Keeping it Real

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Paul Hunter, a maestro of music videos who's now making big inroads in commercials, is all about keeping it real. He's worked with the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Christina Aguilera, Marlon Brando and Michael Jackson, and he believes that it's important to keep ego levels in check in order to get effective performances. "It's really about bringing people back to the roots," Hunter believes. "When you go back to your roots, you're able to be what made you. The entertainment business in general has such a heightened sort of lifestyle that I think people tend to be more coldhearted and fake, only because we're all kind of in performance mode. Everyone's performing in some way. The director's performing, the agents are performing. When you have tons of equipment piled up and a hundred people standing around, that alone will have the tendency to make people put on an act. I like to boil it down to not being about that. Then all the bullshit is squashed and you can get into some real shit."

Hunter, who works out of HSI, got to the core of NBA greats on the Emmy-nominated Nike "Freestyle," via Wieden & Kennedy, which was so cool it was made into a video for MTV. His latest clip is a veritable Hollywood short film - Michael Jackson's "You Rock My World," with Marlon Brando, Chris Tucker and Michael Madsen. Hunter is now working on his first full-length feature, Bulletproof Monk (starring Chow Yun-Fat), which he likens to an "urban Raiders of the Lost Ark." His recent spots work includes Mountain Dew Code Red, for BBDO/New York, and the fall Gap campaign, via Modernista, which features Carole King singing with her daughter, and Juliette Lewis dancing goofily with the robot-headed Daft Punk duo. Regardless of genre, Hunter stresses performance above all. "I get a little bit frustrated when people say, 'He's a fashion guy' or 'He's a music guy,'" he sighs. "Placing a camera in front of something is not directing. Directing is about an exchange of the ideas in your head to the next person, but it's also communicating to be able to get the scene to be felt. It's about all levels of communication."


Irv Blitz, HSI

Mathew Brady,

Mathew Brady Films

Mark Coppos, Coppos Films

Peter Elliott, Peter Elliott


Alex Fernbach, ARF

& Company

Mark Klein, Big Deahl

Phil Marco, Phil Marco


Michael Schrom, Michael

Schrom & Co.

Jerry Simpson, Simpson


Santiago Suarez,



Raymond Bark,


Bob Ebel, Ebel


Bob Giraldi, Giraldi

Suarez Productions

Lasse Hallstrom, Radical

Peggy Sirota, HSI

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