking about their periods. She walks through a field of impossibly beautiful flowers in perfectly dappled light. Music tinkles lightly through the air. Her dress blows just so. She looks into camera and confessed her innermost thoughts about sanitary napkins and the like, but our comic actress delivers her lines with a confident twinkle in her eyes that tips us something about this idyllic moment is really, really wrong.

Every angle is perfect as we mimic the filmic style of these sorts of spots to perfection, only a little more so. She launches into her litany of product features with a head turn into a camera close up. And then she does it again. And then again. In fact, we could shoot each feature from a different angle so we have as many head turns as we need to get the laugh while subtly poking fun at the convention of to-camera confessions in ads.
APPAREL: Target [Story]

Spot opens with a full shot of an ageless old Italian man throwing a green bocce ball. He has a great face, wrinkled and full of character. He throws in the traditional style and so keeps running a few steps after the ball is thrown.

We cut to a low angle where we see the ball land perfect, splashing up the soft dirt of the court mere inches from the jack. It was his last ball and a masterful throw. In the background, his teammates, out of focus, cheer his accomplishment.

Cut to a close-up on his remarkable face, as he gives his opponents a confident glance. He shoots the cuff of his old yet classic suit. In the background his teammates—all Italian guys in their 70's, 80’s, and 90's and all equally full of character—pat him on the shoulder.

Cut to a wide shot of the opposing team. They are a group of fashionable 20-something guys and girls in Denizen jeans, Vintage Varsity graphic tees, Letterman jackets and slouchy sweats. They are relaxed and at home, having a great time on this warm summer evening. One of them, Hero Guy, makes a teasing imitation of the Old Guy’s expressions and tossing a red ball up and down in preparation for the last throw.
FOOD: Taco Bell [Story]

This simple little spot makes me laugh because it feels so true to life. Our poor young man has spent the last three weeks plucking up enough courage to approach the girl of his dreams, an utterly normal young girl with proficiency on her mind. His friend at work, she is utterly oblivious to his affections, a young professional totally focused on the task at hand. He seizes this unfortunate moment to pitch her his romantic little weekend, not noticing the seven-second clock ticking away his shot at love like a bomb in a James Bond movie.

We all know this moment, but in this case, it takes us just a second or two to realize that time is about to run out on young love, much sooner then it expects. When the buzzer sounds its jarring note--perhaps more loudly than anyone, including our hero, expects--the moment is gone. She leaves with her nicely melted sandwich; he is left with the melted remains of his dignity.

If we have the screen time, it would be lovely to see her exit, all bouncy charm and professional efficiency, leaving him for a beat standing there, wondering where his dreams have gone. It’s comic tragedy to which we can all relate.
CARS: VW [Story]

We open on our Hero, Frank. He's hurrying toward his local VW dealership. It's a bright sunny day and the world is filled with color. He's excited.

The camera tracks with him past street lamps and mailboxes. The shot is reminiscent of the famous Bank Crash tracking shot in It's a Wonderful Life, but rather than desperation around him, there is positive enthusiasm and anticipation in the air. There's a buzz in the air. As he approaches the dealership, he sees one or two beautiful new VW's driven off the lot by gleeful buyers.

We cut away, to see a beauty shot of a sparkling new Volkswagen CC, driven off the lot by a happy new owner. The products establish themselves as characters in the story. Beautiful objects of desire, they drive this event.

Cut to Frank entering the dealership. Inside, a few dozen people mill about a room that is strangely devoid of vehicles. From his POV, we see the empty spaces where cars recently sat. On the walls we see glorious photos of the four featured cars. Through the next few shots, they are constantly in frame over customer's heads, reminding us of what all the excitement is really about.
CONSUMER PRODUCTS: Gillette [Story]

And the mist gets thicker until it obscures everything and suddenly...

...it is not mist but ice, the side of an iceberg in a cold Nordic sea. The camera is circling the iceberg and pans to the sea where we see the dramatic reveal of a Viking longboat cutting through the clear green water. It's 1000 AD now, during the height of Viking Age. These were the original European naval explorers, pioneers, their ship designs crucial to the development seafaring as we know it. Leif Erikson landed on the shores of North America 500 years before Columbus, and this is the beginning of that historic journey west.

We fly into the open boat to see Erikson pulling a rope to raise the sail. He makes his way back to the tiller at the stern of the ships. The wind and the seas are high, waves splash up around the sides of the ship, but it is not a storm (by eschewing a storm scene, we are more likely to be able to capture live footage that is both gorgeous and inspirational). The sun shines brilliantly as the sea spray make rainbows above the deck. The boat is just leaving the safety of coastal waters. Perhaps the camera goes underwater and captures the boat rowing past icebergs. The oarsmen pull their oars with strength and vigor. Frost clings to their beards and steam rises from their sweating brows in the icy cold air.
CARS: Toyota HiLux [Look & Feel]

As he gets more desperate in his loneliness, Bill’s appearance becomes more derelict. He looks perhaps almost mad. Walking along a beach, his beard is a foot long and his eyes crusty from weeping. He is a broken shell of a man, still stoic but cracking inside. Maybe he has a large rock tied around his chest as he trudges toward the calling waves.

