- Friday, Oct. 6, 2000
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Don't expect to get straight answers from the directing duo Spooner/FrenchaNick and Andrew, respectivelyawho co-direct humorous spots through Shooting Gallery Productions, New York. When asked how they divvy up directing chores, Spooner deadpans, "Andy is Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and I'm Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday." On a more serious note, French continues, "We just sort of carved out what we both like doing best. Both of us have our strengths and our weaknesses, but I won't divulge them."
Despite their wisecracking ways, the directors have a no-nonsense working method. "Most of our collaborative efforts really take place beforehand," explains Spooner. "It's in the writing, the plotting, the blocking, the storyboarding. We are so organized, locked down and precise, that when we get to the set, we're able to improvise and get those magical moments. If you hear the crew cracking up, you know that's the keeper take."
Other people have been laughing at, and rewarding, Spooner/French's work as well: The team was featured in the Saatchi & Saatchi New Directors Showcase at the Cannes International Advertising Festival this past June. The spots showcased on the new directors reel were "Simulator" for the Museum of Flight, out of Cole & Weber, Seattle; and "Sorry," a client-direct promo for the now-cancelled NBC series The Mike O'Malley Show. ("Simulator," along with another Museum of Flight ad, "Airforce One," was completed while the pair was represented by bicoastal Satellite. Spooner and French were freelancers for the NBC work.)
Earlier this year, Spooner/French directed three spotsa"Little Kid," "Wife" and "Getting Started"afor Homewarehouse.com via Butler, Shine & Stern, Sausalito, Calif. "Getting Started" is a two-shot wonder. The first image shows a woman, framed in a simple medium shot, warmly singing the praises of the dot-comawhich sells building supplies and other items for the homeawhile holding a company catalogue. She says that getting started on home improvements can be tough and that the catalogue can really help. Cut to a wide shot of a wildly decorated living room with a man sound asleep on a couch. The woman whacks the guy on the head with the catalogue and says, "Wake your butt up!"
"That was a real sleeper," jokes Spooner, before French continues, "That was one where it was all casting. And obviously framing it in such a way that you don't see the gag coming. There's a certain believability about her performance that just seems like a person talking. It's a fairly straightforward testimonial until that very last reveal."