In the world of commercials directing, you might call the reel of Christopher Riggert "risky," in that it reveals a director not content with one particular style. He knows how to do the quirky character humor thing, evident in a pair of hilarious spots for Brother, Paper Jam and PC Load Letter, which combine a certain Napoleon Dynamite vibe with a look of The Office. Then there's a swirling animated celebration of Nike's Air Force One shoe and a rich, intimate film following teenage friends for Bonds t-shirts. Each tells a story in a distinctly different way, and with skill so impressive that it doesn't matter that the work can't fit into a rigid box.
"I think my style is created from project to project in trying to understand each look and personality of the idea rather than me trying to force myself on them," says Riggert, a former agency art director and designer who's made stops at Fallon, London and The Glue Society in Sydney. "I spent a lot of time in agencies so I guess you get used to changing the tonality of something to fit the project, so it might be a bit of a hangover from that. But I quite like the refreshing experience of not tunneling down to a particular thing and instead experimenting. So for the moment, I'm just enjoying playing around with different looks and genres and understanding how to get there with an idea."
In terms of how he works behind the camera, Riggert points to the Bonds spot as a model he'd like to experiment with more. On the shoot, he worked with a skeleton crew, which allowed him a certain amount of creative versatility and flexibility. "I'd like to adapt it and use that way of working to try and get some more interesting results that come out looking contemporary, while still getting the composition and beauty in the cinematography," he says. "It's about being able to capture something rather than trying to constantly create it."
Read about Matthew Luem, another of our 2008 Directors to Watch.