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The Best Work You May Never See: Director Stash Capar Fashions Spec Spot For SpaceX


Robert Goldrich
Monday, Nov. 20, 2017


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Stash Capar of Toronto-based production house Sequoia Content wrote, directed and edited this spec spot for SpaceX, Elon Musk’s company known for its advancements in privately funded space travel.

Titled “We Choose,” the piece presents a lyrical and visual narrative with the only words spoken being those of President John F. Kennedy from his famed 1962 speech at Rice University in Houston in which he explains the quest for progress and why “we choose to go to the moon.” The spot is set in a rural landscape where kids play in barns or set up their telescopes on dark nights to gaze at the sky. Everyone seen in the film is young; in various scenes, we see a boy playing in his spacesuit, a brother and sister launching a model rocket, a child building a model of the solar system, and a boy leafing through a book about space. Throughout the film, which has a moving cinematic musical score, we keep returning to the video of Kennedy delivering his Rice oratory, intercut with young people watching it in the present, inspired by the words even now, 55 years later.

As the film progresses, we catch sight of the name on the back of the young boy’s helmet: It’s not NASA, but SpaceX. Likewise, the kids launching the model rocket are using one emblazoned with the SpaceX name. And the boy reading the book is naturally reading about Mars, as are the young people seen earlier with their telescope, who now gaze at images of the Red Planet on their smartphones.
Capar said he was inspired to make the spec film based on his childhood obsession with space exploration, “particularly the Apollo program.” He said, “I remember being able to rattle off all the names of the astronauts that landed on the moon.”
What really impressed him, though, was the Rice speech. “It had a spirit that was bold, brave, competitive and uniquely American,” he recalled. “My father first heard it as a teenager behind the Iron Curtain. I remember him telling me, many years later, that at that moment, he knew the Americans were going to get there before the Russians. There was this intangible quality within JFK’s words that perfectly encapsulated the American spirit of exploration. To me, that was the spark that inspired a whole generation to look up at the Moon and wonder.”


Client SpaceX (spec spot) Production Sequoia Content, Toronto Stash Capar, writer/director/editor; Kristofer Bonnell, DP; Suzanne Allan, exec producer; Katy Maravala, producer; Brad Wilson, production designer. Casting Mann Casting Wardrobe Steph Major Music Nikhil Seetharam Color Alter Ego Tricia Hagoriles, colorist; Jane Garrah, color producer VFX Aaron Pozzer. Sound Design Kendra Welham


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