In 1999, the Wachowskis introduced us to the hard sci-fi spectacle of "The Matrix." In 2013, "Pineapple Express" and "Prince Avalanche" director David Gordon Green has resurrected the property for a GE ad.
Boys and girls, welcome to Hollywood.
Green plugging into the Matrix to make a quick buck might look a bit shameless, but there's a silver lining to the indie-spirited director taking on the gun-for-hire spot. He flexes his comedic muscle by lampooning Hugo Weaving's super serious portrayal of Agent Smith, dabbles in special effects, and keeps himself employed, ensuring his future of personal filmmaking.
A commercial put in the hands of a talented director gives the deluge of daily advertising a smack of personality. It's got to be better than whatever the ad wizards are coming up with, no? And when given control, the output can be as visually stimulating and dramatically poignant as a well-crafted scene. Directors like Michel Gondry and Spike Jonze have been proud enough of their ad work to release their commercials side by side with short films and music videos. There's potential in artistry even when the work's core theme is "we make the best lamps."
In the past few months, name directors have been taking a break from the feature film grind to earn a few bucks and spend ad agency dollars on their own creations. Who has been behind which spots? Below, check out some of the highlights:
Director: David Gordon Green
Director: Mike Mills
Director: Allen Hughes (Starring Bradley Cooper)
Directors: Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola (Starring "Blue Is the Warmest Color" Actress Léa Seydoux)
Company: Prada Candy
Director: Mark Romanek
Product: Call of Duty
Director: Guy Ritchie (Starring David Beckham in His Underwear)
Director: Derek Cianfrance
Company: Dick's Sporting Goods
Director: Sofia Coppola
Director: Jesse Peretz
Company: Cree Lightbulbs
Product: Xperia Z