Q&A: Daniel Kleinman, Director, Kleinman Productions

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Daniel Kleinman
Seasoned director Daniel Kleinman was ubiquitous in 2005 with a slew of stunning spots. Here, he discusses his personal highlights and biggest challenges of the year.

Creativity What was your favorite job of the year?

Guinness 'Noitulove'
Guinness 'Noitulove'
Daniel Kleinman I enjoyed all the jobs I did—they were all so different. The actual process of the Guinness ["Noitulove"] ad was probably the most pleasurable, as it required many different skills and some of it was shot in Iceland, an amazing place of great beauty, I always enjoy working there. One of the perks of my job is seeing areas that most people don't get to.

C What was your most challenging project?

DK It's a tossup between the adidas "Impossible Field" spot and Guinness. Both were very challenging. Adidas featured a soccer game on floating girders—difficult enough to make look real and dangerous, achieved safely—but also none of the star players were able to be there at the same time, and it needed to look as if they were interacting, added to which I only had them for a very limited time. It was tough, but I was pleased with the result. Guinness was challenging in a different way. We had to invent techniques to tell a story that obviously can't be filmed in-camera but still needed to look like live action. We were in new territory—this is stimulating but with an edge of anxiety.

C What was the most interesting aspect of Guinness?

DK Breaking down all the techniques we'd need to achieve our goal, and seeing the length of the list and variety of effects needed. I worked closely with Framestore to develop the effects and make sure they were shot properly. From a director's point of view, I also had to think about the narrative, the flow, the humor, the style, the performances and, of course, how to clearly and coherently tell the story of millions of years of evolution backwards in 50 seconds, including a drinking moment and a packshot. This is also the sort of idea that could consume a vast and ever-increasing budget, but the budget was modest considering the ambition of the piece. From a political point of view, it was a challenge, as the clients had to put up with seeing very rough assemblies of the edit after the shooting was finished. It's a difficult journey for all involved, especially when the stakes and tension levels are high.

C What do you make of the quality of the boards in '05?

DKI felt 2005 was a better year than the previous one. It's probably to do with money flow in commerce in general, but being just a humble servant of capitalism, not an oligarch of industry, I'm just guessing. I do know that when money's tight creative solutions become more conservative. Perhaps 2005 saw a bit of fiscal optimism or upturn in business.

C Overall, how would you assess the quality of the work you saw in advertising in general?

DK Not bad. There were some cracking ads created last year by my colleagues, and I, for one, am always pleased to see good work, whether I've done it or not.
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