Directing Commercial Actors
In this excerpt from the Commercial Directing: On Set Shadowing course, director Jordan Brady shares how he collaborates with actors on set, referencing his Toyota “Staycation” spot as a case study. Learn how Jordan conveys his ideas and how he works additional cutaway shots into the schedule.
Let’s take a look at some of what Jordan covers in the lesson below.
GIVE CLEAR DIRECTION & MOTIVATION:
The premise is Pat and Mrs. Pat book a hotel room with a nice view for their staycation. When they look out the window, they are surprised to find a Toyota dealership.
One of Pat’s questions about the script was if he knew they booked the room with the view out the window. Jordan’s take was that both Pat and Mrs. Pat were surprised when she opened the curtain. Also, the viewer is intrigued. What is this view?
The answer was ultimately in the script but it was a turn for the actor to think out their motivation.
|PRO TIP: When filming on an LED wall, hide the stage floor so the audience cannot see the lip between the wall and floor.|
UNDER-PROMISE & OVER-DELIVER:
Jordan recommends that you always grab a cutaway shot because it gives you another puzzle piece to work with.
Mrs. Pat turning with no dialogue is not on the boards for the day, however, Jordan did draw it during the scout. He also previously told the AD and DP about it.
Then, if they’re running on time, Jordan can grab the cutaway shot. Jordan had Mrs. Pat do it three or four times in just one take. This shot works for the final edit because it bridges together a couple of shots. Up until that point, they shot in one direction the wide and close-ups of Mrs. Pat and Pat from the side.
By under-promising and over-delivering, Jordan is able to manage the expectations of the agency while also overachieving. This complimentary angle makes it a better spot that feels bigger before the reveal of the dealership.
Commercial Directing: On Set Shadowing
Virtually shadow a commercial director on three unique commercial spots!
- 16 Lessons
- 2 hours of instructional videos
Commercial Directing: On Set Shadowing places you virtually on set with director Jordan Brady for three unique commercial spots.
Starting out, Jordan guides you through the virtual shadowing process and explains what to do before the agency phone call. Then, he directs you through set etiquette and how to manage the crew, performers, and the ad agency. From there, Jordan plunges you into each of the three spots and concludes with a massive brain dump.
Access the complete course by becoming a Filmmakers Academy member today!
About Jordan Brady
Jordan Brady directed four narrative feature films, three full documentaries, and over 1,200 national & regional commercials, as well as Maria Bamford’s acclaimed Netflix Comedy Special. Working with advertising campaigns for brands and agencies all over the world, Brady directed industry giants from comedy stars Will Ferrell, Kevin Hart, Keegan-Michael Key, and Rory Scovel to pop icons Arnold Schwarzenegger and country music legend Brad Paisley; plus, he has directed campaigns starring actresses Kathryn Hahn for Chrysler and Lamorne Morris for Buick.
Notable advertising awards include multiple Clios, National Gold, ADDY’s, Gold Promax Award, One Show, D Show, Pencil, and AICP Awards. Brady’s work is routinely spotlighted on AdWeek, Ads of The World, and Agency Spy.
In 2016, Brady completed his passion project; a feature documentary trilogy that reveals what it takes to be a stand-up comedian: I Am Comic stars Sarah Silverman, Leslie Jones, and Louis C.K.; 2014’s aptly titled I Am Road Comic stars Pete Holmes and Marc Maron; and I Am Battle Comic took Brady to Afghanistan, Kuwait, and undisclosed parts of the Middle East where he performed stand-up comedy for our troops stationed there.