By Mark Hodge (doddleNEWS)
Continuing our series on big time Hollywood directors who started out making television commercials. Check out part 1 here.
David Fincher: The Fight Club director is one of the best in the business, and is also known for his critically acclaimed music videos, in particular Madonna’s Vogue (1990).
However, in the 1980s, while working at production company Propaganda Films, Fincher made numerous television commercials for big brands such as Nike and Pepsi.
Fincher is another excellent example of a director who honed his craft making commercials. And despite being of this generation’s great film makers, Fincher still uses television adverts as a means of trying out ideas and techniques.
Here is Fincher’s controversial advert for American Cancer Society:
Also, here is a selection of his phenomenal commercial work for Propaganda Films:
Spike Jonze: Another filmmaker who made his name directing seminal music videos before becoming of the most distinctive feature directors around.
However, Jonze’s work in commercials is also held in the highest regard. In 2005, he was recognised by the Directors’ Guild Of America for his ‘Outstanding Achievement in Commercials’.
Jonze’s most celebrated ads are ‘Lamp’ which he produced for IKEA and, below that, ‘Pardon Our Dust’ which he made for clothing giant GAP:
Adrian Lyne: Just like British contemporaries Ridley Scott, Tony Scott and Alan Parker, Lyne cut his teeth making commercials in the 197os, for companies such as Levi’s.
In the 1980s, Hollywood producers soon realised that the quick editing and pop soundtracks of commercials transferred perfectly to the new world of blockbuster cinema.
Lyne was one of the beneficiaries of this trend, making a number of sexually charged box-office hits including Flashdance (1983) and Fatal Attraction (1987).
While speaking with The Guardian, Lyne gave an extraordinary example of how working in television commercials opened doors for him.
He said: “I remember making this ad up in Yorkshire when I got a message that Stanley Kubrick had called. He’d seen an ad I’d made for milk in which I’d used a particular type of graduated filter. He wanted to know exactly which filter I’d used.
“I rang him back from a phone box, my hand shaking. He ended up offering me the role of second unit director on Barry Lyndon. I should have done it but I didn’t. I thought that if I’d done a good job he’d get the credit and if I did a bad job, I’d get the blame.”
Here is Lyne’s famous commercial for Levi’s from 1976:
Zack Snyder: The trend of using directors who have been successful in commercials and music videos has of course never changed.
One of the most divisive filmmakers of the past 10 years is Zach Snyder (Man of Steel), who packs his features full of all the audio and visual tricks that are present in adverts.
He continues to produce groundbreaking commercials through his company Cruel and Unusual Films.
In 1998, Snyder directed this hilarious commercial for EB Beer, featuring Sid Vicious’ cover of ‘My Way’: