Organic Doggie Treats, Inc.’s “Unsullied” (online spot)
1) What was your first professionally directed work and when was it?
A quirky, 30-second spot for Pie Five Pizza in September, 2016. I directed it for two of my friends, and former colleagues, at The Richards Group, on an impossible budget. It won them Gold at the local Addys. Incredibly satisfying, like the pizzas.
2) How did you get into directing?
I’ve been an art director on the agency side for over a decade, and I’ve lived for the thrill of the creative process as an agency creative.
However, I’ve always been happiest on set. Producing. Making the ideas that miraculously survived the agency-client gauntlet. This led me to ponder a path as a director, the first foray into which was a spot I directed for (and with) my students at
Texas A&M—"Commerce." It was for the One Show Student Competition. They won Gold. I was hooked.
3) What is your most recent project?
It was a pro-bono piece for the Women’s Day "Day Without A Woman" initiative. It featured 13 cats.
4) What is the best part of being a director?
Being able to add to the visual vocabulary of the world, all while playing doula to a creative team—bringing their baby to life, being a part of their joy, giving them something far greater than what they’d expected.
5) What is the worst part of being a director?
Waiting for your next script/board.
6) What is your current career focus: commercials & branded content, TV, movies? Do you plan to specialize in a particular genre—comedy, drama, visual effects, etc.?
Commercials and branded content. I’m driven by the need to create great advertising. I like work that’s witty and visual, work that sucks you in from the first frame, and stories you don’t see coming.
7) Have you a mentor and if so, who is that person (or persons) and what has been the lesson learned from that mentoring which resonates with you?
Brian Beletic. He very enthusiastically encouraged me to pursue my dream of becoming a director, when others told me it was too difficult, too saturated, a path. He pushed me to find my voice for things, without fearing opinion, and only doing what made me happy.
9) What is your favorite movie? Your favorite television/online program? Your favorite commercial or branded content?
A Fish Called Wanda.
10) Tell us about your background (i.e. where did you grow up? Past jobs?)
I was born and raised in India. After degrees in economics and public administration, I abandoned my plans of becoming a tenured bureaucrat for a career in advertising, as an art director. This happened after meeting a creative director at Ogilvy—a meeting set up by my Mom, who thought I’d be good at advertising. My Dad, a bureaucrat himself, is still kinda pissed about this.
After working for a spell in the Indian ad industry, I made my way West, to Texas, to investigate a formal education in art direction. A prolonged stint at The Richards Group in Dallas followed.
Bitten by the director bug and the desire to work on more car stuff, I moved West once again. To Innocean Worldwide in Huntington Beach, California, where I scratch my directorial itch, among other things.
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