Yael Staav, Furlined

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Yael Staav
Yael Staav
Toronto-based Yael Staav turned heads worldwide with her work on Creativity Award grand prize winner Dove "Evolution," which documented the transformation of an everyday attractive woman to billboard ad material. After working primarily in music videos, she moved into the commercials world three years ago. Along with "Evolution," her current reel emits hopeful emotion through sympathetic shots and sincere characters, whether in spots for the ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) Society of Canada featuring music by Canadian indie star Jim Guthrie, or Dove's "Daughters" spot chronicling young girls' self-image trials and tribulations. Now, Staav says she's looking to add her personal stamp to projects that offer room to play. (JB)

She says, on why she directs commercials: This sounds so trite, but I love the idea of telling a story in 30 seconds. I love that every single thing you see in the frame, whether it's the type of mirror in the background or anything else, is there to give (the viewer) information and context. I love that there's an entire story, with characters, all in under a minute. So when the opportunity came up to direct commercials, it was like, "Fuck yeah!" You get to pick wicked music, wardrobe, hair, characters—all these things that are so fun. Basically, it's like mashing together all these things you love to do and calling it a job.

On the most important aspect of directing: It changes. You can say the most important thing is to give every decision a lot of thought and stay focused, but this process is such that you don't always get 100 percent of your original vision on the screen because it is so collaborative. But that's also where some of the magic is and why it's so cool because sometimes with all these changes and ideas being added to your original vision, you come out in the end with something great. You've got to see the forest for the trees. Did I just say that?
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