I’ve been making television commercials for nearly three decades. And I’ve been privileged to work with some truly amazing people: editors like Hank Corwin, DP’s like Bob Richardson and Conrad Hall, visionary directors like Tarsem, Pam Thomas and Vadim Perlman. Along the way, I’ve worked with Michael Jordan, LL Cool J, Harvey Keitel and more athletes than I care to count. And with every job, whether global or local, big or small, I’ve learned something new about the craft and making the work better.
If I had to sum all that up into five guidelines, they would be these:
- More great spots are lost in edit than direction. Always hire the best production house and make sure your editor totally buys into the idea.
- Casting makes or breaks spots, wardrobe doesn’t. If you disagree with a client on wardrobe, that’s a small thing–disagreeing on performance is another matter entirely.
- If you feature a celebrity, know their voice and style intuitively. If not, your work will ring hollow and false.
- Reward the viewer–it is always about them, not you or even your client. If you create empathy or delight, your work will resonate. And spread.
- Pack light for a global shoot. And always layer.