Top Spot of the Week: Director Ivan Zacharias, Alto Resurrect Voice of the Dead For Upwork


Robert Goldrich
Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022


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A very dead and decaying CEO comes back to life at a boardroom meeting to tell everyone at his corporation that what they believe about work is made up. All of it. Made up by a bunch of guys like him--practices such as 9-5, overtime, weekend work, casual Fridays, cubicles, coming into an office. We’ve invented mobile phones, computers, cars to make our lives easier, but can’t reinvent our views on work? So the dead guy reminds them with a song that it’s not too late--if you use Upwork.

Directed by Ivan Zacharias via production house SMUGGLER for agency Alto, “This Is How We Work Now” is replete with sweeping visuals, befitting casting and acute attention to detail allowing the unique concept to reach its full cinematic glory.  The film delivers Upwork’s message that the old ways are dead - quite literally.

Zacharias said, “What attracted me to this project was that it’s such a ridiculous, over-the-top story, and yet it’s based on a deep human truth. We all feel an overwhelming pressure to follow the rules and traditions of the past, without realizing we have the power to make up new rules, and new traditions. (I’ve tried and failed).  But honestly the main reason why I did it is that I love shooting with dead people.”

Hannes Ciatti, founder and CCO at Alto, added, “Most of us treat the old ways of working as if they are sacred and unchangeable, but the real insight behind this campaign is that the old ways of working were entirely made up. So why don’t we as individuals make up something better? This campaign is making this point to the world for the first time--at least in terms of musicals with a dead person on the subject.” 


Client Upwork Agency Alto Hannes Ciatti, chief creative officer, founder; Ed Rogers, managing partner; Matt Bonin, head of entertainment & production/partner; Tara Fray, head of strategy, partner; Jason Bagley, executive creative director; Brock Kirby, Jeff Dryer, creative directors; J. Collins, design director; Kim Cross, executive producer; Amber Wimmer, head of digital production; Julia Menassa, director of art production; Marvin Cassell, integrated production associate. Production SMUGGLER Ivan Zacharias, director; Jan Velicky, DP; Nick Landon, producer; Patrick Milling-Smith, Brian Carmody, founding partners; Alison Kunzman, exec producer. Editorial HutchCo Filip Malasek, Jim Hutchins, editors; Gino Renzulli, assistant editor; Jane Hutchins, exec producer. Color UPP Ondrej Stibingr, colorist. VFX/Finishing Parliament Music Walker Music Mix/Sound Barking Owl

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