Friday, February 17, 2012


Click to view spot on YouTube.

Director: Jason Smart
Producer: Natalie Pohorski
Director of Photography: Peter Borrud
Editor: Jason Smart
Copywriter: Andrew Lincoln

Why this script/concept? How does it reflect your vision as a commercial director?

I tend to gravitate toward comedy when it comes to commercials and I thought this spot would fit in well with the kind of reel that I wanted to build.

What was the casting process like?

Kiel Kennedy played the lead role. He was in a short film that a friend of mine did and he had also done some stand-up in the past. I saw one of his routines online and thought his demeanor and way of delivering lines would fit in really well for this spot. Also, he was hilarious in between takes which made it a lot of fun.The girl was played by my friend Natalie who was also the producer on the project. We've worked together a lot in the past so it just worked out very nicely.

How did you search for/lock a location?

Originally the script called for shooting in an intersection at a 4-way stop. We didn't have the resources to pull that off so Andrew (the writer) and I decided to move it to a driveway. Some friend's of mine lived in that house at the time and were kind enough to let us shoot there for a few hours. It really took the pressure off and allowed us to get a lot of takes and try different things with the performances.

How did you select your DP, crew?

My really good friend Peter Borrud who is amazing to work with was kind enough to come out and shoot this for me. We were roommates several years ago in college and had wanted to work on something for awhile. Everyone else on the crew were friends from film school. We found our make-up artist through CraigsList and she did a great job and was fun to work with.

How did shooting go? Any challenges?

The shooting went great! We all had a great time and shot the entire spot in less than 6 hours. We had to move pretty quickly because we didn't have the budget for any lights whatsoever so everything was lit by the sun and some bounce boards here and there. Toward the end we had to make adjustments to compensate for the sun starting to go down but Peter did a fantastic job of getting the lighting consistent throughout. We shot on the 7D with Canon lenses so it allowed us to move really quick as well.

Tell us about editing and finishing.

I edited this spot and did the coloring myself. Normally I like to work with an editor to see what they can bring to the project but we were also submitting this for an online contest which had an immediate deadline so we didn't have that option. My good friend Molly Jenson provided the voice for the GPS.

In retrospect, is there anything you would have done differently?

I'm always the guy who will look at a piece after it's been shot and think, "Why didn't I have so-and-so do that!" or "I should've had such-and-such move his hand this way instead of that!" I think it's just the way I am. For this spot specifically I think I would've probably changed up the girl's blocking slightly and widened up a bit on some of the coverage. Also, this was my first crack at directing a commercial and in retrospect I think I would've played around with different lines while shooting. I think it would've given me more options in the editing room. Other than that I'm really happy with the way it turned out.