- LOS ANGELES
Comedy director Amit Mehta has joined FANCY Content, the L.A.-based production company headed by founder/EP Robert Wherry.
Prior to joining FANCY, Mehta was represented by JOJX and, before that, Interrogate.
Mehta’s work captures a genuine form of humanity that often makes it stand out in today’s cluttered media environment. An example would be his recent Hershey’s ad for Anomaly, which gained notice in Canada (where he’s represented by Sparks) for its casting of a real father-son pair of actors from the deaf community to play deaf characters. In a spot titled “Dad Jokes,” a teenage son scoffs at his father’s “dad joke,” only to counter with a whopper of one himself.
Since launching his directing career with a funny Comcast campaign for Goodby Silverstein & Partners--on which he worked closely with creative director Jamie Barrett--Mehta has shot for a variety of clients including Google, Mercedes, ESPN, Volkswagen, McDonald’s and Ford. His Super Bowl ads for BMW--with a voiceover by actor Chris Pine, whom he later directed, along with Kevin Costner, in a spot for ESPN--enjoyed a long subsequent run, with one earning a “best of” nod from TIME magazine.
“Amit’s approach to capturing the lighter side of the human condition, through his visual style and his understanding of storytelling, is unique,” said Wherry who’s worked with comedy directors throughout his career.
As for the kind of comedy he’s drawn to, Mehta said, “I like to say the awkwardly absurd and the absurdly awkward.” And when asked about the preponderance of automotive work on his reel, he suggests it’s a testament to his ability to tell comic human stories wrapped around a brand; in these instances, they just happen to be cars. “There’s a product side to it that cannot be ignored, and you have to balance that with the storytelling, which I enjoy doing,” he explained.
Mehta’s path to advertising took an interesting route. Initially enrolled in the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, he switched majors to film and TV after realizing it was where his passions lay. A theatre geek, he’d grown up acting in plays, and went on to direct live theater before moving to L.A. to pursue a career in film. Once there his work for an up-and-coming writer/director led to an opportunity to co-write a feature.
He then segued into commercials when he joined MJZ as the assistant to director Craig Gillespie, who mentored him and generously assigned him certain elements of campaigns he was shooting to foster the growth of the younger director’s budding reel.
Mehta sees his move to FANCY as another step forward in his career. He joins a directorial roster that now includes Radish, Ed McCulloch, Sophy Holland, Nanno Jiskoot, Rob Fiocca, Philip Boston, Paul Laufer and Chris Shimojina.