9. Samuel Bayer, HSI

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Don't be thrown off by Sam Bayer's diverse interests. On top of action blockbusters for MasterCard, Nissan, and most recently, for Visa and Saatchi & Saatchi/London featuring Bruce Willis, the HSI director/DP has also helmed visually stylistic performance-based work for Nike, Cingular and Diet Coke. Furthermore, the versatile Bayer admits he'd like to get in touch with his inner comedian. "I think I'm a very funny guy and I'm really trying to tackle a bit more comedic work and linear storytelling," he notes of his current commercials pursuits. He even has a feature in the works, a remake of Sam Peckinpah's Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia, starring Benicio Del Toro. When it comes to his approach to any shoot, however, he admits things haven't really changed since the SVA-grad and former painter landed on the radar directing the classic Nirvana grunge clip "Smells like Teen Spirit." Bayer still likes to keep everything basic and fluid. "I don't make an effort to make stuff look like a Sam Bayer commercial or a Sam Bayer video. I don't have a lot of fancy camera work. A lot of times it's very much like still photography or a documentary style of shooting. A lot of times I'm making it up as I go along. Whether I'm shooting a car or a person, I try to find something new and special every time I do a spot. I want to do it differently every time. I have to keep it interesting, not just for my clients, but for myself, as well. Otherwise, this business becomes a treadmill, where you're just repeating yourself or imitating other people." (
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