has signed directors Danny T and Jeremy Russell for exclusive US spot representation.
DANNY T Film buffs might know Danny T (aka, Dan Trachtenberg) from the Star Wars remake he directed at the age of four using kitchen appliances and G.I Joe action figures. Years later, those who missed the film had a second chance to see Danny's work, via the series of documentary short films he helmed for Lexus and Boxer Films. As a co-host of The Totally Rad Show, referred to by Wired Magazine as "The best weekly podcast-period," Danny T has his finger on the pulse of his generation. One of the most popular shows on the internet, TRS covers the latest in movies, television, videogames and comic books. The program enjoys a broad and vocal fan base, from studio execs to videogame journalists. "I'm fortunate in that I am one of the few people that has lucked into making original internet content successful," Danny observes. "Nobody in the entertainment industry has a clue what to do with the internet - which, as a director, I think is awesome because there's a chance to make really interesting stuff." "Danny's creative sensibility and enthusiasm make him a perfect fit for tight, and for the business of advertising as a whole," says Don Block, who presides over tight with fellow Executive Producer Rich Carter. "Rich and Don have been in the biz a while, have been through all the trends and are continually making genuinely great work," the director says of his decision to sign with tight. "I'm excited to bring my fresh approach to things but I also love classic commercial advertising, tight provides the opportunity to do both." Buoyed by his work in commercials (Nike, Coca Cola) and online, Danny T is currently developing projects with Touchstone, Disney and 20th Century Fox. He is also a level 41 Drenai Hunter in World of Warcraft. At press time, he had been awarded his first assignment at tight, an alternate reality game for an upcoming feature film, with EMMY-winning creator Matt Wolf and Double Twenty Productions. "I like the pretentious yet true approach to spotmaking," the director muses, "letting the story show you the best way to tell it." Whether it's a voyeuristic camera shooting through rooms and windows in a doc style spot to make the story feel more real and honest (as in his work for Coke) or the quiet, still locked off camera to emphasize oddity and humor (see his Nike spot), Danny T shoots and casts in the service of the story. "I think a good commercial, or any kind of story, connects like a good comedy act," Danny concludes. "At the end, you should be nodding your head, with 'That's so true, that is just so true'." JEREMY RUSSELL "The thing that drew me to tight was the people, they all made me feel comfortable," says Jeremy Russell of his new roost. "They're honest, and very supportive. If I had to talk about all of the good qualities of the people there I could go on for pages." The feeling is mutual, according to Carter. "We really responded equally well to Jeremy's work and his personality" Carter says, adding that "Jeremy's reel is fresh, while showing a level of maturity one doesn't often find in a young director." 2006 marked a turning point for Russell: he applied for and was accepted into Group101Spots (now Spotlab), teaming up with agency creatives to shoot six spec spots over the course of six months. "I owe a lot to the people at Group101Spots, on many different levels," Russell says. "The program really launched my career. It's a great collaborative experience that, as a director, can transform you." Signed by Insanity Corp, he spent the next several months directing campaigns for Branson, Missouri Tourism and the University of Texas. His reel also includes spots for Gibson, Kennedy Space Center, Trek, Yes Network and Platformbreath.org. RSG "Hands," which Russell helmed for Arnold Worldwide McLean/DC, was recently honored an ADDY award in the Best of Broadcast category. Taking a detour from the standard spot helmer playbook, Russell next embarked on a road trip through Middle America, shooting everything from kids dressed in crude space-suits to Christmas lawn ornaments. "When first starting out in this business, I was frequently left wondering what to do between jobs," Russell explains. "I learned to be self-sufficient and remain creative, shooting things on a digital camera just for fun, writing songs and shooting photos on an old pawn shop camera, hoping that the shutter decided to open that day." When it comes to spots, Russell says, he starts with the story and seeks out the best means of communicating it authentically. "I try to create a very comfortable environment for actors so that they can just be themselves, and I think that for me, casting and performances are always the most important part of shooting a spot." In addition to Block and Carter, Elaine Behnken is an Executive Producer at tight. The company is repped by The PTA, Inc. on the East Coast, Where's The Boards on the West Coast, and Renee Case & Co. in the Midwest.