- Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018
Award-winning director Zach Guerra has joined MUGSY for exclusive U.S. spot and branded content representation. Guerra is known for both his visual storytelling and experiential directing work and was previously represented in the U.S. by HeLo.
Guerra’s storytelling work includes both action and dialogue-driven short and long form spots. His experiential / live event work often features real people and hidden cameras, as well as stunts and live action effects.
A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Guerra had a career as a Naval Aviator before earning an MFA in Film from the University of Southern California. “Oddly enough I found my career in aviation as one of the best backgrounds anyone can have for being a director,” says Guerra. “In the jet you’re doing 5 things that need to be taken care of in the present, but at the same time preparing for where you’re going to be 20 minutes from that point. When filming, I’m simultaneously able to be in the moment while being mindful of the overall story.”
Guerra’s war time experience came in handy doing a lot of experiential directing work he has recently become known for. “To get the reactions you want, the shots you need, and to make it look effortless, it takes a lot of planning. But that enables you and your team to react quickly and on instinct to what is unfolding in front of you,” Guerra explains.
A recent commercial for Ruckpack energy drink brings together Guerra’s storytelling prowess with his military background, as it features a strike team waiting for action orders. Told in an energetic visual style, the spot immerses viewers in a high-testosterone world. “It was a lot of fun to tell that story,” Guerra says enthusiastically. “I mean, who doesn’t love high-arcing helicopter shots in 110 degree heat, real Navy Seals and Army Delta operators making full speed tackles, tons of blowing sand, and a good head butt.”
Guerra’s brand film for Land Rover, titled The Wave, was shot entirely with a vehicle’s on-board cameras. While the technical limitations of that medium created plenty of challenges, it also opened up an amazing opportunity to craft a story told from unusual and unexpected camera angles. The result was a film that won numerous Cannes Lions and notched Guerra a Cannes nomination for best director.
“Zach has a great energy in addition to great directing talent,” says MUGSY executive producer Sean Reilly. “I was blown away by his work when I first saw it and then even more impressed with Zach the first time we spoke. He understands not only how to tell a story, but how to make the product a memorable part of that story.”
Guerra enjoys the flexibility of switching between visual storytelling and experiential / hidden camera projects. He is also in pre-production on a feature from an original script titled Drug Tunnel, which is being financed by Millennium Films, and is concurrently wrapping up production on a quirky yet fascinating documentary about the biggest croquet match in the world called Cannon Shot.
“I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have been giving a lot of great directing opportunities in my career so far,” says Guerra. “I’m excited to be joining MUGSY because of the opportunities for good work, but most importantly I like the way they support their directors and fight to get them in the mix for the work they want to do.”
As his career continues to develop, Guerra looks forward to directing more scripted storytelling spots. “I went into this industry to tell interesting stories from my perspective, and that’s what I want to spend more time doing,” he says. “My storytelling work has always had an action component to it, but grounded in characters with a great deal of agency. Compelling stories, no matter how short, must have a modicum of conflict or tension, and so I’m interested in continuing to direct spots that have both of those main elements at play.”
MUGSY is a tri-coastal production company with offices in New York, Los Angeles and Tampa. Through its partnerships with international production companies Filmservice Productions and Pull the Trigger, MUGSY also provides direct offshore production in Prague, Buenos Aires, London, Dublin and Moscow. For more information, please visit www.mugsy.tv