Directors to Watch 2008: Minivegas

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Minivegas
Minivegas
"Whatever the medium is, we don't really shy away from it," says Luc Schurgers, co-founder of the London-based production collective Minivegas. "We've tried pretty much everything." And in a pretty short time at that. Founded just three years ago by Schurgers, Aoife McArdle and Chris Wood, fellow graduates of England's Bournemouth University, who were later joined by Grant White, Daniel Lewis, Jeroen Hooghoudt and Suzanne Schurgers, the multinational collective—hailing from the Netherlands, Ireland, England, and Wales—has produced a dizzying array of work. From an early piece for Live 8 depicting an African boy succumbing to starvation to more recent AIDS awareness ads for TBWA/Paris that take place in a pair of animated sexual wonderlands, Schurgers and Minivegas have been keeping very busy.

"We can do a whole job with our little team," Schurgers says of the Minivegas model. "Everybody's got a different skill. It's quite efficient when you sort of get into the business, because you can make everything yourself." This year alone, the group—which took its name from an abandoned gambling arcade in the seaside town of Camber Sands—won a pair of Clios for a series of Nissan virals featuring outrageous car stunts created with special effects and a Bronze Lion for a tongue in cheek GQ spot that definitively demonstrates that "the ideal man doesn't exist." They also earned a Silver Lion for a series of station IDs for the Welsh network S4C, which were dynamically created based on the qualities of the announcer%u2019s voice—whether it was a man or a woman, an English-speaker or a Welsh-speaker. They are also planning to launch a web-based service, Happy Granny, that will allow you to send a picture postcard to someone from your computer or your iPhone. The ads for the site, which depict a granny so unhappy that she chain smokes and shoots heroin, are fairly outrageous, but U.S. audiences should brace for more of what Minivegas has to offer. Schurgers has permanently relocated to Los Angeles, and the rest of the gang plan to shuttle back and forth as needed.

Read about Romain Gavras, another of our 2008 Directors to Watch.

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