The Next Wave: Rafael Fernandez, Palomar Pictures

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Rafael Fernandez made his way out of a cubicle by writing a film. The young director had been programming code in a San Francisco office when, in 2000, he scripted Oregon, an award-winning short that imagines a cold futuristic world monitored by vigilant, Terminator-like anti-smoking police. Some kind of artistic breakout was bound to happen for this multi-talented man. He earned his degree in creative writing from UC/Davis, he is a published poet and he also plays a mean bass. Since his film, Fernandez has continued to drum up attention with his uniquely imagined worlds: Addy-winning PSAs that feature teenagers getting makeunders - rotten teeth implants and combover haircuts - to humorously illustrate the cosmetic equivalent of what tobacco does to your lungs; a Latin American cinema-style spot for Sony Digital, where a woman takes the horror flick that airs on her hi-def TV a little too seriously; as well as two rounds of broadcast for Leo Burnett/Chicago's wacky Nutri-Grain Bar campaign, in which people walk around, literally, with sticky-bun bums and donut waists.
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