- LOS ANGELES
Production house Interrogate has signed award-winning director and writer Ric Cantor for U.S. representation spanning commercials and branded content. Cantor was previously repped in the ad arena by production house kin and earlier Hungry Man and Go Film.
Cantor has built a body of comedic performance and dialogue-driven work for an array of clients, including MasterCard, McDonalds, Jaguar Virgin, Ikea, Sky Sport and Pepsi. Along with winning a coveted Gold Lion at Cannes for his NZTA “Phone Palming” spot, Cantor has also garnered several wins and nominations at the British Arrows and D&AD.
U.K.-born and now L.A.-based, Cantor has to his long-form credit directing both seasons of the cult BBC sketch show Man Stroke Woman starring Nick Frost (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz); writing on Da Ali G Show; and writing and directing the feature film Suzie Gold. Prior to such endeavors, Cantor worked at the BBC, where he played a major role in elevating the look and feel of their on-air promos before advertising came calling.
Cantor has long been vocal about the industry’s lack of diversity on both sides of the camera. Taking actionable steps towards change, Cantor is on the advisory board of ManifestWorks, an organization that helps connect people impacted by foster care, homelessness and incarceration with job opportunities in the entertainment industry.
Cantor said he’s long been a fan of Interrogate, citing its reputation and roster of directors. “As soon as I got to chatting with [executive producers/partners] George Meeker and Jeff Miller, it was clear they recognized a type of performance in my work that has some subtlety and depth,” noted Cantor. “The way they spoke about the craft of storytelling in advertising really resonated with me.”
Meeker shared how he sees Cantor’s acumen for performance direction fitting into the cultural shift of brand messaging, saying, “In the midst of the global pandemic and the ongoing movement for racial justice, people are demanding to be communicated to correctly. Now and looking forward, strong, sentimental performances will be key for how brands speak to their audience.”
Meeker continued that this “requires the deft hand of a director who knows how to get actors to communicate a message with authenticity. Ric’s innate talent for unearthing human traits and performances is stand-alone.”
Cantor related, “George and I both believe that the approach should be less about ‘Comedy’ with a capital C, and more about carrying out performance. It doesn’t need to be wacky or have people shouting or doing ridiculous surreal things all the time. Rather the focus should be on human stories that are universally appealing: about family, relationships, life, that may have a little smile in there somewhere. That’s the kind of advertising that really interests me.”