Even if it hadn't produced the most-talked about spot of 2011, Park Pictures would have safely landed on this year's A-List. That commercial, of course, our #1 spot of 2011, is the Lance Acord-directed "The Force," for Volkswagen, the Super Bowl story so expertly told that it had everyone talking--even well into this year's big game.
But there were plenty more memorable turns, including Acord's all-star-meets-ball conversations for the NBA, and Nike's mid-lockout b-ball celebrations "Spotlight" and "Shine," out of Wieden + Kennedy, Portland.
Chris Sargent brought more inventive plays to NBA, in a series of spots that united basketball all-stars with their younger selves, out of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners. Practical joke maestro Benzo Theodore applied some clever effectsy touches to his latest viral, a spot for Rocksmith featuring a guitar-playing baby.
Alison Maclean shot Yia-yia's words of reproach-and approval, for Droga5's Kraft Athenos campaign and, on a more moving tip, expert doc filmmaker Chris Wilcha reunited a man with his long-lost '65 Impala, in a spot and online film for Chevrolet, out of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners.
Other major developments: Park launched a London office in 2011--leading to work like the stylish Stella Artois' C'est Cidre, Not Cider" out of Mother London and two slick short films for Chivas, out of Euro RSCG London, directed by Joachim Back. Having achieved previous silver screen success on Back's 2010 Oscar-winning "The New Tenants, Park also made its feature pursuits official with the launch of Park Pictures Features, led by Galt Niederhoffer and Sam Bisbee. Its first film, Robot & Frank, directed by Jake Schreier and starring Frank Langella, Susan Sarandon, James Marsden, Liv Tyler, Jeremy Strong and Peter Sarsgaard as the voice of the film's robot, was a co-recipient of the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize at Sundance earlier this year.