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How to Be a Commercial Director with Jordan Brady
Today on the show we have commercial filmmaking guru and all-around nice guy Jordan Brady. Jordan Brady began as a stand-up comedian touring nightclubs and colleges across America. A 100% self-taught filmmaker, he’s directed four narrative feature films, three full documentaries and over 1200 national & regional commercials and Maria Bamford’s acclaimed Netflix Comedy Special. Click for more about my feature films.
Jordan directs advertising campaigns for brands and agencies from all over the world. Given his background, it’s no surprise he has directed comedy giants as Will Ferrell, Kevin Hart, Keegan-Michael Key, Rory Scovel and more. Other notable celebrities include international star Arnold Schwarzenegger and country music legend Brad Paisley, campaigns starring actress Kathryn Hahn for Chrysler and Lamorne Morris for Buick.
Equally as nimble with visual effects, he’s shot over 50 sleight-of-hand magic trick spots for Toyota Saatchi Los Angeles that effortless combine in-camera and digital trickery.
Notable advertising awards include multiple Clios, National Gold, ADDY’s, Gold Promax Award, One Show, D Show, Pencil, AICP Awards, and more. Mr. Brady’s work is routinely spotlighted on AdWeek, Ads of The World and Agency Spy.
In 2016, Jordan completed his passion project; a feature documentary trilogy on what its takes to be a stand-up comedian. “I AM COMIC” stars Louis CK (pre-pervert) Sarah Silverman, Leslie Jones and more. 2014’s aptly titled “I AM ROAD COMIC” stars Pete Holmes and Marc Maron. The most gripping film of his career is “I AM BATTLE COMIC”. Filming took Brady to Afghanistan, Kuwait and undisclosed parts of the Middle East where he performed stand-up comedy for our troops stationed there.
In his spare time, Mr. Brady hosts the popular weekly filmmaking podcast RESPECT THE PROCESS, described as “The Rosetta Stone of filmmaking” and teaches Commercial Directing Bootcamp.
Enjoy my conversation with Jordan Brady.
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LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
- Jordan Brady – Official Site
- Commercial Directing Masterclass
- Commercial Directing Voodoo: Filmmaking Spells & Production Potions
- Respect the Process Podcast
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- Rise of the Filmtrepreneur: How to Turn Your Indie Film into a Moneymaking Business (FREE AUDIOBOOK)
- $1 Closed Captions for Indie Filmmakers – Rev ($10 Off Your First Order)
- The Complete Indie Film Producing Workshop with Suzanne Lyons
- Shooting for the Mob (Based on the Incredible True Filmmaking Story) (FREE AUDIOBOOK)
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Alex Ferrari 0:24
I like to welcome to the show. Jordan Brady,man. How you doing, Jordan?
Jordan Brady 0:27
Oh, great. Alex, thank you for having me.
Alex Ferrari 0:29
No, thank you for coming on the show. I had the pleasure of going on to your great podcast, about commercial directing, and all the cool things you talk about on your show. And I'm a fan. I'm a fan of what you do. And I'm a fan of all the stuff that you're doing for the commercial side of the business. And I've never actually had an episode dedicated to the commercial world, which is funny because I got my start in the commercial world as a commercial director and music video director and my first jobs were in the commercial side of the business. So it's a great way to cut your teeth. You know, it is especially when you when we were coming up, which was you know, we're of similar vintages. So the game the game is a bit different than it is then back then the budgets a little bit tighter. Nowadays. We're back in the 90s. But But yeah, so before we get started, how did you get into this ridiculous business?
Jordan Brady 1:27
I was a stand up comedian, in the comedy boom of the 80s dropped out of school hit the road. And I did every state and I've been to like three or 400 cities. Every state, including Alaska, Hawaii, except Maine, I've never been to Maine, and I work clubs and colleges. And then I came to LA with a pitstop in San Francisco. And I was there just like six or eight months ago. You know what, this is a best city in the country to live but not to be an entertainment beyond what I could do there. And I'm sure somebody from San Fran I call it Frisco because this is before I moved to LA and I started working in television. And then I hosted a game show, which is a natural progression from stand up comedian to being a game show host and i i was a bad actor. And then I The more I worked in television, the more I started loving behind the camera. So I did what you got to do. I wrote a film.
Alex Ferrari 2:29
And and and there and then but you but then how did you go from that to commercial directing, which is a bit of a there's not a lot of stand ups doing commercial directing?
Jordan Brady 2:40
Well, yeah. It's interesting. When I was trying to raise money for my first indie film, called dill scallion. It's like a country spinal tap. Okay. We're talking late 90s. You know, the when the Soderbergh's and the Clintons and Oh, yeah. The Kevin
Alex Ferrari 3:03
Kevin Smith is dancing with a spike lee. Yeah, they all did the thing. Who was the guy that owned the bar and Harvey cable? Well, that would be that would be true. choice. Duffy. Yes.
