What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received and why?
In production you should always hope for the best, yet plan for the worst. It’s great advice because no matter what you do in production, you will face some unexpected surprises. So it’s better to plan or be prepared for them rather than be surprised by them.
How did you get your start in this industry?
I came to NYC as part of an internship program with 20 other college students interested in the media industry. It felt like MTVs Real World, but for media students. I was placed at an ad agency in my chosen field of production and decided to stay and make a career of it. I knew I wanted to get into production, I just didn’t know what it was like to be in commercial production.
What’s your favorite piece of work you’ve been a part of bringing to life?
We were given a very open brief from JCPenney to create a special film for the holiday season before that became a yearly thing. The creatives came up with a wonderful story about a little girl who decides to build a rocket to go to the North Pole to visit Santa and we collaborated with Fredrik Bond to bring it to life. We even secured a rare demo version of a John Lennon song that Yoko Ono herself approved for use in the commercial, saying that John would have loved the film. I’ve had numerous creatives reference that work since then.
Who is one of your biggest influencers?
Spike Jonze: even though I couldn’t be farther from being a skateboarding Californian, I have always loved the range and depth of his work. From his early music video work with Bjork to his feature films like “Her” or “Where the Wild Things Are.” He is so versatile and so innovative. It’s been nice to see him back in the commercial space with Kenzo and Apple in the last year or so.
What does your sixth sense tell you is going to be the next ‘big thing’ in the industry?
Virtual Reality! No… Augmented Reality! Wait – 6-second ads!, yeah those. Or how about blockchain?! Yeah, that’s the ticket! What about live ads?
I’m joking of course. I love new technology. And I love bringing back old technology (sculpture, stop motion animation, etc.)
For me, it always comes back to creativity. Ideas are what resonate more than anything else. It helps if they can be targeted more efficiently or incorporate a new technology. But it starts with the idea every time.