I’ve known for a long time that the Coen brothers shot commercials between films. And I’ve actually auditioned for Christopher Guest, who does the same (and who could not be nicer, while we’re at it).
Having fried large sectors of my brain back in the 80’s, I’d forgotten that my longtime idol, Errol Morris, directed not only the Apple “switch” campaign spots but also those fantastic “switch” spots for the Kerry campaign, so I was semi-surprised to walk into the room this week and see him entertaining the agency types with chimp-attack riffs. Still, documentaries don’t exactly fund themselves, so it wasn’t a total shockeroo.
But when I walked into the room today and saw Joel Schumacher smiling at me (he was very nice, funny and solicitous), I was a bit taken aback; after all, this is not exactly your typical indie director scrambling to keep body and soul together.
So my question is this: trend or no? And if so, how long has the trend been…um…trending?
And how do “regular” commercial directors perceive this dabbling? Are they peeved about the way rank-and-file actors were when famous film actors started muscling in on TV guest shots? Or are they happy because it lifts the perceived taint off of the bastard stepchild of filmmaking?
Damn, this is an exciting time to be alive…