Director: Eli Green
DP: Iam Clampett
Producer: Kevin McMahon
Why this script/concept? How does it reflect your vision as a commercial director?
I originally wanted to work in comedy but when I became a DP I worked in so many genres that I lost my voice. So I decided to find something that was easy execute and was dialogue based. And I am glad I did. It helped me find my voice again as a director and I went on to direct many different comedy spots since.
What was the casting process like?
Well I have never had much luck casting on a low budget. It takes a great deal of time to find the right actors. So instead I went to people in the comedy community and asked around, who they thought would be great for the spot. I lucked out on some great actors who gave me lots of options.
How did you search for/lock a location?
The hardest part was the location. I paid a service whom represented the house. Then I realized that even though the lawn looked great in real life, it would not be enough for camera. So, I enlisted a great Art Director Edwin Orgullo who brought the space to life with flowers and actually painting the grass a even green.
How did you select your DP, crew?
My DP has worked with me on music videos and since I keep him working on other projects he helped me on this. He was a great collaborator. In fact the whole crew is of a group I use on other projects so they were willing to help me on this. I owe everything to them in fact, because I had almost no money to make it.
How did shooting go? Any challenges?
The challenges, as always, boil down to money. You think that a simple idea could be done for almost nothing. But in fact, in commercials you need to show that you can make something great not just good. Working against time is always the challenge. Especially when you are trying to shoot during daylight.
Tell us about editing and finishing.
A relatively new editor wanted the chance to cut something so I thought it would be good to work with someone enthusiastic. Dan Lebonte was editing at a production company I was in talks with signing at the time. He did an amazing job considering the amount of different types of takes (because I let the actors imrpov a lot). He has since edited three more commercials for me and the creative agencies involved.
Color was done by a great colorist Loren White. Loren did it completely out of the kindness of his heart since he liked the spot. I owe great deal to him as well. It took my almost nine months to find the right guy.
In retrospect, is there anything you would have done differently?
They say preproduction is the director’s medium. I couldn’t agree more. Even though you want to play comedy fast and loose, you better have a good plan going in as far as coverage. I went off the boards because I saw something else possible and I think it cost me some important coverage.
Any other thoughts.
Always work with the best ideas possible. There’s no point in shooting something par. So I am in debt to the Spec Bank service. I hope that it grows more every year. Even though I am now a working director, I will always be willing to shoot great ideas for the reel.