In his 15-plus years of shooting spots, Hungry Man director Bryan Buckley has directed an impressive list of celebrities--Tina Fey, Conan O'Brien and Seth McFarlane, to name just a handful. One of his most recent efforts, New Era's "One Hitter," created out of The Brooklyn Brothers, found him working with not one, but two heavy hitters, John Krasinski and Alec Baldwin. The spot posed an interesting challenge. This was not just about channeling the talents of two well-known actors--there was also the matter of one longstanding classic rivalry to preserve. Here, Mr. Buckley explains his process in directing the spot. Also check out The Brooklyn Brothers' and Buckley's latest in the series, "Dog," here.
My involvement really started with a conversation I had with John Krasinski and Guy Barnett in LA. We talked about some general script ideas about the rivalry between the Sox and the Yanks that Brooklyn Brothers had developed for John and Alec. John thought we could top what was there. We agreed. Two weeks later John came back with a campaign that he and [comedian/writer] Charlie Grandy had written. The stuff was funny as hell.
They really killed it on the scripts. Obviously our stars were amazing and the dialogue was written to take full advantage of both their enormous talents. I was just hoping we could hit a chord of honesty with the work because the project clearly had the makings of a great indie film. Ultimately that's where the decision to go black and white came from. We're so used to seeing Krasinski and Baldwin piped into our living rooms in color. Black and white gets us to a more filmic place. And really, it's how fans see the Yanks and Red Sox. I thought New Era might be concerned given that they are selling color hats--but they were into it.
Once we showed up on set lack of time was our biggest enemy. But with that lack comes a real energy – it was intense. Both actors were totally committed. This was not about the money. Trust me. It's the perfect situation for me as a director.
We shot everything on Red cameras. Scott Henriksen shot for us and he thinks story better then any DP I know. We had five of these to shot in a day--the speed and ease of shooting Red made it a no brainer. We were in one brownstone with two different looks on Manhattan's Upper West Side, the location was perfect, and without it we would have never been able to pull off what we did. Chris Franklin at Big Sky cut all the stuff. It's amazing how much he brings to anything he touches.
The biggest challenge was to deliver something worth talking about that people haven't seen a thousand times before. To make spots about a classic rivalry, not celebrities. And to deliver a fair point of view from both the Red Sox and the Yankees fans perspective despite my disdain for the evil empire.