Suddenly, he sees his HiLux glistening on the shore. It’s a glorious, golden hour moment. We choreograph the visuals of this moment to capture the fullness of this tender reunion. Bill sees the truck. The truck sees Bill. Bill takes a deep breath and the bands of rope snap one by one, freeing him from his terrible burden. The bonds of sorrow can be broken–the moment seems to say–but not a HiLux or a man’s love for it, which are unbreakable.

We cut to the truck, where a piece of seaweed falls to the ground. We see an EXTREME CU as Bill blinks in slo-mo blinks back a tear. We cut to a drop of water running slowly down the truck’s windshield, as if it might be crying too. Its windshield wiper wipes it away.

The music stops. Gently, Bill lays his hand on the trucks door and opens it. Seawater rushes out on to the ground, as does a still flopping fish. Bill gets in and settles himself in the seat with a squish. We see the keys in the ignition swinging gently to and fro, calling, calling, calling to him. He starts it up the truck and the radio blasts on full volume as we cut to a WIDE shot to see the reunited couple drive off into the sunset.
FOOD: Kraft [Food Styling & Cinematography]

Though the food will be organically integrated into the scene, it will still be the star of the stories. I will find ways to highlight the product characteristics within the natural flow of the lifestyle moments. To show the shred length, perhaps the daughter might dangle a long piece of cheese over her mouth and eat it as you might a piece of freshly made spaghetti. Or the mother and daughter could feed each other a piece in the same style as a fun game they play! Perhaps our sandwich guy can spin the single in the air and catch it on his sandwich. Or place the single on with the precise eye of a sculptor to make his creation perfect.

I will elevate the cheese by surrounding it with fresh, beautiful ingredients like hand-tossed dough, crisp red tomatoes, and whole grain breads. I’ll pay attention to warm appetite cues so that the film not only looks great, but will seem to taste great too. Our consumption moments will be perfectly casual but full of savoring energy. This stuff is good! Perhaps we can shoot a time-lapse of the pizza baking, showing the entire bubbly delicious melt in a second or two. And I’ll include the product packaging where appropriate, also in natural and seemingly offhand ways. Overall, I want to make sure we cover thoroughly the product moments but as much as we can make them feel like natural extensions of these creative culinary lifestyles.
BEAUTY: NeXXus [Look & Feel]

Nothing makes a woman feel more confident, radiant, or beautiful than healthy, luminous hair. In this NeXXus campaign, our focus will be on hair, but our approach and inspiration will be taken from the world of fragrance advertising. We pay great attention to the qualities of the hair—its movement, volume, sheen, and light—but we move those qualities into a world of sensations. We focus on the feeling, not the science. Our aesthetics escape from the everyday to settle in the world of fashion and cinema. By surrounding the NeXXus brand with images that evoke an atmosphere of high-end luxury, we cast a powerful mood and feeling about beauty and hair to illuminate the benefits of NeXXus.

The mood and fashion impact of each scenario will be beautifully sculpted. Each will feature our model’s hair as integral to the overall beauty and feeling and also complement the technical aspects of the product. Each model will behave beautifully with her hair as a part of her, rather than perform hair model actions. With this approach, the campaign will not look like other hair care product advertising, with “before” and “after” demonstrations. Instead, each spot has both “affirmation” and “hero” hair moments, but we will arrive at them organically, within the natural flow of the image story.
SPECIAL PROJECTS: Verizon [Look & Feel]

Verizon NFL Webisodes

The show will look great, like a high-end, high-quality sports television show, not a low-rent web segment. These segments should feel like Sports Center in their polish and professional design. We’ll shoot the live host segments in front of a green screen using virtual set technology. Finding a really great virtual set designer will help us develop a signature look for the set.

While taking highlights and color keys from the website and Verizon branding, our set should compliment--but stand out from--the page on which it nests. We want to look “a part of” the page, but not bleed into it. Carefully complimentary colors and design will allow the video frame to stand out on the page, while still heightening the branded Verizon content that surrounds it.

The same approach goes for our motion graphics, which should also be slick, fun, and awesome. As an element, graphics can give us on-screen motion and visual excitement that will help us avoid the static feeling hosted talk shows like this can sometimes get. They too should look really high-end and move energetically. They should make the Q&A segments fun and lively to watch.
FOOD: Healthy Choice [Look & Feel]

We delight in creating delicious and beautiful food moments. We aim to romance the recipes of these five Healthy Choice entrees using natural light, shallow depth of field, and food styling that is beautiful but genuine. With pictures that aren’t too perfect – the gorgeous mess, as we like to call it – we’ll deliver scenes with an earthy reality and tantalizing crave-factor.

