- Friday, Apr. 9, 1999
Bicoastal commercial/feature production company Original Film has signed two directors from the feature world, Gary Fleder (Things To Do In Denver When You're Dead, Kiss The Girls) and Martin Campbell (Mask of Zorro, GoldenEye), for spot representation. Original's bicoastal sister shop, music video/commercial house Holiday, has also added directors Mike Lipscombe and Randee St. Nicholas, both of whom were formerly at bicoastal RSA USA.
The additions of Fleder and Campbell further complement Original's ties to the feature world. It maintains a three year/ first-look deal with Columbia Pictures, part of the Sony family of companies (SHOOT, 7/31/98, p.1) as well as a separate deal with Newmarket Capital Group, which provides financing for feature development and production (SHOOT, 5/8/98, p.1).
Last fall, several Original-produced films hit movie theatres, including I Still Know What You Did Last Summer and Urban Legend. Its latest production was the recently released Cruel Intentions, the first movie under the Original/Newmarket banner.
According to Carol Case, managing director of Original and Holiday, the signings of Fleder and Campbell came after Original approached Hollywood talent agency International Creative Management (ICM) about representing some of its feature talent for spots, and moving Original's directors into features. "We're slowly developing a range of feature guys that are going to be crossing over, and we're starting with Martin and Gary," said Case.
Original executive producer Bruce Mellon added, "We're being very selective as to what feature directors we're going to take on for representation in the commercial arena-ones that either have done it, like Martin, who had a big commercial career when he was living in London. And Gary, we feel, has the potential to crossover."
Most recently, Fleder was handled for spotwork by bicoastal/international Propaganda Films; his prior affiliations include Porter Film Company, Hollywood (SHOOT, 6/13/97, p.8) and Tony Kaye Films (now Tony K.), Santa Monica and London. Aside from shooting several spec spots, he has done no real world commercials due to his longform project commitments. In addition to the aformentioned features, Fleder has directed episodes of TV shows, including those for NBC's Homicide: Life on the Street and CBS' L.A. Doctors. Original expects to market Fleder for storytelling/dialogue and documentary-style projects, said Case and Mellon.
Campbell, who now splits his time between Paris and Hollywood, began directing spots through the now defunct London-based production company Challenge during the '80s, before he segued into features. Case said Campbell had "a real solid four year stint" as a director at Challenge, and worked with many leading U.K. agencies including, Bartle Bogle Hegarty. "He definitely gets the [commercial] medium and is looking forward to coming back to it," said Case, who assessed the director's strengths as storytelling, action and visual effects.
Britisher Lipscombe, who's slated to move to the U.S. this month, joins Holiday after more than three years of being repped domestically by RSA USA (SHOOT, 11/15/96, p.1); he continues to be affiliated with London-based shop Bullet and Paris-based Hamster. At press time, Lipscombe had wrapped his first job under the Holiday banner: a Lennox Industries spot out of GSD&M, Austin, which was shot in London; the project marks his first U.S. commercial.
St. Nicholas has been signed to RSA USA for the past two and a half years. She began as a still shooter whose editorial photography has appeared in various magazines. She has directed an assortment of music videos, including those for Toni Braxton, Whitney Houston and Prince. Case said they'd like to move her into commercial directing, and added she would be well-suited for fashion and beauty-oriented spots. "[St. Nicholas] has a wonderful energy," said Case.
Fleder and Campbell join an Original directorial roster also composed of Gil Cope, Michael Werk and John Huba. In addition to Lipscombe and St. Nicholas, Holiday sports directors Joseph Kahn, Gavin Bowden and David Palmer. For music videos only, Holiday reps directors Nick Brandt (who remains with L.A.-based Palomar Pictures for commercials) and Josh Evans (son of famed movie producer Robert Evans).
Original and Holiday are repped by New York-based Donna Goodman who handles the East Coast and Europe, and New York-based Meredith Bergman who covers the East and West Coast. Both companies are seeking Midwest representation.