The Next Wave: Matt Eastman, Radke Films

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Matt Eastman, 25, hit the commercials scene running last year with the Five-Alive juice campaign, a collection of mini-spots within spots that "instruct" the viewer on how to "feel alive." A concoction of absurdist scenarios relayed through bizarre characters, mixed media and garish set design, it's so wacky you wonder if it's really juice that it was promoting. In any case, it was totally clutter busting and set the tone for how Eastman would begin to carve out his undeniably off-kilter approach. "When I first started out, I'd get the script and do a parody of the script," he explains. "That seemed to work for me." Since then Eastman has continued get things right by turning them upside down, for clients like Panasonic and Kokanee beer. For the former, he crafted a creepy psychological thriller in which a paranoid engineer eerily encounters twin objects wherever he goes, resulting in his invention of a vacuum cleaner with double suction valves. The latter included one spot where a Bigfoot challenges his hunter-in-Sasquatch's clothing by wearing a giant humanoid mask of his pursuer's face. In that and much of his work, even his casting is askew. "In a lot of my commercials, I try to go for more of a plastic or wooden performance, the things that are called actor-proof. Then it's about finding the right person who appreciates camp and can give a kitschy performance. But in the end, style is only so much and it's the storyteller that will survive."
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