An aura of mystery shrouds the directing team of Carter & Blitz. The official bio currently circulating about them is highly suspect, rife with vaudevillian adventures embroiling them in feats of wizardry and tap-dancing revivals of s Othello. But for Mac Carter and Jeff Blitz, mysterious is the way they like it. Since the 30-something USC film grads and former commercials ghostwriters signed to Anonymous in January, their commercials have carried on the intrigue. "In all our spots, there's a kind of a tension to the style," explains Carter. "It's mysterious, whether it's through off-centered framings or high key lighting." Their highly conscious cinematic techniques succeed in creating film-worthy suspense within a commercial's shrunken timeframe, starting with specs for Conseco and Puma that go from polished cinema to grittier Euro-inflected realism. Real spots include a :15 that opens curiously onto a tight shot of a boy's torso, steadily bobbing up and down. Wider shots that follow reveal the child perched on a kiddie ride, set in motion by his dad's manpower - all to save change for a McDonald's burger. They also applied their filmic sensibility to a character-driven Sony Playstation spot, in which a young man lives and breathes Tekken, as well as on a convention of movie stereotypes in a trailer for the Mill Valley Film Festival. "We're just striving to make interesting images with tension because it draws an audience in," Carter says. "In our minds, stories that don't give everything away, really make for a more memorable spot."