It’s exciting just to think about all the visual deliciousness we can bring to these inventive, exotic, and delectable recipes! Rest assured we’ll amp up the appetite appeal by creating an exquisite, naturally lit and textured environment that conveys believability for this artfully conceived food. We will leave our viewer’s mouths watering.
FRAGRANCE: Davidoff [Look & Feel]

Cool, but intense. In the same way I captured those Rugby players in the Nike spot, I want to shoot our hero in a way that brings out his inner masculinity, a certain confident sense-of-self that—no matter what you look like—you can carry inside. It’s a kind of icy eroticism in the lighting and lens choice that speaks to the feeling inside an unpretentious, yet confident, man. A sense of being inside yourself while acting in the world. A confidence of the soul.

We can achieve this by lighting as I would for a still shoot, using soft lighting panels and playing with the key light on the model to give the image a rich, highly-contrasted texture.

I’d like to shoot with a special HD camera. Going HD allows me to operate the camera directly, getting some great angles. It also allows us to capture spontaneous moments in addition to the moments we need to nail the spot’s narrative. Using a smaller camera also allows me to capture the inner intensity of his eyes and the resolve in the small muscles of his face, those small, un- expected moments that make the experience unique.
CONSUMER PRODUCTS: Xbox [Cinematography]

Just as the Kinect gets technology out of the way of the entertainment experience, I want to get the camera out of the way of the viewing experience. I see beautifully spare, economical compositions that allow the story to be told in the simplest way possible. I want a camera with no affectation, no modish angles, in fact, no tricks at all.

Your storyboard drawings say a lot about the project. Most are full length and effectively show how the whole body engages with the Kinect experience. The charm and joy comes from seeing the whole person engaged in game play. I'll let my camera be a careful observer of these scenes, not an intruder. I'll shoot straight-on or three-quarter, move with grace, and avoid wide or long lenses in favor of simpler ones with great depth of field. I want the cinematography to look as natural as the naked eye.
BEAUTY: Avon [Lighting & Camera]

I will capture the subtle sense of journey in the spot with a journey of light. The fresh girlishness of the early frames I will suggest with an airy, thin light of dawn. As we transition into our cave setting, the light gets more graphic, bold, and precise. Here we can use light that highlights the beautiful radiance of our model’s skin. We use more reflections, light shafts, sparkles off the water. Here we darken the chroma to experience a deeper richness in the light and the environment that gives us a deeper connection to the product’s benefits. This crème gets inside you, we are saying, and brings your inner beauty to your skin.

In the cave, we will also subtly incorporate amethyst-hued light. It flickers and reflects around on our model and the frame, especially in that “magical moment” toward the end when the elemental beauty of the gem seems to merge with the radiant beauty of our model.

As we transition again out of the cave, I will imbue our film with the warmer tones of golden hour and the warm purple light we get just after sunset. I want a clear expansive sunset that calls you forward in life.

The luxuriance of skin is best captured with a slightly over-cranked camera, so I will be shooting at speeds from 25 to 50 fps. I want the movement of our model to feel alive and spontaneous, yet retain a certain poetic quality. I may use higher speeds to capture some of the more abstract images of water or for some of the product photography.
CARS: Ford [Cinematography]

Let’s capture and highlight his bracing honesty with a slightly liberated approach with the camera. A little camera drift will add intimacy to the experience, an ultimately, believability to the message. But let’s use restraint. Shots should feel organic without feeling too hand-held. We don’t want to be distracting or impose the camera on the situation. The camera – as the viewer’s curious eye – wants to be in the room and part of the experience, rather than watching from afar.

Given the choice, for this project, I lean towards shooting film. There's a certain integrity of the film grain that lends itself nicely to the work ethic of mechanics, the visual aesthetic of the location, and, of course, the genuine sentiment behind our message. Having said that, naturally, I’ve been shooting digital HD lot lately, and am perfectly comfortable shooting this project on the Red. It would give us a clean, contemporary look, which is perfectly appropriate (and attainable with both media).

I want to create a pacing that is more languid, to let these human moments play out without feeling rushed or frenetic. Editing should be retrained. We allow some moments to play out - to allow Mike some silent facial reactions, to absorb his personality, his wry humor and his message – without feeling the need chop it up with rapid cuts.
CONSUMER PRODUCTS: Purina [Cinematography]

As you've seen on my reel, I've had the pleasure of shooting a lot of rich outdoor imagery. I will capture a lot of our vista shots using natural light and I have consistently found shooting 35mm film gives me a pure, organic feeling that can't be found as well digitally. There is a depth and resolution to film that can help me then develop a unique look for the spot.

The language of this film should embrace a large visual vocabulary. We have three general types of scene to explore—gorgeous outdoor spaces that breathe, intimate moments between man and animal, and more energetic moments of action. I love the diversity and range of these moments, and feel we can use a full assortment of cinematic tools to achieve them. I'd like to shoot both real-time and slow motion, with both long lenses and wide ones, and with a loose freedom to compose and capture really special images. I think this approach will give take the spot to another level of cinematic majesty and help us capture really heartfelt scenes.
PHARMACEUTICAL: Prevnar [Cinematography]

The direct-to-camera interviews will look like classic portraiture, beautifully lit with single source key lights and soft fill. A bit like a Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring, faces will be beautiful and luminous. I’ll shoot them against a solid color background. In their direct simplicity, our interviews will capture the sincerity and emotional authenticity of our performers.

