You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Gillespie’s direct dial: features and commercials

'Lars' helmer navigates between both worlds

Switching between directing commercials and features requires a certain right brain-left brain dexterity.

Few are as nimble as “Lars and the Real Girl” helmer Craig Gillespie, who moves seamlessly between the two disparate worlds. The Aussie native, who recently notched his fifth DGA nomination for his commercial work in 2010, is currently in post-production on the Colin Farrell starrer “Fright Night” – a remake of the ’80s horror classic – all while shooting a slew of high-profile ads on the side, including a Comcast Xfinity spot that will run during next month’s Super Bowl.

“They are really different beasts in a way,” says Gillespie, who moved to Gotham as a teen to attend the prestigious School of Visual Arts on scholarship. “With a film, you have so much more time to tell a story, which was a difficult transition for me. In commercials you have zero time, no time even for a pan.”

Gillespie, whose film credits also include the Billy Bob Thornton comedy “Mr. Woodcock,” says feature storytelling allows him to draw from a much larger palette of visual tricks. Still, he enjoys the instant gratification inherent with commercial directing.

“Commercials are such a quick fix,” explains Gillespie, who nabbed a DGA Award in 2006 for a series of ads that included the Altoids “Fable of the Fruit Bat” and “People of Pain” spots.

In fact, the response to his Betty White Snickers ad that aired during last year’s Super Bowl was so immediate, it prompted a successful Facebook campaign for the octogenarian to host “SNL.” Many industryites cite the spot for kick-starting the actress’ current career revival.

“It’s been really fun to see her resurgence,” notes Gillespie, who is also an accomplished TV helmer with smallscreen credits that include Showtime’s “United States of Tara.” “But it’s all because of her charisma and charm. She should really take credit for that. After all, she ran around in three inches of mud.”

More on the DGA Awards:
DGA spirits alive at 75 | DGA milestone marked in multiple media | Gillespie’s direct dial | Bigger battlefield

More Film

  • ‘Guilty Men’ Sweeps Colombia's 6th Macondo

    ‘Guilty Men’ Sweeps Colombia's 6th Macondo Awards

    Switching between directing commercials and features requires a certain right brain-left brain dexterity. Few are as nimble as “Lars and the Real Girl” helmer Craig Gillespie, who moves seamlessly between the two disparate worlds. The Aussie native, who recently notched his fifth DGA nomination for his commercial work in 2010, is currently in post-production on […]

  • Madrid’s ECAM Pacts With Torino, Rotterdam

    ECAM Pacts with Torino, Rotterdam on First Incubator Projects

    Switching between directing commercials and features requires a certain right brain-left brain dexterity. Few are as nimble as “Lars and the Real Girl” helmer Craig Gillespie, who moves seamlessly between the two disparate worlds. The Aussie native, who recently notched his fifth DGA nomination for his commercial work in 2010, is currently in post-production on […]

  • Andrew DuncanMomentum Pictures with The Cinema

    'Florida Project' Producer Steps Down Amid Harassment Claims

    Switching between directing commercials and features requires a certain right brain-left brain dexterity. Few are as nimble as “Lars and the Real Girl” helmer Craig Gillespie, who moves seamlessly between the two disparate worlds. The Aussie native, who recently notched his fifth DGA nomination for his commercial work in 2010, is currently in post-production on […]

  • 'Antiporno' Review

    Film Review: 'Antiporno'

    Switching between directing commercials and features requires a certain right brain-left brain dexterity. Few are as nimble as “Lars and the Real Girl” helmer Craig Gillespie, who moves seamlessly between the two disparate worlds. The Aussie native, who recently notched his fifth DGA nomination for his commercial work in 2010, is currently in post-production on […]

  • Nicholas Hoult Current War

    Film News Roundup: Shooting Wraps on Nicholas Hoult's 'Tolkien' Biopic

    Switching between directing commercials and features requires a certain right brain-left brain dexterity. Few are as nimble as “Lars and the Real Girl” helmer Craig Gillespie, who moves seamlessly between the two disparate worlds. The Aussie native, who recently notched his fifth DGA nomination for his commercial work in 2010, is currently in post-production on […]

  • Disney-Fox Deal Casts Future of Fox

    Disney-Fox Deal Casts Future of Fox Studio Lot Into Doubt

    Switching between directing commercials and features requires a certain right brain-left brain dexterity. Few are as nimble as “Lars and the Real Girl” helmer Craig Gillespie, who moves seamlessly between the two disparate worlds. The Aussie native, who recently notched his fifth DGA nomination for his commercial work in 2010, is currently in post-production on […]

  • Loveless Movie Wild Bunch

    Oscars: Nine Films Advance in Foreign-Language Race

    Switching between directing commercials and features requires a certain right brain-left brain dexterity. Few are as nimble as “Lars and the Real Girl” helmer Craig Gillespie, who moves seamlessly between the two disparate worlds. The Aussie native, who recently notched his fifth DGA nomination for his commercial work in 2010, is currently in post-production on […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content