- LOS ANGELES
Yard Dog, an L.A.-based production company led by partners/executive producers Joe Piccirillo and Beth Pearson, has formed an alliance with Elma Garcia Films (EGF) for advertising projects. Yard Dog will act as executive producer and provide sales support for EGF, home to award-winning director/cinematographer Elma Garcia. The two companies will produce advertising assignments jointly.
The alliance adds further creative depth to the Yard Dog roster while providing Garcia with access to a well-connected, accomplished EP team and a national sales network.
Garcia said the opportunity to ally with Yard Dog came at a good time. “It allows me to return to my roots as a director,” she explained. “It’s a chance to branch out, to work with new agencies and explore different genres. I want to focus on shooting commercials and telling stories.”
In recent years, Garcia has directed several groundbreaking campaigns for companies in the healthcare and pharmaceutical sector. Among them is a spot for Gilead Sciences, maker of a treatment for hepatitis C, that, through a sequence of artfully-crafted vignettes, evokes the transition patients make from despair to hope. “We’ve done a lot of projects for Gilead and they’ve been effective because they are not like typical pharma spots,” Garcia said. “We took it to a new level.”
Other notable work includes the documentary-style Levi’s 501 commercial Jack Owens, about a legendary Mississippi blues musician; Jack Daniel’s’ Alaska, about an adventure pilot; and the Visa spot Ticket to Paris, where a man surprises his wife with a trip to Europe.
Garcia began her career as a still photographer before becoming a live action director. Encouraged by cinematographers Robert Richardson, Haskell Wexler and Conrad Hall, she eventually moved behind the camera and has now functioned almost exclusively as a director/cinematographer for 23 years. “I’ve always had a keen eye and a good sense for framing,” she said. “I began shooting because it was a way to feel intimate with my subject. I enjoy working with actors as well as real people. I just love telling a good story.”
Garcia recently moderated the Meet the Commercial Nominees panel discussion at the DGA Theater in Los Angeles in which four of the five directors nominated for this year’s DGA Award for spotmaking shared insights into their work: the eventual DGA winner, Spike Jonze of MJZ; Steve Ayson of MJZ; Fredrik Bond of MJZ; and David Shane of O Positive. The remaining nominee, Martin de Thurah of Epoch Films, was out of the country on a shoot.