Production Company A-List 2015: Arts & Sciences

A Lean But Powerful Bench Delivered Some of the Year's Stunners

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Arts & Sciences has a lean lineup of talent at just nine strong -- but it's one of the industry's heaviest hitters. Founding director Matt Aselton had a stellar showing that included one of the year's best spots, "Re2pect" for Brand Jordan out of Wieden & Kennedy, New York. The ad depicted what looked like the entire world -- from Rudy Giuliani to Jeanie Bus to Jay-Z and Spike lee -- tipping a hat to Yankees outgoing shortstop Derek Jeter and was part of a multiplatform effort that went on to win a Cannes Lions Integrated Grand Prix this year.

Mr. Aselton also worked with the agency on its latest -- and one of its funniest -- out of the box safety films for Delta Airlines. "The Internetest Safety Video on the Internet" starred the likes of Keyboard Cat, Dramatic Chipmunk, Screaming Goat, Overly Attached Girlfriend and too many more to name, brought together to pay homage to YouTube on its tenth anniversary. Droga5 also tapped Mr. Aselton to direct spots for Johnsonville Sausage, featuring quirky portrayals of family life.

See the full Production Company A-List 2015
See the full Production Company A-List 2015

Director Tom Scharpling also worked with W&K N.Y. on a series of ads for Heineken Light featuring all-around funny guy Neal Patrick Harris struggling--and failing-to get his drink on.

More funny business came from Adam & Dave, who directed Goodby Silverstein's campaign for Tostitos featuring Philadelphia Eagles Coach Chip Kelly, which argued that Tositos were the official chip of the NFL, not the Eagles' Chip.

Michael Spiccia took the lead on Taco Bell's blockbuster dystopian ad about a new kind of hunger game, out of Deutsch L.A. Shot in Budapest in a style reminiscent of popular sci-fi teen thrillers, it encouraged breakfast eaters break free from their "Routine Republic" and drop their boring round breakfast sandwiches for Taco Bell's hexagonal Crunchwrap.

Nontraditional efforts came from Adam & Dave, who directed the "Facebook Ref" campaign for Facebook. It featured an original character, The Ref, with whom fans could interact on social media during the 2014 World Cup. The production consisted of 80+ films, some of which responded to real-time happenings at the games.

Roster newcomer Luke Monaghan directed a multi-camera experience around musician Sam Smith's June 17th, 2014 performance at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. He also shot the experimental documentary short "Baby Gangster," which profiled former Crip gang member and South L.A. drug king Frederick James Staves.

The company also teamed with artist Doug Aitken to produce his experimental feature "Station to Station." An official selection on the Sundance Film Festival New Frontiers program, it consisted of 62 one-minute films but required Arts & Sciences to produce over 100 shorts over the course of a year.

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