Face Time with Waites

By Ti Published on .

London creative director Mark Waites, one of the Mothers behind seminal ad moments for Super Noodles and Dr Pepper (and coming soon, Coke Classic), has expanded his oeuvre to longer-form expression with the short film 72 Faced Liar. Apparently, his skills know no temporal boundaries. Waites wrote and directed the film, a co-production between Mother and @radical.media. In it, Terry, an average bloke, literally loses his head - beneath latex interpretations of famous faces. After donning a mask as a gag one day, he finds that his true face has become consumed by the false faces of celebrities of every ilk. While he is unable to remove the masks, they are shed periodically, of their own volition, each one replaced with the visage of another pop culture icon.

There is an essentially hilarious element to the premise of a hapless Joe assuming the caricatured outward identities of political and entertainment figures, from Tony Blair to Mr. T, and Waites wisely lets it speak for itself. At the same time, he leverages the inherent comedy of each mask to its fullest (presenting Bill Clinton, for instance, when Terry is confessing a dalliance and defensively splitting hairs about its scope). The result is a very funny yet somehow poignant piece, touching on themes of identity, guilt and redemption. Waites wrote the film last year, he says, mainly to bone up on scriptwriting software Final Draft. The Mother CD had been shooting an increasing number of spots through his day job, and had been hankering to pit his directorial skills against a longer-format project to get the bug out of his system. The result, he says, is "now I want to shoot more." The film was edited by John Smith (Leaving Las Vegas) and shot by DP Ray Coates, who devoted a month to the U.K.-based production. Expect to see the film at a festival near you, and Waites in the director's chair again in the future.

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