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MJZ made quite the killing late last week when the Directors Guild of America announced that four of the five nominees for its 2005 commercials directing award hailed from the company's roster. Co-founder Rocky Morton earned his third nomination based on spots for Cheese Nips, Bell South and CSI/CBS (left), while Craig Gillespie also three-peated thanks to Altoids and his Emmy-winning work for Ameriquest. First-time commercial nominations went to Rupert Sanders, for adidas' "Made to Perfection" and Xbox's "Joy," and to Spike Jonze, for adidas' "Hello Tomorrow," Miller's "Penguin" and The Gap's "Dust" (Jonze had earned a features nomination in 1999 for Being John Malkovich). The only non-MJZ director and last year's winner, Biscuit co-founder Noam Murro, returned for his fourth nomination, on the merit of Hummer's "Monsters," Orange's "Blackout" and Nike's "Barefoot"
MJZ is the only commercials shop to have more than one of its directors nominated in a single year (two of its directors were nominated for both the 2002 and 2004 awards)-but one of its talents has yet to nab the actual honor. Now with four players at bat, "It's the only chance in hell we have of beating Noam," laughs MJZ President/co-owner David Zander.
On another note, Hungry Man's Bennett Miller also earned a DGA nomination in the feature film category for the critically-acclaimed Capote. All winners will be announced at the 58th annual DGA dinner in Los Angeles on January 28.