Commercial Director Spotlight: Nicolai Fuglsig

Nicolai Fuglsig

Today it was announced that commercial Nicolai Fuglsig would be directing a futuristic action adventure re-imagining of Robin Hood for Warner Bros (Read that story here). I thought now would be a good time to take a look at some of Fugisig’s commercial work.

Fuglsig is a 36-year old Danish director, who started as a war photographer for Danish newspapers. He won multiple awards for his photojournalism work, and won the Kodak prize for “Best Photographer in The World Under 30”. He recorded footage with a digital video camera in Kosovo, which got resulted in an unplanned documentary titled Return to Exiled, which played in Danish cinemas and television. He was chosen by Levi’s to make a couple short films, which gained him entry into the world of commercials.

Fuglsig gained fame within the advertising world for his spectacular work on a Sony Bravia commercial, which featured a quarter of a million bouncy balls being let loose on one of San Francisco’s steepest hills. It’s one of my favorite commercials of all time. Watch a selection of Fuglsig’s work, after the jump.

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Pixar’s Television Commercials

Pixar logo

Shortly before Toy Story, Pixar was forced to create television commercials. The company had been losing money for years and Steve Jobs was hoping to recoop some of the money by having the company produce animated television commercials. The hope was that with commercials, the company could become self-supporting, and the goal was a computer animated television movie or feature film.

Impressed with John Lasseter‘s short films, Pixar has already been approached by a handful of advertising agencies to produce television commercials for their brands. Most advertising agencies produced their own scripts and storyboards, and the animation company was usually not much more than work for hire. But Pixar was only interested if they would be a part of the creative development of the spots.

Two new animators were hired to deal with the new workload, Andrew Stanton (who has gone on to direct Finding Nemo and WALL-E) and Pete Doctor (who has gone on to direct Monsters, Inc and Up). Pixar was able to make $2 million a year in the commercial business while gaining exposure to the mainstream public. It was an interesting time for the company, that a lot of people aren’t really aware about. After the jump you can find a compilation of some of the commercials created by Pixar in these early days.

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The Commercials of Carl Erik Rinsch

carl erik rinsch

Commercial/music video director Carl Erik Rinsch has been tipped to direct a new Alien film for Ridley Scott. You can read more about Rinsch on (google cache). I have put together a compilation of Rinsch’s best commercials.  I highly recommend checking out his work. Watching his commercials, it’s easy to see why he might be a choice for a 21st Century Alien film. He is able to effectively combine realistic visual effects with live action imagery to create a magically compelling story.

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X-Men Origins: Wolverine Ad

Okay, I know this isn’t exactly movie related, but I found this first-person commercial for the Activision video game adaptation of X-Men Origins: Wolverine to be quite good. Is it possible for a commercial for a video game, based on a movie, based on the comic book, is better than the movie it is adapted from? Watch the commercial after the jump.

The spot was directed by Rupert Sanders, a commercial director who was awarded with 2 Grand Prix at the Cannes Festival 2008, nominated for best DGA director in 2006 and 2008, but probably best known to the average Joe as the guy responsible for the Halo 3 Believe , X Box: Joy and that ad. Rupert is currently developing feature projects with Warner Brothers and Working Title including the remake of The Wild Geese and Warrior.

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The Commercials of Fredrik Bond

Fredrik Bond is directing the American remake of The Host for Universal, but who is he? The Swedish commercial director began his career as a photographer, studying at NYU Film School. Bond got his break after directing a documentary about photographer David Sim’s work for Levis. In 1999, he was one of 30 directors chosen out of 500 for the prestigious Saatchi and Saatchi New Directors Showcase, which was part of the Cannes Advertising Festival.

Ranked by Campaign Magazine as one of the “World’s Hottest New Directors”, Bond went on to win over a dozen British Television Advertising Awards. His commercial clients have included Adidas, KISS FM, and Volkswagen. He directed a music video for Moby for the song Bodyrock. In 2005 and 2008, Bond was nominated for the Directors Guild of America’s Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Commercials. Check out some of his work below.

Carling – “Space”

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JC Penny – “Aviator”

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Milk: The Straw

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Pepsi: Times Square (Kung Fu Fighter)

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Jelly Fish

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Ruben Fleischer’s Short Films

Earlier tonight we reported that Jesse Eisenberg is in talks to star in Ruben Fleischer‘s Zombieland. But you might be wondering, who exactly is Ruben Fleischer?

Answer: Rleischer He has directed a few music videos for bands ranging from Piebald to M.I.A., in addition tosome commercial work (including this Up Late With The King commercial for Burger King). But I’d like to point you to some of his short films.

First up is Load/Unload, which stars Nick Thune and Kevin Heffernan of Broken Lizard fame.

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Next up is another short film from 2007, titled Phone Tag, which features Olivia Munn of G4’s Attack of the Show fame.

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And finally, you can check out Fleischer’s 2001 short film The Girls Guitar Club which stars 24’s Mary Lynn Rajskub:

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Who is Sam Bayer?

Music video and commercial director Sam Bayer has signed on to direct the action film noir thriller Fiasco Heights for Universal, with Michael Bay producing. According to THR, Kyle Ward‘s script tells the story of of a gunman who returns to a crime-ridden city “and teams with a degenerate gambler/private eye on the run from a syndicate to look for a beautiful femme fatale and a mysterious briefcase. penned the most recent draft.”

But who is Bayer? You probably don’t recognize his name, but you’ve most definitely seen his work. A graduate of New York City’s School of Visual Arts, Bayer became a popular director during the alternative rock era. His first mainstream gig was directing the video for Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit. He has worked with such artists as Green Day, Ozzy Osbourne, Sheryl Crow, Blind Melon, Justin Timberlake, Marilyn Manson, Metallica, The Cranberries, Hole, The Offspring, Garbage, John Mellencamp, Smashing Pumpkins, The Strokes and Blink-182. Bayer won Director of the Year at the MTV Awards in 2005 and 2007. Check out a montage of his music video filmography below.

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His advertising clients include Coca-Cola, Toyota, Intel, Cadillac, Acura, Nissan, Mercedes-Benz, Pepsi Cola, Lincoln Aviator, Sony, The U.S. Army and Jeep. Several of Bayer’s commercials have won the Clio, and his Nike spot “If You Let Me Play” won an Association of Independent Commercial Producers award for best direction in 1997. Check out some of his commercial work below.

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More after the Jump…

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