- Friday, Jul. 28, 2000
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Ritts/Hayden, the Los Angeles-headquartered production house headed by executive producer Bill Hayden, has signed director Enda McCallion for representation in the U.S. spot market. McCallion was previously represented stateside by bicoastal HSI Productions.
Ritts/Hayden has also signed director Fritz Flieder, who was unavailable for comment at press time. Flieder, whose credits include spots for Toyota, adidas and Audi, is in the process of relocating to Los Angeles from Germany. "Fritz has only been directing for three years, but he has an amazing body of work," said Hayden.
Based in London, McCallion will continue to be repped in the U.K. by Spectre, London. Spectre principals/directors Daniel Kleinman and Antony Easton earlier signed with Ritts/Hayden (SHOOT, 3/24/99, p. 14, and 6/11/99, p. 7). Headed by principal/ executive producer Bertie Miller, Spectre represents 10 directors. Miller said it's possible other Spectre helmers will join the Ritts/Hayden fold, but that they're proceeding with caution. "We're developing a nice relationship with Ritts/Hayden. But we want to take time to develop each director and allow them to become familiar with the [U.S.] market," he said.
McCallion is represented in several additional territories overseas, including Spain via Group Films, Madrid and Barcelona; France through Movie Box, Paris; Italy via New Partners Film Productions, Milan, and BRW & Partners, Milan; and Germany via Petersen Naumann Film, Hamburg. However, the director said his focus now is on the U.S. and U.K. spot markets.
Ritts/Hayden will also rep McCallion and Flieder for clips via its newly launched music video division. Executive producer Tiffany Howell heads up the as-yet-unnamed video operation, which Hayden said was formed because several of the company's directors expressed interest in the music clip arena. "It's also a good way to develop young talent," he said.
McCallion's most recent assignment was for Sure deodorant. The ad, which was created by Lowe Lintas & Partners, Paris, and produced by Movie Box, features a bait-and-switch scenario involving two girls attempting to smuggle contraband past a customs checkpoint. Before getting in line, one girl applies an ineffective deodorant while the girl carrying the contraband uses Sure. All goes according to calculated plan. The cheap deodorant fails and the guilty-looking, perspiring girl acts as a decoy, arousing the suspicions of the customs agent, while the girl with Sure and the goods passes through without a hitch.
McCallion's other recent credits include a Spectre-produced ad for Metz Schnapps via HHCL & Partners, London. "Enda's reel is pretty unique," said Hayden. "He's an amazing storyteller and his work is very contemporary."
"I'm into the big visual spectacle type of thing with lots of explosions, and also simple ideas that require a simple performance," the director said. "I like to jump back and forth and want to keep them both alive."
An ad that combines a simple idea in a visual setting is Fanta's "Strobe." Created by Cliff Freeman and Partners, New York, and produced by HSI, the spot is set in a nightclub where seemingly young and beautiful men and women collide on the dance floor and drink Fanta. When the deejay accidentally trips the lights, he reveals what the people really look like after a few hours of boogying-messy hair, runny mascara, sweaty clothes.
Born and raised in Ireland, McCallion began experimenting with art and animation as a teenager. At 16, he made his first film, and later studied film at the Royal College of Art, London. Graduating in '95, McCallion quickly garnered ad industry attention when two of his short films, The Emperor of Ice Cream and Honeymooning, hit the festival circuit. Robert Saville and Jay Pond-Jones, who were creative directors at GGT (now TBWA GGT Simons Palmer), London, offered McCallion his first spot assignment: an ad for Holsten beer. (Saville is now principal/creative director of London agency Mother, while Pond-Jones is a director repped by Spectre.)
McCallion was briefly repped by Park Village, London, before he shifted over to Gorgeous Enterprises, London. A year-and-a-half ago he joined Spectre. His additional directing credits include spots for Brass Monkeys underpants, Miller Light and Citroin.
McCallion recently took a three-month hiatus from commercials to polish his original feature script, Candy Heart, which he said has generated interest from a studio in Paris. He describes the project as "a bizarre thriller with lots of black humor."
McCallion and Flieder join a Ritts/Hayden directorial roster that, in addition to Kleinman and Easton, includes partner/director Herb Ritts and directors Stuart Douglas, P.E. Goldman, Lance Kelleher, Sharon Maguire and Jon Hollis. The company also reps feature director Mike Figgis for spots.