I’ll shoot a medium, mid-torso shot and an extreme close-up, so we can get both a sense of the character overall and a deeply intimate experience of the story they tell. We might even discuss shooting them in black-and-white (or treating them later). The stark beauty might be striking and put focus on the actor’s eyes. Whichever way we go, they will be able to speak intimately to the viewer in a way that feels honest and affecting.

Our “positive” moments will be filled with light, color, and liveliness. The camera will be handheld with an easy, human float to it. The aspirational images we capture in the hotel rooms and bedroom room before the wedding will have movement and grace, a light and happy feeling-tone. These are anticipated moments yet-to-come, and so are flawless in their lighthearted beauty and joy. We’ll feel as if we are almost dancing gracefully in these scenes, moving in a way slightly lighter than air.
CARS: Porsche [Cinematography]

The look and feel of the film is authentic, sophisticated, graphic, and cinematic. Shooting with a slightly over-cranked, high frame rate enables me to draw the audience into the details of each scene, automatically increases the perceived speed of the Porsche Cayenne, and creates the fluid, heightened feeling that you experience driving on the open road.

Using long lenses to film the Porsche Cayenne will isolate it as the main focal point, simply lending an extra dimension of clarity, prominence, and soul to the vehicle. Employing these same lenses for our characters will, similarly, allow us to quickly establish the genuine personalities of the Porsche devotees. In each scenario, the camera is very fluid and dynamic, seamlessly jumping from establishing shots to close-ups. Rather than sweeping camerawork, I will mix lock-offs, precise drifts that enable us to glide in and around our subject, and focus shifts that will allow us to quickly refocus our attention, so that the precise, sculpted lines of the sheet metal and the refined interior feel inviting and intimate.

Through small camera movements I want to create a flow and pace that lends an integral, natural energy to the spot like a modern ballet. Our glimpse into the sheer passion of these Porschephiles is authentic and compelling on its own. Combined with the dynamic, lithe maneuverings of the Porsche Cayenne’s early morning drive we will make clear the deep,inextricable bond between the Cayenne and person who covets it.
CONSUMER PRODUCTS: 5 Gum [Visual Effects]

We will create a room that seems to be filled with a dark, metallic-looking non-Newtonian fluid. Imagine these extraordinary forms twisting, morphing rising up in front of our hero as he leaps, flips, hangs, clambers, and twists his way to the top. They bend their form to meet each move, like a wonderful ballet of shared energy that passes from one to the other in almost perfect synchrony and athletic rhythm. And then consider the growing scale of these abstract forms as they swell and rise under the feet of our hero, taking him high off the ground, as he masters the constantly shifting and reforming terrain.

Because we are the filmmakers, of course, we can design those shapes in any way that suits our purpose to express the excitement and brand image of the product, as suggested by my sample photos. The substance will also reflect light in wonderful ways as it moves, grow, forms, and recedes, catching whatever highlight colors we project onto it.
BEVERAGE: Smirnoff [Design]

Everything we see on screen will be influenced and inspired by the Smirnoff Fluffed and Whipped bottles and design sense. Smirnoff style and color cues will be seamlessly integrated into furniture, rooms, wardrobe, and make-up. In some sense, it is as if these scenes live within the world of the product, a fantastical and exotic world of vibrant beauty and sensual delight. I’ll make the product a cinematic part of the visual world.

These bottles are beautiful architectural objects that refract light beautifully; we’ll see them throughout our various scenarios. I will shoot them heroically, in ways that exalt and attract but that also make them seem natural and embedded parts of these beautiful environments. We’ll find ways to have fun with this, to make these products a part of an amazing life and send thirst and flavor cues that will drive desire.
CONSUMER PRODUCTS: Samsung [Location & Set Design]

Modern European design, taken to the next level. Italian and German kitchen design has been the leading visual edge, but this look can feel sterile and has been around for some time; it doesn't have the impact it once had. I want to embrace the esthetic but make it more current by letting it feel more lived in.

We can use the same design lines combined with organic materials-- touches of wood and stone mixed in with the stainless steel and sharp graphic lines-- to create a space more comforting, one with a slightly more feminine feel that says "home."

We'll build the kitchen-- the washer could be here too-- but for the lifestyle moments we need to see other parts of the house. Again, we'll look for a sharply modern home that feels welcoming and real, a Dwell magazine house that embraces the life of a smart, forward thinking family, progressive in attitude and aware of the environment.

