Gatorade’s “The Moment Possibilities Are Born (commercial)

Wes Walker

Tool of North America

 

What was your first professionally directed work and when was it? 
Root Insurance x Bubba Wallace, Oct 2020

How did you get into directing? 
I graduated from Stanford University with degrees in Psychology and Neuroscience then immediately immersed into the tech industry, working first in Adtech at TubeMogul where Adobe ultimately acquired us and the company went on to form the backbone of Adobe Advertising Cloud. A self-taught filmmaker, I began to freelance working in media production internally as a contract director & cinematographer for Tesla. I grew to love being on set and patiently studied the art of directing and cinematography by watching others, reading forums, and studying Vimeo. After a second round of going freelance and directing + shooting creative music videos I found my way into commercial directing via a collaboration with Tool of North America on my award-winning Root Insurance x Bubba Wallace commercial. I was blessed to receive wide recognition for my first commercial film garnering awards & shortlists from AICP, ADC, Webby, Clio, Clio Sports, Berlin Commercial, and the YDA awards.

What is your most recent project? 
Jeep x Derek Jeter

What is the best part of being a director? 
Channeling spirit into visual form and inspiring others in the process.

What is the worst part of being a director? 
All a matter of perspective. I’m learning to elevate my mind, my crew, and my collaborators into clearer air where we’re all able to flow and find the soul in our work. It is a challenge and one I’m actively learning how to navigate. I see film as spiritual work, it is about presence, feeling and moments of truth. Balancing fear and love, wisely handling the agency + client dynamic, and keeping positive and true to the work are all areas I love to grow.

What is your current career focus: commercials and branded content, television, movies? Do you plan to specialize in a particular genre--comedy, drama, visual effects, etc.? 
Commercials

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? 
Joyce Chen, Nancy Hacohen, Andres Levin and Annie Newman. I am ever grateful for their patient guidance and inspiration to elevate and unearth my highest potentials.

Who is your favorite director and why? 
Chris Nolan, Andrei Tarkovsky, Alejandro Iñarritu, Zhang Yimou, Khalil Joseph, Terrence Mallick, and many others. The work is poetic and spiritual.

What is your favorite movie? Your favorite television/online program? Your favorite commercial or branded content? 
Hard to say, so many are inspirations.

Tell us about your background (i.e., where did you grow up? Past jobs?) 
I was born in Durango, Mexico and grew up on the U.S. Mexico border in El Paso, TX. I am Black, Mexican, and Cherokee and my cultures and my family are my grounding force, the roots and base from which I am able to feel and intuit the films that want to be moved through me.

How has the pandemic impacted your career, art, craft, shaped your attitudes and reflections on life which in turn may influence your work, approach, spirit, mindset?
Pandemic was a blessing. It allowed space, time and focus on my healing and inner growth. I’m actively growing into the man and filmmaker I’m meant to be and moments of reflection, the quiet times, are undoubtedly core to my approach and self care. A healthy mind creates beautiful work and I aspire to that daily.

Contact

Contact Nancy Hacohen: nancy.hacohen@toolofna.com
toolofna