This is an ever-evolving story of a girl writer and her two greatest loves, the movies and travel. As she hikes the trenches of Hollywood, you're brought along for the ride.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Scowl And A Smoke Doesn't Get You Far

A couple of weeks ago, I worked on a car commercial. The director looked like Kurt Cobain. He smoked like a chimney. He paced back and forth, always with a pissy scowl on his face. I never once saw him smile.

Yes, they were running late and toward the end, they were losing the light. The footage, however, looked amazing! Even as I watched take after take, there sat the director stewing in his own juices and glaring at the monitor.

Okay, commercials might not be the epitome of this directing dream of his, but he is a working director. Most people would gnaw all their fingernails off and shave their head just to be working as a director in the field.

Commercial directors do seem to have more people to answer to than feature or television directors. There’s the crew, the production company, a seemingly never-ending parade of agency people, and then there’s the client [in this case, the car company.]

Everyone thinks they know how to sell the product. Everyone thinks they know how to shoot a commercial. Watching the “everyones” mingle in the middle is a unique and educational experience in human behavior.

I know both sides. I studied/majored/got a degree in advertising. Most of my working experience, however, has been in production. I came to a realization that sometimes there are things that I just enjoy studying, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that I want to do them. Luckily, I can continue my studies since there never seems to be any shortage of advertising.

Maybe our commercial director here was pissed off because never in his wildest dreams did he think he’d be “selling cars for a living.” It all depends on a person’s mindset.

To him, I’d say “There are far worse things.”
To him I’d say, “Here are a few…”

~ Workplaces that don’t allow constant smoking.
~ Jobs that would require you to wear a butt-ugly uniform.
~ Jobs where you have to bring your own lunch (or lunch money.)
~ Being out in the sun all day, digging holes in the freeway.
~ Doing other peoples’ laundry.
~ Coming home every day with the scent of Chinese food permeating through every one of you pores.

So, “selling cars for a living” by directing car commercials? Not really so bad there, buddy.

Maybe if he’d smiled or was more communicative, he’d have a shot of progressing beyond “commercial fare” or [ at the very least ] they’d let him drive the car. Then again, maybe that’s what he wanted all along—just a shot at driving the fancy-schmancy car.

Copyright © 2008 KLiedle

No comments:

Post a Comment