We'll choose bright, light colors and look for opportunities to exploit natural lighting, especially in the background, so these moments will have sparkle and vibrancy.
FOOD: Caramilk [CG / Art Direction]

The machine must be flat-out amazing, like nothing ever seen before. The design embraces vintage industrial, steampunk, modern, hi-tech, and futurism all at the same time. In places it has the complexity of a fighter jet’s cockpit while elsewhere it’s as simple and sophisticated as a Lamborghini. Not your standard food factory contraption, it’s not only impressive to look at but you get the feeling you are one of the few that have actually laid eyes on it, as if you are at the Pentagon seeing the nuclear defense mainframe, or seeing the pirate ship for the first time in the movie Goonies. This mash-up of industrial design will give the machine a timeless feeling, one that matches well the brand history: this is a classic campaign ushering in something new.
CONSUMER PRODUCTS: Gillette [Visual Effects]

It is most important that our transformation technique seem totally realistic, utterly seamless, and a lot of fun. The audience should fell like they are watching a normal sort of interview, and then the star reaches up unexpectedly, and ---Zooop! —the hair on their face changes. It will be so cool people will want to watch it over and over.

I'll use the morphing technique to do this, a process I am very familiar with and use a lot. It will look totally real, as if it all happened live in front of the camera. No use of green screen or anything that makes the shot look fake or stiff. Morphing is great for that.

This is because with morphing, the shot before the transition is completely real, in camera, and the shot after the transition is, too. In between, we shoot a few stages, to get some details, with real interactions between the hands and the mustache or beard, and we'll use these stages as intermediate points in the morph.

Crucially important to the effect feeling completely organic in the shot will be the approach I take to shooting. A lot of the times, directors will simplify their camera moves to make it easier for the post effect. I will shoot in a natural way, the way I want, and then use the technique the way I want to. The technique is at the service of the film, not the other way.
APPAREL: Kmart [Concept]

The key to finding this sense of revelation on the screen lies in the seamless integration of the still shots and motion images within animated "photo frames," and how those frames move through the viewers’ consciousness.

I want to build an almost seamless, cut-less, visual choreography of frames in constant motion. Starting on a moving image that moves away from us, it becomes a still frame surrounding the next featured moving image. As each central images recedes to background, it becomes part of an energetic mosaic of "behind the scenes" footage, graphic details, and other elements of the ongoing story.

Establishing this, we can then vary the convention, with central images being a backstage moment--models trying something on, hair and make up getting them ready--then these moments transitioning to that same model in front of the camera, enjoying their moment on stage.
CONSUMER PRODUCTS: Xbox [Set Design]

Living/family rooms present a tremendous challenge filmically. They are, to a great degree, the most personal and inhabited domestic spaces in the house. They say a great deal about the people who live there, rooting and enabling the life within them. But they can also be idiosyncratic, with a tension between look and life; too designed and they look unreal, too real and they look a mess.

We’ll need to create a series of rooms that feel authentic but uncluttered, that tell us about the inhabitants without distracting us from the central action and focus. Each must be individually and beautifully conceived but can be neither super-slick nor super-banal. Each should feel lived-in but not gritty or messy (not “documentary” in style), beautiful but not fake. Above all, these rooms cannot look like a generic single set in which we simply swap out some furniture and call it a day. We must hold on to their humanity while capturing them in a beautiful way. They need to project both quality and an identity.

Overall, we will be incredibly careful with our art direction, assuring nothing will be allowed to pull us away from the visual experience of joyful play. Our sets will be open, clean, and easy to look at. We’ll also keep their color palettes open and clean. We’ll keep texture to a minimum and go for homey touches that are easy on the eye. We’ll pay very sharp attention to details, like what’s outside the window, to make sure rooms are interesting, but not too interesting. Everything needs a subtle everyday-ness that still look great. I’ll keep the taste level very high.
BEAUTY: St. Ives [Casting]

GIRLS, GIRLS, GIRLS

Aiming for that 29 year old sweet spot, we want to find four or five girls in their twenties with a variety of rich skin tones.We want smooth, luminescent skin touched--but not abused--by the sun.

Our girls should have spirit--natural, cute, playful, and pixieish--and be comfortable in themselves.They need a sense of humor they can express with their bodies, comfort even when naked.

We should look for relatable proportions rather than supermodel exaggerations, beautiful but down-to-earth, of course with perfect skin.We'll shoot in Buenos Aires but also do additional casting in Brazil to broaden the range of looks we can find.

Twenty-eight is a transitional age for women, a turn from the girlishness of their twenties to the womanhood that lies ahead. For our featured face, we want to find a girl who has crossed that threshold toward the savvy of her thirties but still retains the lightness of being of her carefree twenties. She is a woman: still flirty, fun, and a little silly, but not flighty or lightweight.
CONSUMER PRODUCTS: Kotex [Casting]

Capturing the perfect tone starts with casting. We need true comedic actresses for these spots, beautiful women who can hit the joke with a mix of total conviction and smart knowingness. Great parody requires a sense of self-consciousness and the ability to deliver a joke without commenting on it. We need a wink that is not a wink. This quality made Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin bits so screamingly funny. She hit Palin’s notes perfectly while delivering exaggerated comic material. Watching her, you knew that she knew and she was letting you in on the joke.

