Directing is Vincent's third attempt at a career. The 42-year-old SoCal native graduated from UC/Santa Barbara with a geology degree, and worked a while for the government. "But I like making stuff up, and in geology, they kind of frown upon that," he deadpans. So Vincent put a book together and made his way into advertising, at agencies like TBWAChiatDayVenice and ultimately Fallon, where he was a CD on Archipelago. Since he joined Hungry Man, he continues to direct for the client, this time a massive project entitled The Open Show. The slapstick series of one-minute shorts debuted last month and will continue every morning on MSNBC at 8:59 until the end of the year (see archives on Archipelago.com). Reminiscent of Spinal Tap's docu-comedy, they track the quixotic exploits of the goofy Jeff and Neal, who set out cross-country in search of a perfect signal for the opening of the online exchange.
But for Vincent it's not just about money. There's also sex. Earlier this year he was in London filming a spot for The Observer, featuring a suicidal carrot, when a script came in from Saatchi/London for broadcast on the Coco De Mer campaign, whose innocuously lewd print ads took this year's Press Grand Prix at Cannes. It called for a succession of big O's to ensue from a boardroom of suited, um, stiffs. "In comedy, I like strange things played small," he notes. "This was a chance to take something that would normally be pretty broad and play it small. I didn't want it to be like the hair commercials."Casting extended into the wee hours, with Vincent reviewing various moaners on videotape in his London hotel room." I would try to keep the sound down, but then I couldn't hear. So I'd turn it up a little bit, and of course that's when they started shrieking. The next morning people were like 'Show some dignity! You gotta relax a little bit in there!'"