Did you hear that new Prodigy hit, "Carstarter"? Fallon McElligott has brought back the old "Ultimate driving machine" trip for BMW, in stylish b&w, with the usual guy speeding on that winding, completely deserted road, but now it's been updated for an Xtreem audience: it's got techno beats! The groovy techno is composed by Paul Robb at Montclair, N.J.'s MessHall, where exec producer Andy Messenger says the soundtrack does what "spoken words never could." In fact, there are no spoken words. Titles flash studly aphorisms like, "Happiness is not around the corner, happiness is the corner." Credits also to CDs Bruce Bildsten and Tom Lichtenheld, writer Dave Pullar and producer Bob Wendt. Directed by Lance Kelleher at Ritts/Hayden; edited by Michael Heldman at Spot Welders.
The guy must be heavily influenced by Richard Pousette-Dart. A new series of promos for illustrator Keith Graves gets a hit-or-miss treatment from The Richards Group, Dallas. Explains agency art director Doug Eyring, "Keith's stuff is always kinda wacky," hence the concept Eyring and writer Brad Walk developed based around a punctured dictionary page. The words that are hit are worked into the accompanying Graves illustration-a Girl Scout, a giraffe and a gladiator in one; a hold-up, a holstein, a homburg and a homemaker in another; and a basketball, a bass, a bastard and a bathtub, seen here. Additional credits to creative director Jim Baldwin and photographer Barth Tillotsen.
If this keeps up, the McDonald's in Times Square will be adding a McRoo. Hide your Foster's, a fresh load of Australians will be roaming the streets and invading the creative departments of New York in the next few weeks. Adam Hunt, a copywriter at Saatchi & Saatchi/London, is about to move to Saatchi's New York office, where he'll join fellow Aussie Tim Brown. Compatriot Marcus Jackson, a founder of defunct Australian hotshop Omon, is on his way to O&M/New York, and Sally Overhue, who has worked at Omon and in Singapore, is heading to Cliff Freeman & Partners. Ben Nott (pictured here with Hunt at the '96 Cannes festival), who was at Saatchi/London and later signed with London production company Outsider, is also on his way to Cliff Freeman. Why New York? Says Hunt, "Because New York rocks," a sentiment that sounds charming only in a foreign accent.
Sandbank seals the vault. Legendary director Henry Sandbank says he was always afraid of leaving the business like some "punch-drunk prizefighter, still insisting that he could do it." Funny analogy, and sadly true in too many instances, but not for this champ.
Instead, Sandbank has chosen to hang up his viewfinder with class and dignity at age 65, while still in fighting form, to boot. After having worked in the advertising industry for well over 40 years, first as a photographer and then as an award-winning director of commercials, Sandbank recently announced that he is retiring from the business and turning over his company, Sandbank Films, to his son, David, also a director, and his executive producer partner Robert Berman.
Citing his desire to pursue a number of personal projects, Sandbank admits that suffering a mild heart attack recently helped him reach a decision he's been "hemming and hawing about for years." He says he'll now devote himself to the kinds of things he's wanted to do for years but never had the time, such as teaching and working on an ambitious series of short archival films featuring notable personalities in fields such as art and architecture.
Clearly this transition represents a generational handoff, and a rare one in the commercials business. Berman, 36, and Sandbank, 31, plan to continue the company and expand it, and they have already signed on director David Anderson from Chelsea Pictures. While the younger Sandbank has only been directing since 1995, he grew up in the business and spent the last four years working directly under his father as lighting technician and operator.
Sandbank's announcement seemed to surprise some of his former colleagues and collaborators, such as RGA Studio's Robert Greenberg. "Henry's signature look was in taking very complicated information and ideas and bringing them down to their basic essentials," he remarks. "He's also a real gentleman who did a lot to raise the level of work in our industry."
"Henry's a perfectionist," adds Rubin Postaer head of production Gary Paticoff, for whom Sandbank shot the Honda "Art Gallery" spot. "He's the kind of director that you hoped would be interested in your project."
And what of longtime friends and clients like Paticoff who call to ask him to take just one more job? "I've already turned quite a few people down," says Sandbank. "It was easy for me, because I really feel committed to changing my life and doing something more valid with my career." He says he'll miss the "personal challenge and the creative process of making ads, but not the business of making them, and certainly not the pressure." Instead, he's looking forward to finding new ways to express himself creatively. "I left a lot of stuff on my desk," he says about the boards he walked away from when he finally made up his