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11. Mike Mills, The Directors Bureau

Published on .

Mike Mills of The Directors Bureau has a TV, but it's plugged into his DVD player. No Dish Network or digital cable for him. "If you're watching TV and getting influenced by that," he says, "you're old already." The graphic designer-turned music video director-turned commercials director says he derives his influences elsewhere. "I try to mix things up and not get stuck in a visual style," he says. "I'm more about ideas. It's why people hire me - to do something different." Among the many different things he's done are the Gap's "Khaki A Go-Go" spot; Nike's "What Are You Getting Ready For?" campaign; and that great VW spot where the guys shake their car out of a tree. A native Californian, Mills studied conceptual art at Cooper Union in New York, and has taught there as well. His artwork and photography have been exhibited in New York and Paris, and he's now at work on his first feature film. As if that weren't enough, he's also a professional bassist who has recorded with a Cibo Matto spinoff band called Butter, among other groups.
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