Last night I was amongst many who went to Double Lucky to listen to Simon McQuoid talk about his career, his philosophies and give an insight into his work. Simon worked as an Art Director in Perth in the 1990s, and returns to Perth every couple of years for holidays from his base in New York where he is one of America’s hottest directors. In the past year he has risen to #3 in the world in The Gunn Report rankings.
Simon was the director of the highly awarded Microsoft Xbox 360 / “Halo 3” video game internet campaign named one of the two Film Grand Prix’ at Cannes in 2008.
He showed some of his awesome work for HBO – The Sopranos, the launch of Blu Ray, an LG mobile ad, Holiday Inn Express and of course Xbox Halo.
Some interesting comments:
“Nothing ever comes to me in a perfect state. It’s a battle no matter what. Every job is labour intensive. Make every single job an opportunity.”
“The ones with the biggest problems are the ones that end up on my reel”
”Be honest but polite” (when faced with a challenging client)
You can view some of his work here.
Some favourites of his work.. in order of preference :D
Holiday Inn Express
My favourite ad of all that he showed us! Could not stop laughing. The search for the perfect actor was a hard one, they cast in LA and Boston over a number of days and went through about 600 people when they found this guy. He looks a bit like Steve Carell. Apparantly the guy that they chose to do this ad was way too ‘cool’ so they had to put a fat suit on him and give him a combover to appear nerdier. This ad turned out to be such a huge hit that they ran it in Cinema and on the opening of Saturday Night Live where they usually play the SNL Skits.. and everyone thought it was one! The last part of the rap (the best part) he actually made up himself. (“Now how you gonna let a marketing rep rip ya rep…”) Best. ad. ever. !
This was for HBO to promote The Sopranos on DVD. For this ad, Simon didn’t want people to act, he wanted them to actually cry. So he spent two days in casting, watching over 300 people crying. (!) As they shortlisted people for the spots, he asked them to tell him the most emotional piece of music that would make them cry. Once he got these songs, he downloaded them onto an ipod and set up a motor home next to the set on the day to play it right before they shot each scene. Apparently the girl in the first shot was beside herself and was crying uncontrollably! He sort of just let them do their thing as he didn’t want to interfere and ruin their moment ‘in the zone’! I liked the way this way put together.. how melodramatic!