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Director Andrew Renzi’s Google Drive “Memories” Spec Spans Generations and Formats
- Wednesday, Mar. 22, 2017
Previous work includes City of Hope campaign and “The Benefactor,” starring Richard Gere
At just over :60, “Memories,” the new spot from writer/director Andrew Renzi, manages not only to span three generations of home movies but to highlight the evolution of recording formats over time. The entire commercial was shot in a single day, in the director's apartment, using various formats: b&w super 8, color super 8, VHS, mini dv, phone camera, and the new Red Helium 8k. Created on spec, “Memories” is ostensibly an ad for Google Drive, where you can “Keep your memories safe.”
Produced through Renzi’s production company, North of Now (he is repped for spots by ContagiousLA), “Memories” opens with “home movie” footage of a young couple’s day at the beach in the 1960s. Flash forward to the 1970s and the birth of their baby girl, Kai, the light of their lives. Subsequent moments range from the memorable (a birthday party in 1981 where Kai feeds cake to a golden retriever) to the momentous (she opens a college acceptance letter). Before we know it, Kai’s own young son is making home movies. As the spot comes to a close, Kai’s boy, now a young man, preserves his family’s memories on Google Drive.
“We have continued to document our own lives in much the same ways, even as formats and aesthetics have changed,” said Renzi. “So, with this short piece, I wanted to use that simple and familiar visual language to tell a multi-generational story, and show how easy it is, thanks to cloud storage, to keep and share our memories with our loved ones.” Regarding the casting, the director pointed out, “I have a friend whose family is racially mixed in exactly this way, and I always thought this would be an interesting way for the youngest generation to explore their ethnic lineage."
Currently, Renzi and company are in Washington, DC, shooting “They Fight,” a documentary feature about two young boxers’ journey to the National Championships and their trainer, Walter Manigan, on the road back from prison, having reformed his own life in hopes of providing a better one for these kids.
On the heels of completing his first narrative feature ("The Benefactor," starring Richard Gere, Dakota Fanning and Theo James, released by Samuel Goldwyn Co.), Renzi made his spot debut last year with a City of Hope project created via IW Group and produced by ContagiousLA. In addition to helming “Above and Beyond,” done in Mandarin with English subtitles, Renzi directed “Half Man, Half Baby,” an English-language spot conceived by the filmmaker and executed with the support of agency and client.
About Andrew Renzi
In 2015, Renzi founded North of Now, a multi-platform media company that specializes in the production of long form and short form content. N•N has produced branded projects for Converse, Volvo, Oura Ring, Puma, Gap, Google, YouTube, and many others. The company has produced music videos for a wide range of artists, accumulated more than 200 million views on YouTube alone. More recently, N•N has begun focusing on the development of film/tv, and is in production on the boxing doc "They Fight," and in post-production on a documentary in Bolivia, “A Taste of Sky,” with director Michael Lei and the producers of "Jiro Dreams of Sushi."
Prior to North of Now, Renzi’s short films “The Fort” and “Karaoke!” premiered at the 2012 and 2013 Sundance Film Festivals, respectively. “Karaoke!” was the recipient of the Panavision Future Filmmaker Award presented by CO3 and won the 2013 year’s Audience Award on Short of the Week. In 2014, Renzi directed two feature films, the Western American Art documentary “Fishtail,” and “The Benefactor,” a drama starring Richard Gere, Theo James, and Dakota Fanning. Renzi recently co-wrote the Janis Joplin biopic, “Janis,” with director Sean Durkin, which will shoot in 2017 and star Michelle Williams. In addition to his writing and directing, Renzi has worked in various producing capacities on the films “Sympathy for Delicious” by director Mark Ruffalo (Sundance ‘10), “Afterschool” by director Antonio Campos (Cannes ‘08), and “Two Gates of Sleep” by director Alistair Griffin (Cannes ‘10).
Production Company: North of Now
Director: Andrew Renzi
DP: Ryan Postas
Editor: Ben Wolin
Producer: Daniel Yaro
Executive Producers: Chris Burt and Nick Boak
North of Now