Although you may not have known it at the time, chances are you have seen some lesser-known works by famous directors. Not movies, or even tv shows, but other, everyday encounters that exposed you to some of Hollywood’s busiest directors. Hollywood notables cut their teeth working on music videos and advertisements (Duncan Jones, Spike Jonze, and Tarsem Singh all worked on small projects before they made their wildly successful jumps to feature film director), and it was in honing their craft in these small settings that gave them the drive, and the audience, to succeed on a larger scale. Spike Jonze used to direct skateboarding movies before he got big, and Tarsem spent quite a few years shooting commercials before he released The Cell and The Fall. These smaller projects, however silly (or awesome, as is often the case), provide the experiences and setbacks that can foster growth in an astute pupil.
A website called BobCentral serves as an online portfolio for directors who produce ads and music videos. From the OK Go treadmill video to a hilarious series of Baltic beer ads, this website provides plenty of content for users hoping to see ads that eschew the formulaic for a bit of the creative. Keep an eye out for a wonderful Pikmin ad and a certain metal woodcutter who may or may not double as a ravioli can. If you need to kill a few minutes at work, some of these ads should pass the time, and may remind you more of a short film than a product pitch. And yes, you should recognize a few of these rascals.
In honor of Willem Dafoe’s birthday (and, lets be honest, a Friday), we at Flixist thought you might enjoy a few whiskey ads (that are basically shorts) to kick off your weekend. Both of these films are superbly crafted and show off the obvious talents of the director who put them together, and it would be cruel to hoard them away and not share their “awesome” with you. Bonus points if you can tell us how in the hell the Johnnie Walker ad was made. My guess is straight CGI, but the fact that I can’t tell is a testament to its brilliance. The second ad, from competitor Jim Beam, proves that northing good comes from taking a bus to Milwaukee. Also, Willem Dafoe can convincingly moonlight as any man on the planet. Cheers, Mister Dafoe. Happy freaking birthday. Now get back to making movies.
Johnnie Walker “Invisible Man“
Jim Beam “Bold Choices“