We want to find beautiful actresses who are really funny, with the comic experience to nail the sort of contemporary timing and reactions that will connect with the U By Kotex demographic. French actress Marion Cotillard did a terrific parody of beauty ads called “Forehead Tittaes” that hit the mark really well.
PHARMACEUTICAL: Excedrin [Performance]

The idea for this spot springs from the underlying truth that though the affliction isolates, the cure connects. Migraines can be very alienating, cutting you off from almost everything around you, driving you into solitary darkness, both figuratively and, sometimes, literally. The solution, Excedrin Migraine, becomes the point of connection joining these people in common cause. This spot is about community. It should feel like the visual equivalent of social networking.

Rather than feeling like a parade of individuals reading copy to the camera, I want this spot to feel just a bit as though these people were all in the same place having a conversation, that their shared experience is so strong that they almost can finish the other’s sentences. There’s an energy that comes from being with people who understand you that well, an almost startled excitement from that intimacy that is revitalizing like no other. When you connect with someone like that, you feel reassured that you are not alone. It’s a delicate sensation, and I think I can capture a sense of it in this spot.

So our performances must all feel genuine and honest, not spokes-y. I want to push past conventional presentation and get closer to organic representation, to keep a sense of true sharing going throughout. There’s an earnest enthusiasm that you feel when you share a solution to a common problem with a friend, and it shows. You are inspired, caring, and intimate. I want to capture this spirit in the spot.
CONSUMER PRODUCTS: Xbox [Casting]

Our game play spots are movement driven. The charm and fun of the Kinect experience comes through when you watch people move. In fact, it’s something of a double experience: we tell one story—the purely human story—when we watch people moving but don’t show the game, and another one when we show them and the game screen in the same shot (users get this fun when they see the automatic Kinect snapshots of themselves after playing).

When casting, then, I’ll look for people who bring natural magic and joy to their movement, and who do so in an unselfconscious way. I’ll look for rhythms, idiosyncrasies (do they stick their tongue out unconsciously?), and grace, movement that feels personal, unique, and expressive. For the kids, I’ll look for those with natural athleticism, those whose gross motor skills lend their young bodies natural flow and ease. They should also have the ability to adjust or modify their movement if we want to stage something a bit for camera. In general, we’ll have few issues with self-consciousness because kids get naturally lost in the game.
FOOD: Taco Bell [Casting]

These comic performances occur at the intersection of his insecure attempt to muster courage and her total focus on the melt. He’s not a geek, far from it, just an ordinary boy with an extraordinary crush. Likewise, she is not a bombshell, just an ordinarily attractive young girl who would believably work in a Taco Bell. In fact, the more ordinary they are, the funnier the situation becomes.

We sense our boy has been watching this girl forever, waiting for his moment to sneak in and ask her out, practicing endless times in the mirror at home to get it just right. He smartens himself up a bit, but he’s tense, invested, genuine in this, the biggest moment of his young life. Anticipation drives his comedy performance. In turn, she does not shoot him down or willfully crush his dreams; she just misses the moment, entirely focused, as she is, on doing the best melting job she can.

As we work our way through casting, let’s look for actors who can approach the material with a light, natural comic touch that feels authentic. I’d like to get the feeling this is a captured moment, overheard rather than staged. The spot should be simple but funny, and true to life.
FRAGRANCE: Davidoff [Casting]

Finding our hero is key to our success. I always look for subjects who are beautiful and real, impressive in physique yet accessible to our target demo.

I would love to look at boxers, find someone super good looking but whose nose has seen combat. A face with character. Boxers give us that intensely cut physique coupled with the inner concentra- tion of someone who knows how to handle himself when the going gets tough. They have natural inner focus–and a bit of an edge–and can project it without forcing it, a quality to which men instinctively relate. Strength comes from inside.

Boxers also embody a purity of movement that keep us grounded in the Real, away from the glossy look of so many other fragrance brands. When our hero leans back on the bench to create our key visual, we want to see a man of coiled power in repose, not an underwear model posing. Boxers bring masculine, blue-collar credibility to everything they do.
FOOD: Ore-Ida [Casting]

I love working with children and actively seek out these jobs. As a father of three young kids, I know how to communicate with children, to make them laugh and connect with them in an inspirational way. The love and joy that I have filming my own children is equal to the love and joy I have filming kids on set.

Capturing honest and natural performances is central to pulling off this spot. My success doing so in the past comes from the fact I create a fun, stress-free environment on set and never let kids feel pressured or rushed. Between takes I play music or throw around a ball with them. I encourage them to be themselves, to improvise, to be in the moment. A little relaxed improvisation can heighten and inform an entire spot. Kids “are” their roles, so I turn the set into a place they can just “be” and have fun. I’m a great cheerleader.

When casting children I don’t try and find an actor to play a role, I cast a kid who embodies the role. I like to discover diamonds in the rough and often ask my casting director to audition both actors and non-actors. Some of the best performers I have worked with were novices. I look for kids who capture effortlessly the spirit of the character. During the casting process, I don’t just ask a child to recite their lines, I interview them and give them exercises that allow us to evaluate how natural they will be and how well they take direction.
PHARMACEUTICAL: Seroquel [Sound Design & Music]

A small stream running through your backyard property makes the land feel younger and more alive. This could be the role of music in the spot. Something light to contrast what you are seeing, something that conveys a bit of optimism through the depression. The music’s pace could perhaps be a little faster than the visuals to add a bit of uplift and drive to the visual narrative.

