MJZ: The Insiders' Year in Review

Published on .

Rocky Morton, Director, co-founder/owner

Favorite job of the year: Promo for C.S.I. because of the challenge of creating the character of a dead guy and making him funny.

David Zander reminds me most of: The fact that I have a great partner.

The best thing about MJZ: Being the "M" of MJZ.

The worst thing about MJZ: Being the "M" of MJZ.

I love directing because: I don't know anything else.

Fredrik Bond, Director

Funniest experience on the job in 2005: When our crew attacked a rival Goodby shoot with water balloons in Downtown...and lost!

Most inspiring moment of the year: When David Zander asked if I was on crack.

David Zander reminds me most of: Burt Reynolds

The best thing about MJZ: The people.

The worst thing about MJZ: They haven't given me an office.

I love directing because: It's like being a Private Investigator trying to find the right pieces for the best possible end result. It's the greatest kick when that then makes people feel something.

Lenard Dorfman, Director

Funniest experience on the job : Recorded a very nice receptionist making engaging sounds.

Most inspiring moment: Listening to the sounds that the receptionist made.

I love directing because: I get paid to dream.

Nicolai Fuglsig, Director

Favorite job of the year: I dropped my sweaty balls for Sony...and had 45 female PA's wrangle them all up by hand!

Funniest on the job experience: Chasing a screaming blood covered Chinese boy through the streets of downtown L.A with no crew and no permit and nearly getting shot by two trigger-happy cops.

Most inspiring moment : When my brother had a baby with my number one ex-girlfriend!

I love directing because: I get to throw 250,000 bouncy balls down the streets of San Francisco for a laugh!

Phil Joanou, Director

strangest experience on the job : Riding on a flatbed truck with U2 from Harlem across Manhattan and into Brooklyn while we filmed them with eight cameras singing "All Because of You" live as thousands of people chased us through the streets of New York City.

David Zander reminds me most of: King Kong

The best thing about MJZ: King Kong

I love directing because: I get to wear a baseball hat every day to work and no one laughs at me (at least not to my face).

Steven Diller, Director

Favorite job of the year: ESPN Bowling. First job with MJZ and Ground Zero.

Biggest job-related challenge: Casting a bowling ball as the lead.

David Zander reminds me most of: Batman

The best thing about MJZ: They never say no.

The worst thing about MJZ: No pony rides at the office.

Ray Dillman, Director

Strangest on the job experience : Nearly each and every pre-production meeting.

David Zander reminds me most of: Howard Roarke

The best thing about MJZ: David Zander

I love directing because: Every day I play make believe for a living, that's pretty rarified air.

Elma Garcia, Director/d.p.

Most inspiring moment: Make a Wish, both the mother and 3- year-old boy had cancer. To see the mom insist on being in all the family scenes when she was feeling so lousy. She since has passed but thankfully, the boy is going to be fine.

I love directing because: I am a builder by nature and love creating. I never get tired looking through an eyepiece.

Craig Gillespie, Director

Favorite job: Ameriquest. Everything about the job was fun. Nobody ever said, "That cat looks like it's been butchered with a carving knife-you can't air that. We'll get letters."

Funniest on the job experience: Getting a cat to knock over a pot of pasta sauce.

David Zander reminds me most of: My mother.

The best thing about MJZ: That David Zander reminds me of my mother.

The worst thing about MJZ: That David Zander reminds me of my mother.

Rupert Sanders, Director

Favorite job : Xbox. Shooting in China is incredible, bizarre and refreshing.

strangest on the job experience: Watching T-Mac turn up from his private jet into a '70's, Czech limo and pulling into the deserted mining town looking for the night life. "You're not from 'round 'ere are you?"

David Zander reminds me most of: Warm cuddles with granny.

The best thing about MJZ: Warm cuddles.

The worst thing about MJZ: I don't know yet.

I love directing because: It's like being a spoiled kid without strict parents.

Sean Thonson, Director/D.P.

Biggest job-related challenge : Making Rio de Janeiro look like the southeastern United States.

strangest on the job experience : Having a tarantula in my coffee cup in the Mojave Desert.

The best thing about MJZ: Jeff Scruton

I love directing because: With my DGA card I get to go to the movies for free in November and December.

Matthijs van Heijningen, director

Favorite job of the year : Tetley's beer, Saatchi/London. It's a big scale rip off gladiator film but instead of going into battle they all march towards a fancy dress party in a local Yorkshire pub.

Funniest experience on the job : I tried to act in one of my own spots and I think I should not pursue a career as an actor.

I love directing because: It's the only thing I'm capable of.

Clay Williams, Director

Biggest job-related challenge: Saying no to the afternoon frapuccinos.

Most inspiring moment: Bush's slide in the polls.

David Zander reminds me most of: A loveable gerbil in a cashmere sweater.

I love directing because: I'm surrounded by talented people who are paid to pretend they like me.

Jeff Scruton, Sr. Executive Producer

Biggest job-related challenge: Trying to make $1.00 spend like $2.00.

The best thing about MJZ: The people. We've all been together for a long time and I really feel like we can knock down anything that comes our way.

The worst thing about MJZ: The lack of parking when we have eight pre-pro's going.

I love producing because:I've been given the opportunity to help build this company with David Zander and work with some amazingly talented directors. What's not to love?

Brian Latt, Executive Producer

Biggest job-related challenge: Telling Craig Gillespie his bandana looks cool.

Funniest on the job experience: Jeff, Lisa, and I just happened to wear the same outfit to the AICP show at MoMA.

The best thing about MJZ: It's easy to pronounce.

The worst thing about MJZ: Don't know what it stands for.

I love producing because: Directing is hard work.

Lisa Rich, Executive Producer

Most inspiring moment: Accepting the MJZ Emmy for Ameriquest's "Surprise Dinner".

The best thing about MJZ: I love the people who work here. They make every day fun.

I love producing because: It's like working at the circus-a bizarre collection of fringe personalities come together to create fabulous commercial entertainment in an atmosphere of chaos, creativity, fear, loathing, and excitement.

Tim Merjos, East Coast Head of Sales

Favorite job of the year : Gap, reuniting Spike Jonze and Crispin Porter Bogusky.

Biggest job-related challenge : Getting full markup.

strangest on the job experience: My daily morning phone call with David Zander.

Most inspiring moment: Winning the Palme d' Or at Cannes.

David Zander reminds me most of: My Brother.

The best thing about MJZ: The executive producers.

The worst thing about MJZ: People saying a monkey could sell my roster of talent.

I love repping because: It affords me enough time to climb trees and forage for bananas while not on the phone.

Steven Monkarsh, West Coast Sales Rep

Favorite job: Nicolai Fuglsig's adidas campaign because it's so fun to watch him work.

Biggest job-related challenge: Getting good creative jobs for our directors.

David Zander reminds me most of : Louie B. Mayer

Gay Guthrey, midwest sales Rep

The best thing about MJZ: The executive producers. They are my cheerleaders on a good day and my drill sergeants when it's rough.

The worst thing about MJZ: I outweigh the female staff.

I love repping because: I represent a fabulous roster so sometimes people are actually happy to take my calls.

In this article:
Most Popular