Jordan Brady 3:13
Troy Duffy. Yes. I actually love those movies, by the way.
Alex Ferrari 3:16
And I also love his documentary overnight, which was a magnet. It's mandatory for every filmmaker to watch overnight.
Jordan Brady 3:23
I took my son Jake, to see that movie with me. Which one? boondock overnight? No, no, overnight, okay, overnight when he was like, I mean, maybe 12 or 13. Because we were hanging during the day and I go, Hey, this is gonna be a little over your head. But you know, he grew up on set. My kids might want my other sons a director. He's 25. He's shooting a music video today. Awesome, Ben. So anyway, we go to see overnight. And when we walked out there was a producer I had done a movie with he goes, why did you bring your you brought your son ago? He can handle it. And the guy in my son goes, Yeah, I kind of got it. Don't worry, you know, I get what's going on. But I love that. So when I was raising money, I had already done promos. This is an interesting piece of cartilage. As a comedian. I did a lot of stuff on Comedy Central. And I hosted an MTV Game Show. So I knew those people and I started doing promos. Like I would write and produce and direct promos for Comedy Central, which was great that they were in New York, because in LA, they would just give me what seemed like a bag of money. Like 2030 grand, I would make this film and send it to them and they go great. One of them was with Dave Chappelle, this young 25 year old kid never heard of him. Yeah. One was Kathy Griffin, who was like in the alt comedy scene. So they were I knew those comedians. And I knew how to direct and produce and I just, they I paid for my they were my film school. And then I started doing it for NBC out here and I hosted a show on NBC with Mario Lopez. It was never heard an eight year adventure. Yeah, never say By the way,
Alex Ferrari 5:13
I know I used to watch him on Saved by the Bell. The dude is like him, Cher, and J. Lo, they all they all bathe in the same blood of infants to a vampire. I think they are I there's no question.
Jordan Brady 5:28
So basically, NBC had Mario during the Saved by the Bell years, it was called name your adventure. And a kid would write in a letter, and we would take them on these adventures. But they needed a second banana for for things that were too risky for the insurance for Mario to do. So. It went shark diving, Brady jumped out of a plane went to space camp and, and anything that was kind of dangerous, I would do here this thought you were the stunt double. That's awesome. So I started directing that show. Which was, I mean, I'd literally it was a life changing moment. I went to the producers, and said, Hey, cuz NBC set me up with an interview. And I go, Hey, I know I'm supposed to be this host I show up and I do funny things. But I really wanted to direct and and the guy almost laughed me out of the room. And to this day, Scott Friedland is one of my good friends. He said, Okay, if you produce I need producers. I don't need directors. If you produce six, you can direct one. And by season three, I was directing more than I was even hosting that. So to answer your question, I'm doing that and I'm doing these promos. And I go, I now I wrote a feature. So I write this. It's a country's spinal tap right. And I'm going to make the movie. I this is probably interesting to your fans. Look, I pitched the movie to Hollywood pictures. With that sentence. country western Spinal Tap, forwards, sold in the room, wrote the script got paid, goes into turnaround executives leave. I buy the script back. And they charge me an extra $15,000 interest, dinners trips we had taken we went to Vegas to see a comedian to star and it was crazy. So I'm pitching these production companies in the late 90s. Will you invest in my movie all production companies, propaganda had a film division. Right HSI who ended up making an indie film with h cam was a company who were the others a guy that was a bunch of them out there.
Yeah, like all the commercial production companies wanted to. And one of them goes, we're not giving you any money for your movie. But we have this commercial for you to direct. So I did it. And then, and people hate this part of the story. I'm, I'm at my same son, my same son's plural daycare center in Hollywood. And one of the moms the best. Her son is the best friend of my kid. She goes Jordan gate. You know, I know you make in your film, do you want to do commercials? I'm like, I love commercials. I wanted to be Deron Stevens when I was a kid. You know, I've been directing promos. And she goes, Well, yeah, you gotta come over and meet our people. And she just worked in the office. She was the manager that not in the creative side, they signed me who was who was the hklm, which was a big, big company in the 80s and 90s. And I was at h cam for a couple of years and bounced around. And I've been doing it ever since that
Alex Ferrari 8:51
was that night. 98. And that, and that's Hollywood. That is one of the things that happens here in LA when you just bump into the person who's your best friend of your kid at a it doesn't doesn't have to be workbench. Those are those kind of ridiculous la stories that pisses people off. But you know what, I've been involved with those those stories ever. And I used to be the one pissed off because I was from Florida. And I would hear these stories and I would watch movies about it. And I said, it must be amazing to be out here in LA Oh my god, it's great. And I gotta tell you, I've been out here now 1313 years or so 1314 years. And I gotta say the first two years The streets were paved with gold. Like everywhere. I was so excited to be here and like, everywhere you turn there was a post house there was a studio there was like, Oh, is that an actor? I know. Oh my god. Everyone has final draft in Starbucks open. This is where the action is. Oh my god knows two years and I was working. I was doing a lot of posts and I was directing. And I was really enjoying it but then after like a couple years, the sheen starts to the co author Avella it just starts to and then all of a sudden you start finding yourself like why do I love it here? I don't understand. I do love it. I do like it here and I want to stay here but I don't know why anymore. And then all of a sudden I we were talking about this before the show is like if you want the perfect analogy of La it's watch the Oscars on television and then when you know when and watch Hollywood Boulevard, how it looks during the Oscars and then come and visit Hollywood Boulevard when the Oscars aren't there. And that's a perfect representation because what happens in Hollywood Boulevard, sir, you've been here for a minute.