We suggest something contemporary and light, could be classical instrumentation or electronic, uplifting without being "happy-happy.” The music conveys the sense of the possible.

We also believe that adding a bit of ambient sound will add texture and realism to the spot, making it feel more authentic and three-dimensional. A bit of Foley–the call bell on the bus, the rustling of a shopping cart, the click of a spoon against a mug, or the whoosh of a steam wand–will provide a genuine, cinematic touch, enhancing our connection to the scene. We want to avoid something as artificial as a VO track just slapped on an image. We could shoot both MOS and with sound, as desired.
CONSUMER PRODUCTS: 5 Gum [Sound Design]

The sound design should capture the aural sensation of the energy buzzing and vibrating in the room and add an emotional element as well. It should be thrilling, but not too mechanical or cold.

I’d like to hear a deep, warm vibrating sound in the room to which create tension and mirror the thrumming energy in the room. I’d like to hear his breath as he moves, human and warm, to bring us close and involve us in the action, and perhaps a minimal, emotional melody line underscoring actions of our hero. It can be full and rich, but should maintain an underlying humanity that brings us into the event.

Hans Zimmer’s track, “Time,” for the film Inception, gives us a good reference, not so much in the classical style of the music (I want something more contemporary and less “scored”), but for the emotional value in there, the pumping musical line (where it grows stronger about a minute into the track). It’s just something to keep in mind, the effect of adding a highly emotional note to the coldness of pure sound design.
FRAGRANCE: Davidoff [Sound Design]

Our sound design must reflect the inner concentration and focus of our subject, and also support the narrative flow of the spot.

I would like to explore the possibility of using a pure sound collage built from the strains of ambient noise you might hear in a gym: the heartbeat, the haunting quality of the countdown voice-over, the clank of weights clanging, strains of piped-in music, the sounds of steam and showers. This pastiche of sound should be filtered, stretched, and treated so that the elements seems at the edge of consciousness, the remote way you perceive sound when you are deep inside yourself, intensely focused on the task at hand. The or- ganic sounds of the heartbeat and voice over mixed with the ambient sounds to create a kind of mantra, which builds on itself as the spot progresses.

Stretching and treating the sound will also help us create the sense of time passing, of the images being a condensation of an essential experience. Sound will also help us seamlessly transition from part one to part two of the spot, allowing us to introduce the post-workout sounds subliminally into the mix, to shift its tone from one of control and focus to one of repose and reward.
SPECIAL PROJECTS: Ford [Nonfiction]

Hopefully, you recognize something essential about me from my work. More than anything I can say in these pages, my work reflects something about who I am and about my deep and abiding passion for the emotion of human story. My films reflect my core humanity. I hope you see in them the care and specificity of my vision, the affecting aspects of my storytelling style, my affinity for universal emotional chords, the deep trust and connection I develop with my subjects, the amount of personal intimacy they then share with my cameras, and the importance I place on the cinematic quality of the images I produce.

.....

I’m a fairly young guy, and very much in tune with the aesthetic of online content and viral campaigns. For maximum impact and success, it’s critical that our content offer a genuine experience without overt salesmanship. No one in these films should talk about technology; they talk about their passions while technology happens, enabling their lives to be what they want them to be. If they do mention the tech, it’s natural not presentational, and relates to the effects it has on their lives, not how it works (“I love the way that computer lady voice mangles those names!”). These stories are about tech as a means to living, not an end in itself, tech as an integral, transparent part of life.
BEVERAGES: Heineken [Choreography]

I understand the nuances of expressing yourself physically to music. More than just steps, more than just choreography, great dancing expresses a deep physical connection. It carries a sense of who you are to another person. Great dancing is a dialog as well, a conversation between bodies in space—it should tell an electric story.

In “Dancer,” we tell a cultural story through two different types of contemporary movement. When the DJ adds a sexy salsa beat to his mash up, the tone of the dance changes. When our hero gets the girl, they move in a way that turns up the heat in the whole room, a sense of physical connection we instantly understand was lacking before he hit the floor. And it’s infectious. When our couple starts dancing, others join in. The whole room takes on a different energy.
FOOD: Healthy Choice [Food Styling]

Great styling is our secret weapon for creating simple, modern little worlds with personality, reality, and a tiny bit of imperceptible added interest that subliminally attracts viewers. We use few objects and simple surfaces that don’t compete with, clutter, or distract, but rather create beautiful scenes that reveal authenticity and enhance the deliciousness of these inspired dishes so inventively conceived by Healthy Choice.

