2. Spike Jonze, MJZ

By Jh Published on .

As the lead figure in the biggest production company deal of 2001, Spike Jonze's star remains hot with agency producers and creatives. His migration to MJZ - along with Dante Ariola and Kuntz & Maguire - following the collapse of Propaganda and Satellite Films was the major headline of the year, although Jonze's current heat may stand in inverse relation to his availability. At the moment, he's putting the finishing touches on Adaptation, his follow-up, with screenwriter Charlie Kaufman, to the 1999 hit Being John Malkovich and has yet to shoot a spot for his new production company. MJZ chief David Zander says that Jonze is now ready to shoot spots, although it's far from clear how much energy he's prepared to invest in commercials. "There are still agencies I'd like to work with that I haven't worked with before," Jonze told Creativity in February. "But I can't lie. Making movies, you put a lot more of yourself into it. I still like going to make a video or a commercial if it's an idea I'll have fun making." When Jonze does take up the camera for spots and videos, however, the results have been consistently brilliant. The big league debut for the former maker of skateboarding videos, "Guerrilla Tennis," for Wieden & Kennedy and Nike, featured the raucous scene caused when Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi break into a tennis match in the middle of a busy Manhattan intersection. He also heralded the millennium for Nike with the memorably apocalyptic "The Morning After" in which an athlete goes for a morning run, oblivious to the war zone effects of Y2K. His final Satellite spot, "Crazy Legs" for Levi's and TBWA/Chiat/Day, was not only the top choice in an online poll at Levi's website but a clear standout at this year's Super Bowl. His conceptually intriguing videos, for the likes of of Daft Punk, Weezer, Bjork and Fatboy Slim, consistently create a stir. His effort for Fatboy Slim's "Weapon of Choice," starring Christopher Walken, was easily the best video of 2001.
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