- LOS ANGELES
Hey Wonderful has added comedy director Craig Brownrigg to its roster for commercials. His body of work includes spots for Amazon, Progressive, Rite Aid, Stand Up To Cancer, Wiser’s, the Toronto Jewish Film Festival, McDonald’s and Axos online bank.
For the latter, he helmed “Bank Robbers” via agency Cutwater, a classic bank heist setup turned upside down as bank tellers turn robbers, underscoring how little some banks actually care about customers. For McDonald’s, Brownrigg helmed “Collaboration,” the centerpiece film of an award-winning campaign via agency Cossette; the hilarious black-and-white parody depicts a pretentious art critic, replete with affectations.
Brownrigg’s work has been honored with awards from the One Show, AICP Show, Cannes Lions, CA and CMAs. Highlights cover the gamut of comedy: Amazon’s “Seashell” (Wongdoody) features a prophetic Gary Busey touting the mind-blowing Amazon Fire TV Stick which he compares to the properties of a similarly-sized seashell. Brownrigg’s Rite Aid “Carriers” spot (MARC USA) centers on a man clearly coming down with something yet still at the office; his unwitting co-workers give him a birthday cake and he nearly chokes up a lung blowing out the candles, serving as an uncomfortably funny reminder of what can happen if you don’t get your flu shot. And the director’s Stand Up To Cancer PSA with Room Key, “Just Standing Up,” encourages everyone to be an advocate by depicting the halo effects of doing good on an average-looking man (Tony Hale) who women suddenly can’t resist. Brownrigg also co-wrote the PSA with Hale.
Born in Vancouver, B.C., Brownrigg moved to Toronto in his teens. He began his career on the agency side, first as an art director and later, creative director, at agencies Zig Marketing and Grip Limited where he worked on many award-winning campaigns. He always had the directing bug, so he learned the craft from being on set with some of the best in the business before directing PSAs and spec spots on the side. His reel eventually caught the attention of Radke Films and he began directing full-time in 2005. In the U.S., his first representation was Assembly Films, then Hungry Man in 2011. Frank Content now reps him in Canada.
Michael Di Girolamo, managing partner of Hey Wonderful, cited Brownrigg’s “solid hand in comedic storytelling,” adding, “His style is driven by clever dialogue, various forms of irony and a look characterized by standout art direction. Craig has fun developing characters and knows the right notes to hit when directing talent which really comes through in their performance.”
Sarah McMurray, Hey Wonderful partner/executive producer, assessed, “Our business is fast-paced. Job parameters can shift quickly. Craig is that accomplished director whose voice you want to hear on the other end of the phone. He’s able to solve challenges, be innovative and create memorable work.”
Brownrigg shared, “What drew me to Hey Wonderful were the people--the management, the other talent on the roster and the reps. But also their hands-on approach to my career and the work. I like that. My goal is to keep challenging myself to do more interesting work and keep evolving as a filmmaker.”
In sharp contrast to his comedy chops, Brownrigg recently wrapped a dramatic narrative short about a transgender 10-year-old inspired by another parent’s experience and general cultural resonance.