We always love to combine food and its real ingredients in shots put together in a natural and lovely way. It shouldn’t look too perfect, overworked, or antiseptic; we strive for a look that is loose, authentic, and appealing. If a drip of sake sauce or a bit of apple falls loose – all the better. This illusion of a touchable reality feels contemporary, and goes a long way to convey appetite appeal and freshness.
FASHION: Target [Approach]

I will, of course, focus on the clothes in this spot. But I don't want to feel like a catalog. I will take a much fresher, less forced approach, showing how they are worn, how they live in a natural environment, and how great they make you feel when you wear them. As we out around in the spot, examining details and moments that tell the narrative story, I'll catch details of the clothes that show them a comfortable and cool part of life. I'll find natural moments of interaction with the clothes where we can focus on them without it feeling contrived or staged. I'll show the fashion in a genuine way that we can relate to.

We can help the clothes stand out by carefully choosing colors to separate them from the background pallet obviously, but I'll also use film techniques to lift them away from the background. I'll work with a very shallow depth of field. With ND filters we can shoot this very nice DOP that will enhance the clothes or whatever we want to focus on. We will light them well and shoot details in ways that make them "pop" out. Throughout, we'll get a feeling that they are not only great looking, but feel great to wear too. Each shirt and hoodie should seem like someone's favorite, the one that makes him or her feel like who they are.
SPECIAL PROJECTS: Buick [Nonfiction]

Nonfiction filmmaking at its heart is a dialog between filmmaker and subject. The ground upon which that conversation is held—how the moment is conceived, planned, prepared, and shaped—is essential to the success of the outcome. It’s not just about technology or production, its very importantly about who you are as a storyteller, how you approach the work, how your subjects feel about you and relate to you, and what you see in them while they do.

I love to interview people. Over the years, I've learned how to elicit strong responses, self-contained bytes, relevant information, and spontaneous comments that reveal a subject’s humanity while conveying important messages. First and foremost, I establish a comfort zone that makes people feel very much at ease. That atmosphere allows for our "real people" to have fun, be human, and express themselves in unpretentious ways. I work hard to establish trust from the very earliest phase of interaction. When people trust, they seem trustworthy, a quality vital to establishing a strong connection with the viewer.
APPAREL: Kmart [Post]

In my twenty years of shooting, I've learned that post houses need more elements than you would expect. We will need to shoot a good number of abstract images for our background frames, both to reduce costs and to insure a cohesive visual style throughout the spot.

We should budget a couple of hours each day to shoot elements the GFX house can use to layer detail into the frames: glitter dust falling against a black background, sparks, light disks out of focus, flashbulbs, make-up jars, a wind machine, a makeup mirror. The more detail and specificity we can capture with abstract images that say "photo shoot," the richer and more layer will be our final mosaic.

I also liked your idea to shoot the text plates in-camera. Superimposed text might contribute to a distancing from this story, a hard-sell that might tip us towards artificiality. Text that lives in space with the clothes might support a more organic tone to the spot. With so much animation and image manipulation going on in the final cut, let's keep real as many elements as we can.
FOOD: Outback [Food Styling]

Handmade is in the details. Yes, the food looks great and the kitchen is spotless, but elsewhere in the frame, around the featured food, we will see those warm and genuine touches that feel personal. Butcher-block cutting boards, serving dishes that anyone could own. Carving knives lying next to freshly sliced onions and peppers. We'll balance the right amount of professional clean with a hominess that makes you hungry.

I'll also shoot slightly wider angles of kitchen activity to accent the handmade to order aspect of the product image. We'll see chefs slicing fresh vegetable and tossing salads, while they grill steaks to perfection.

We'll illuminate and stage our food shots to suggest freshness and lightness of the food. The new wood fire grill brings a new texture and imagery to the Brand, freeing us from the griddle. I'll look for angles that accent the air surrounding the grilling meat. Flames licking the beef will dovetail from the flame images in our location scenes to create continuity in the visual storytelling.
SPECIAL PROJECTS: T-Mobile Live Event [Choreography]

What makes Glee the cultural phenomenon it is, and to some degree what made flash mobs the viral sensation they are, is a sense of authenticity. There is a sense that real people coming together in common purpose can achieve great things. The kids of Glee could be yours or mine. Their genuine humble qualities allow us to do remarkably polished work that still feels like it’s coming from high school kids. In a time when people feel increasingly controlled and bombarded by slick, manufactured moments, the ability to connect with the wonder of the real can be absolute magic.

That’s the way I’d like to approach this live event. I want to generate a sense of wonder and fun, an innocent sort of spectacle that—even though it is meticulously staged and shot—feels genuine and homemade. Anyone can stage a Super Bowl Halftime Show in the Mall of America. I believe this event will be truly spectacular if it feels very organically grown. Part of our story—which we will tell throughout all media after the event—is that we will cast this production in part with local performers. Though we will also use plenty of pros, it will feel homegrown.

While this is not a flash mob, it will be very cool and more genuine if it is unexpected. We’ll camouflage our technology as much as possible. We’ll mix our lights in with the mall lights so no one will notice them. We’ll hide playback speakers in decorations where they won’t be seen. The performers will emerge from hallways and access doors...

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