Anything But the Pits

By Gh Published on .

The hottest new director on this year's DGA Director of the Year shortlist is not a director at all - it's Black Rocket, San Francisco, CD Bob Kerstetter. He answered the Guild's entry call on a whim, and "burst out laughing" when he learned of the nomination, which places him alongside the likes of Joe Pytka and Joe Public. "I was definitely humbled," says Kerstetter, a DGA member. For the official record, he declares, "I will not win that award." Described as "a dark take on American canned food iconography," the three nomination-grabbers are Black Rocket spots for Musco black olives, which feature "olive fingered" people as social outcasts. The distinctly European-flavored spots, which are charmingly subtle despite their sight gags, were produced by Tool of North America, where director Erich Joiner is Kerstetter's former partner at Goodby, Silverstein. In fact, it was with Joiner that Kerstetter directed his first spot in 1992, an MTV promo. When Joiner took the director's road, Kerstetter stayed put, eventually founding Black Rocket. Since then, he has directed only one or two spots a year. Despite his talent behind the camera, Kerstetter, 42, has no regrets about his decision. "I'm not interested in becoming a full-time director," he insists. "I'm already enough of a bitch to work with. Besides, I've got an agency to run." He sees directing as merely a hopeful "training ground" for a future feature. The DGA winner will be announced March 9 in Los Angeles.
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