Converse "Cinderella"
Justin Plummer III and Martin Strauss

Plummer/Strauss

1) How did you get into directing?
We both made short films in high school but didn’t join forces until college.

We met in a dorm elevator our freshman year at San Francisco State University. Martin (the Strauss) had a projector in his room so we watched films on his wall. Justin (the Plummer) later forced Martin to join the campus cinema club with him.

From these events, and our mutual love of mac and cheese, our friendship evolved into the directing partnership we have now.

2) What is your most recent project?
We directed a set of videos for PlayStation. Many of the actors were in full size character costumes and unable to walk, see, or breathe.

We learned how to give direction to actors who can’t breathe.

3) What is the best part of being a director?
Crafty, just kidding (kind of). We like inventing new and unique worlds in every project. Our favorite part of this process is imagining the different visuals we can use to tell the best story possible.

4) What is the worst part of being a director?
If we’re getting work, we shouldn’t be complaining.

5) 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, because we’re interested in visual storytelling and they are a great medium for it.

6) 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 most with you?
We have many mentors who come in two varieties. First, we look up to experienced producers we know who advise us on everything industry related—how to work with clients, how to position ourselves for work, how to write and pitch treatments. As “new” directors, it’s invaluable to have these types of people on our side. Second, there are creative mentors, whose work speak to us more than they do (see next question).

7) Who is your favorite director and why?
Ringan Ledwidge and Nicolai Fuglsig are two of our favorite commercial directors.

8) What is your favorite movie? Your favorite commercial or branded content?
Justin (the Plummer’s) favorite film is The Matrix and Martin (the Strauss’) is Blade Runner. It just occurred to us that our favorite movies both have to do with machines overtaking humans.

In the commercial world, it’s too difficult to choose. Last year we were big fans of Derek Cianfrance’s spots for Dick’s Sporting Goods and Romain Garvas’ “Charge”.

9) Tell use about your background (i.e. Where did you grow up? Past jobs?)
As a kid, Justin spent his summers falling in love with movies at the local video store where his dad worked.

While always interested in film, Martin became specifically interested in commercials after being exposed to advertising while working in interactive at various agencies.