VIDEO: When Movie Directors Do Commercials
By Kipp Tribble Posted Dec 17th 2009 03:10PM
Films: 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind', 'Be Kind, Rewind'
Michel Gondry is a master at the 'how'd he do that?' special effect, and this ad for Smirnoff does not disappoint. This high-octane comic book-inspired string of action sequences features the hero helping a hot red head escape a snarling Yul Brynner lookalike, dodging danger over-and-over in "bullet time" (think 'The Matrix'). In genius Gondry fashion, all the sequences are transitioned through the ad's product: a bottle of Smirnoff.
With this Levi's ad, Gondry sprinkled in some Fellini and haunted us from the opening shot. The tracking action through an obviously struggling town is accompanied by the electronic beat, "Novelty Waves", by Biosphere, making us wonder where the whole thing is going. It all starts to come together after our unseen hero purchases condoms in the town's drugstore, garnering dirty looks from the patrons. After a minute and a half, it's revealed to not be a condom commercial afterall, but one for Levi jeans.
Films: 'Pearl Harbor', 'Bad Boys', 'Transformers'
Is it any shock that Michael Bay's recent Victoria's Secret commercials featured a helicopter, fire, rain, lots of slow-motion of things blowing in the wind, and back-lit steam? No. The answer is a resounding no. Bay recently did four commericals for the company and for your convience, here are all four cut together.
Films: 'Lost in Translation', 'Marie Antoinette'
Francis Ford Coppola's daughter brought her whimsical "experiencing life" view to this commercial for Miss Dior Cherie. It features model Maryna Linchuk having the time of her life as she prances though Paris. Sophia has always had a great ear for music -- as her films clearly exhibit -- and her choice of "Moi Je Joue" by Brigitte Bardot to drive this ad was perfect. We couldn't imagine a more perfect fit of music and visuals.
Films: 'Bottle Rocket', 'Rushmore'
This ad by Anderson was for a Japanese cell phone company and shown only in Japan. It is filmed in one entire shot and is most noteable for the guy who is in that one continuous shot. Mr. Angelina Jolie himself. Brad Pitt hams it up as a tourist in a small village, shopping, helping push start a car, dodging cyclists and finally, snapping a picture.
This Ikea commercial is part of a few Anderson did for the company. They all feature the same set-up and reveal. A family or couple argue as families and couple do. The reveal comes when an Ikea employee -- who has been waiting patiently in the wings -- interrupts the argument to ask if they like the room. Simple shots, but with Anderson's perfectly quirky sense of humor.
Films: 'Rush Hour', 'X-Men: The Last Stand'
Brett Ratner took some inspiration from Tom Cruise for this ad. Tom Cruise in 'Risky Business' that is. For this Guitar Hero spot, Heidi Klum mimics one of the most famous scenes in movie history by thrashing around the living room in her underthings to Seger's 'Old Time Rock and Roll'. For his part, Ratner does a great job covering his star, and likely sold a million more copies of Guitar Hero because of it.
Films: 'Goodfellas', 'Gangs of New York', 'The Departed'
Legendary director Martin Scorsese teamed up with frequent collaborator and friend, Robert De Niro, to craft this American Express/Tribeca Film Festival ad disguised as a valentine to New York City. It features muliple "Memory Lane" shots of the city driven by De Niro's voice over. No other director could have pulled New York off like Scorsese did.
Multiple Directors -- The BMW Campaign
We'd be remiss not to at least mention the most inventive grandaddy advertising campaign of all time. BMW dropped $15 million for eight short films (around 10 minutes each) directed by several top filmmakers. The series was called 'The Hire' and starred Clive Owen as a character called "The Driver". The plot of each short was different, but the featuring of all things BMW was an understandably on-going theme. While we certainly can't post all eight shorts here, one of our favorites is 'The Follow', directed by Wong Kar-Wai. But do yourself a favor and look up the others. They're good viewing.
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