Q&A With Mike Maguire

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Mike Maguire
Mike Maguire
Mike Maguire, the half of former directing team Kuntz & Maguire who left directing to work in Goodby & Silverstein's creative department, is back behind the camera. The director, now solo, has signed with the Directors Bureau, and talks about his decisions and goals with AdCritic.

What happened? Why did you decide to go back to directing?

Mike Maguire: What happened was, I decided last year to pursue more of a writing role, and I talked to Jeff Goodby, and told him that I enjoy both writing and directing, and we worked out a great situation. I thought that I'd do it for one year and then evaluate the highs and lows and figure out what to do. Basically after a year, you want to give 110 percent to writing and 110 to directing, and sometimes I felt like I was giving 220percent. I really do feel like we have to practice what we preach and take risks and so I got hooked up with the Directors Bureau.

What are your goals as a solo director?

MM: There are goals, and the goals are to push myself to do things that aren't familiar, to terrify myself a little bit. I want to gain people's trust, and we're launching May 15 new work for Comcast from Goodby, and that will show a maturation process, I think. I think those are the things, the opportunities where you're thinking about what you can push yourself to do.

Why the Director's Bureau?

MM: Roman [Coppola, director and partner] is such a creative guy, and his mind and his heart is in so many projects, every day is a new opportunity, whether it's a short film or a music video or an art piece or a commercial. The really collaborative feeling runs through the Director's Bureau. That's what nails it for me. Part of the reason that I went to Goodby was because I loved writing treatments and I got to write here and there to make things funnier when I was directing, but when I got here, there was the feeling that I can do much more than just commercials. The company is small and manageable and not some big gigantor of a company, those things have more meaning because there's a guy sitting right next to you. It's not some guy who you see every few weeks. It's a small place and has a familial feeling.

You directed with Tom Kuntz, now at MJZ, for awhile. What is it like being on your own?

MM: You realize just how quickly you learn when you're alone and someone asks you a question and the answer just instinctively comes out. There's something very satisfying about it. I spoke with Tom about this. You realize that instead of having to rely on your better half, there are different dialogues happening, and they happen more frequently then you'd expect. When there are two guys, there is a lot of conversation between the two guys. When there's one there's conversations with a lot more people. There's a dialogue that goes through different depths with the DP or the production designer or the creatives at every level. There's more talk. You're doing more. That's been a really satisfying experience. The guys at Goodby are super smart and driven, and they force you to rise to their level. That's what I'm looking for in the years to come. I want conversations that are that exciting.
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