Who’s doing what
Directors gets down on the farm
Some recent highlights from the Toronto-based Directors Film Company reel include the spectacular ‘Milk Rap’ campaign for the Dairy Farmers of Ontario via BBDO, Toronto. Director Rob Quartly was responsible for bringing hip hop to the farm. Quartly also worked on ‘Guy Caballero’ for Rogers Video on Demand via MacLaren McCann, Toronto.
Director Jorn Haagen’s spot for Labatt Blue Light raised some eyebrows when it aired during the Canadian broadcast of the Super Bowl. Labatt’s Toronto HQ received dozens of complaints after airing the ad, which shows two women sharing a long, slow kiss. Haagen was also behind the more wholesome Drinking and Driving Counterattack campaign for DDB Canada, Vancouver.
Radke tops lists during Super Bowl fever
Radke Films celebrated two successes during this year’s much hyped Super Bowl. Radke director Jeff Gorman helmed ‘Good Dog’ for Anheuser Busch’s Bud Light brand through Toronto’s Downtown Partners DDB. Radke also produced Procter & Gamble’s Super Bowl debut: directing veteran Bob Giraldi shot Charmin ‘Snap’ for Publicis, New York. The ad made Advertising Age’s 2004 top 10 list.
New staff at YYZ
Toronto’s YYZ just signed Vancouver-based director William Morrison, bringing its directing roster up to five. Morrison brings considerable directorial, design and post expertise to the group, as is evident in his music video work for acts such as Matthew Good, Skinny Puppy and Gwar. Meredith Dorion, YYZ’s new head of sales, sees ‘huge crossover potential’ in the director.
Imported Artists signs Diplock
Toronto’s Imported Artists has signed award-winning Canadian director Randy Diplock, formerly of Toronto-based Applebox Productions and then Park City Films, both now defunct. Diplock is known for his diverse style of comedy and visual storytelling. Prior to directing, Diplock worked as a copywriter and art director with Toronto shops ChiatDay, J. Walter Thompson, BBDO and MacLaren McCann.
Imported Artists also takes credit for the lavish six-minute Ford production that wrapped the season premiere of Global’s 24 in October. L.A.-based director Gary Johns shot ‘The Donation’ on location in Toronto. Johns is best known for directing the very first Out of the Blue spot for Labatt, ‘Streetcar.’
Reginald Pike loves Perlorian
Untitled subsidiary Reginald Pike, based in Toronto, has seen more than a few high profile projects recently.
Canadian directing team The Perlorian Brothers recently tossed a Winnebago over a cliff for Clorox Canada’s Glad brand, via DDB Canada, Toronto. Duo Ian Letts and Michael Gelfand started directing just six months ago, after leaving creative posts at Toronto’s Ogilvy & Mather. The pair also shot spots for British Airways via M&C Saatchi in New York and The Movie Network via Toronto agency Taxi.
Director Mark Gilbert was behind the camera for ‘Autopsy.’ The spot, shot for the Vancouver-based Women’s Information Safe House via Rethink, shows a prostitute enduring an autopsy before she’s even dead.
Ace not in the hole
Vancouver-based full-service prodco Ace Film Company has been hard at work despite a downturn in the roadhousing biz.
Director/cameraman Allen Jones recently completed two Thrifty Foods spots for Vancouver-based Grey Worldwide Northwest and is working on two more. Shot on location on Vancouver Island, the comical ads show Thrifty Foods employees as heroes in their communities to illustrate the tagline ‘Some people were just meant to work here.’
Ace in-house editor Jamie Thorne shot a ‘making of’ video of the production designed to create enthusiasm among employees who could aspire to be in the next commercial.
Jones worked on a pool of Ikea spots for Vancouver’s Negus Communications, set to break in the U.S. in March. He also shot ads for Valley Mortgage and Toyo Tires with Vancouver-based Hotshop Communications.
Buck goes buckwild
Recent work at Toronto’s Buck Productions includes multiple spots for Spinmaster Toys’ retro product line and Thinkway Toys’ new Neopets product line. Other projects include a cross-promotional spot for Sony PlayStation 2 and retail outlet EB Games (via Toronto’s Segal Communications), and a spot for a Nickelback promotion for Rogers’ Text for Tickets campaign (via The Agency Group in Toronto).
