Craig Gillespie, MJZ

By Tk Published on .

MJZ's Gillespie, a former creative who put in a decade as an art director at New York agencies, was a 2001 DGA Best Director nominee on the strength of very funny work for Holiday Inn Express and Citibank. He continues his comedy streak with recent spots for those very clients: Citibank's "Treadmill" and Holiday Inn Express' "Snakebite" and "Jeopardy."

What do you consider a milestone in your directing career? "My H&R Block 'Worried About Bill' commercial, then Citibank for Fallon."

What's the most important consideration for a commercials director? "To understand the idea and how to best deliver that."

What's the most rewarding aspect of your job? "Making people laugh. I just shot a guy being trampled by an elephant, for instance - hopefully, this will be funny."

What's your philosophy of getting great performances? "Let the actor feel like he's part of the process. Explain the character's motivation, the tone of the spot, where the humor lies - and if they're good, let them improvise."

What kind of project haven't you done that you want to do? "Longer-format stuff, where you get a sense of a culture or place. For example Jonathan Glazer's "Swimmer" and BMW Films".

If you were a Cannes juror, what gets your vote for the Grand Prix this year? "Anything that Fredrik Bond did. (He offered to pay me.)"

What's next in your career? "A feature, I hope."

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