Fiat’s “Wingman” (spec spot)
1) What was your first professionally directed work and when was it?
Our first professional project was a direct-to-client film for Tory Burch’s sportswear line, Tory Sport detailing their new reflective running wear. It was completed in March, 2017.
2) How did you get into directing?
We were both always trying to find a way to create worlds in whatever it was we were doing. There was an extreme desire to tell stories, develop characters and make people feel a certain way. Good storytelling is all about relating to other people, and this was something we both constantly craved. Though we grew up sort of “in the industry” and on set, we’d actually never considered directing until we were helping a friend write and shoot a project. It just clicked. We both stopped what we were doing almost immediately, and started building our reel together.
3) What is your most recent project?
Most recently we finished a spot for Apple Music that we produced on spec, which was completed in late April 2017.
4) What is the best part of being a director?
For us, our favorite part of being directors is the opportunity to bring together under one roof all of the incredible things that inspire us on a daily basis. A mentor and fellow director once said to us “Everything just seems to come together in film, it just does” and we couldn’t agree more. It’s a boundless medium that supports such a high level of creativity and gives us a voice to share with people how we see the world and tell the stories we want to tell. What’s not to love about that ?
5) What is the worst part of being a director?
We could say the challenge of making the things that work in our head work in real life, but to be honest that sort of troubleshooting is what we thrive on! Right now we are pretty smitten with the entire process, but come back to us in 10 years and maybe we’ll have something for you.
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.?
Currently we are focusing on commercials and branded content, specializing in spots with strong visuals and a comedic slant. We are very interested in pursuing other formats down the road, but are presently enjoying working in the advertising space. We love the challenge of telling great stories, with fully formed characters in great settings, in a 30 or 60 second box.
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?
Both of our parents have been huge influences on us. Our mother has unparalleled taste, is a fantastic writer, and has been probably our biggest supporter in taking absurd leaps of faith, following our gut and instinct, and staying true to our vision. Our father’s been a commercial director for 30-plus years, and since we started directing has served as a great reference point as we’ve navigated our own way through the industry. One piece of advice that has always stuck with us is “don’t get so hung up on what you’re trying to get that you miss what’s there,” which is something we constantly are reminding ourselves of while shooting.
8) Who is your favorite director and why?
We are both huge fans of the Coen Brothers. They are able to create such a beautiful marriage between a very strong look and an unparalleled story, where neither compromises or overwhelms the other. We are always striving to achieve this. Plus they are siblings like us!
9) What is your favorite movie? Your favorite television/online program? Your favorite commercial or branded content?
Both of us can agree that The Graduate is an absolute masterpiece, and nothing short of perfection—Mike Nichols is a master. Wes Anderson’s work with Prada, on spots like “Castello Cavalcanti” and “Prada Candy,” has also been a major influence on us—his approach to branded content is exciting and different and we love that.
10) Tell us about your background (i.e. where did you grow up? Past jobs?)
We were born in New York City and grew up in Connecticut. Before directing, Sophie worked as a costume designer, while Walker had stints in the advertising, food and art worlds.
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