Up next, director Chris Crow will bypass the traditional agency route to work directly with Finnish diving company Suunto on a spot promoting the company’s high tech watches.
Highlights at Mad
Director Kevin Donovan, best known in Canada for shooting the Molson Canadian spot ‘The Rant’ has been busy. He recently worked with Cossette, Toronto on two separate McDonald’s campaigns for Toronto-based Mad Films. Donovan also went to Calgary to shoot two spots for Coors Light via FCB Toronto; shot a Molson Canadian campaign with Toronto’s Bensimon*Byrne; and recently returned from a Viagra shoot for Toronto-based Taxi in South Africa. Donovan also found time to release his first feature film last year. The Tuxedo stars Jackie Chan and Jennifer Love Hewitt.
Meanwhile, director/cameraman Robert Maya shot a two-spot campaign for McDonald’s via Cossette, Toronto; shot Freedom 55 Financial’s Africa campaign on location in South Africa via Toronto-based Bright Red Communications; worked with Toronto’s MacLaren McCann on General Motors in Florida; and shot three spots on location in the Yukon for Rogers AT&T Wireless through MacLaren McCann, Toronto.
NewNew Films likes directors in pairs
Neophyte directing duo Quinn & Cashman are the latest find from exec prod Geoff Cornish at Toronto’s NewNew Films. Just six months into their directing careers, Dominic Cashman and Quinn Vorster were selected to make an appearance in the new directors showcase at Cannes with their Adidas spot ‘Old Man.’ In October, the pair signed a deal with director’s mecca @radical.media for worldwide representation. NewNew will continue to rep the pair locally.
Quinn and Cashman, who first got on set working for Toronto art departments, were responsible for bringing the Family Channel’s Harrison family to life as part of the ‘Never a dull moment’ branding campaign through John St., Toronto. Family Channel won a silver Cassie for the integrated campaign.
Directing duo Kuntz & Maguire recently completed their first feature film project after just five years in the commercial biz. Tom Kuntz and Mike Maguire, repped internationally by MJZ, London, spent the better part of November through January on location in Toronto for their movie about American newspaper phenomenon, The Onion. The duo was also responsible for such local ads as Visa ‘Suitcase’ out of Leo Burnett, Toronto and last year’s Bud Light work through Downtown Partners DDB, Toronto.
Play Film still playing
In five short months, this Toronto prodco, built on the ashes of the now-defunct Players Film Company, has hit the ground running. Owner Phillip Mellow hopes to use Play Film to meet some of Players’ financial obligations. Business director Ivan Boddy says that, while Players has not officially declared bankruptcy, ‘that will most likely be the case.’
Meanwhile, executive producer Angie Colgoni has joined the company after 17 years with The Big Film Company in Toronto. She brings with her director Lionel Coleman, who most recently shot three 15-second films for RadioShack via Gee Jeffery & Partners in Toronto.
Halifax shop wins acclaim
Cenex, winner of the 2003 Metro Halifax Chamber of Commerce New Business of the Year award, continues to put Halifax on the production map with both roadhousing and full production services. In the last three months the prodco has shot spots for Eastlink Cable, Aliant, Atlantic 649, TimBR Mart, Kohler Windows and Entrance Systems, and the New Brunswick Department of Education.
Five years of Industry
Toronto’s Industry Films turned five this year. The shop also did a lot of work, including producing Taxi’s first spot for Nike Canada. ‘Breakaway’ shows two hockey players who venture off the ice and way out of control for Nike Hockey. The spot was director Anthony Atanasio’s first Canadian production since joining the Industry roster.
In other news, Industry celebrated the release of long-time director Vadim Perelman’s first feature film, House of Sand and Fog starring Ben Kingsley and Jennifer Connelly. The film, released by Dreamworks, was nominated for three Oscars. His executive producers at Industry proudly point out that the director’s reel was 90% Canadian.