As part of company-wide cutbacks, MTV has shuttered MTV Commercials, a unit of MTV Animation, which represented the network's animation talent for commercials projects. "It's kind of the end of an era," says MTV Commercials' head of marketing and sales Henry Hagerty. "Our little unit was cranking along quite nicely." Among the projects produced by the division in its three-and-a-half year existence were Nike spots for Wieden & Kennedy/Amsterdam directed by Celebrity Deathmatch creator Eric Fogel and work for Cotton Inc. and Ogilvy by Olivia Ward, chief designer on the animated series Daria.
Features director John Landis - whose credits included Animal House, The Blues Brothers and An American Werewolf in London - has signed with Los Angeles-based A Band Apart for commercials and music video representation. Out of the gate, Landis has been contracted to direct a two-spot campaign for Pepsi/Japan.
In late October, Soyuz TM-33, a rocket bound for the International Space Station, took off from Russia's Baikonur Cosmodrome carrying a French astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts. In addition to conducting various experiments, the crew also shot a commercial for Japanese agency Dentsu. The spot, for sports drink Pocari Sweat, is the first ever shot in space and is expected to air in January.