Jordan Brady 10:33
Well, you on TV during the Oscars, there's Klieg lights and limousines and red carpets and red carpets and fans cheering and self you know, flashes going off. And then within 17 hours, that same street is populated with teenage runaway hippies that smell like patchouli a guy with a needle in his arm. And another guy dressed as a you know, a mermaid with a jock strap on his head. It's it's lunatics. And
Alex Ferrari 11:03
and that is shops now. But by the way, that is the good part of Hollywood Boulevard. If you start going down a few blocks, it starts getting a little shady. The tourist area is what you're talking about, like where the Chinese Theater is. And that's the tourist area, you go down three, four blocks. You better hold on to your purse, especially at night.
Jordan Brady 11:26
I feel bad for families that have spent their money needs to come out and vacation and go to Hollywood. Like I'd go to the beach.
Alex Ferrari 11:36
You know, Santa Monica universal. Yeah, yeah, apps. Absolutely. And then there's Venice and we could have a talk conversation Hall about Venice. I can only take minutes for about 1520 minutes. I can't I physically can't take the energy there's just like it's everything's bombarding you. There's a guy who's a buff bodybuilder with his G string driving around his roller skates. And then there's somebody and there's literally a freak show, literally a freak show on Venice. Like there's a standing freak show. And you see the bearded dude come out and you're like, the fit the head, the face. The guy's face is all like, it's, it's insane. It's insane. La is such an insane place.
Jordan Brady 12:15
But here's the here's the flip side, because I've raised four kids here. Yeah. God bless you. God bless you. And I do love it here.
Alex Ferrari 12:22
I do. I love it. Because I mean, I live in a neighborhood.
Jordan Brady 12:27
I have family. I have a small group of friends. Right? I like the people I work with. And and Venice, you're talking about Venice Beach and the boardwalk. I mean, there are pockets you go. Oh, lock here and a block there. It's like New York, you know? Yeah. Every block is different. Yep, absolutely. ecosystem. And that's the same thing. Like I live in a neighborhood that could be you know, St. Louis suburb of St. Louis or st here or north of Miami. It's just a little pocket.
Alex Ferrari 12:58
Yeah, but outside that pocket, it could get could get a little interesting sometimes depending on it's not as crazy here in LA to that says one thing, like, you're literally driving and you're in like Beverly Hills. And then you're driving a little bit farther and you are like you do not want to get out of the house and got a car. It's like an insane. But that's New York to that's any big city almost like there's really good pockets, real bad pockets. we've kind of gone off off the track a little bit. But LA is kind of all about the story, the the myth of, of, you know, being in LA and being in Hollywood. And like I said, I've said so many times before, it's about the sizzle here, not the steak. Hollywood's really good at selling that sizzle, but they suck at selling the steak. Because that's what they do. And if people and we were talking about this before you can make a living nowadays as a filmmaker, anywhere. Oh, absolutely. And you may have to work harder. You may have to take less sexy jobs in other cities. But there's an abundance of work. And I've noticed in commercials. You may have to wear multiple hats. Now you do absolutely. Sometimes at once. But like I used to work in Kansas City all the time. And my dear friend Rick was the best line producer. He's the only guy I know. It's been to Sundance three times with three different movies would produce my commercials. And then I'd be talking to him on the phone. I go, what are you doing? He goes on location scouting for this, this big Google commercial. So he would location scout for another producer. And then I would go and I'd be like, hey, Brian, you were doing props.
Jordan Brady 14:45
Last time he goes, Yeah, I'm this time I'm, I'm going to be a grip. You know, like, enter the switching departments. But you
Alex Ferrari 14:53
have to because in like, when you and I were coming up, you could be Just a commercial director like that, that you literally just showed up, did your job and left and too many extension, there are still those guys and girls out there, they'll do that. But once you start getting out of the upper echelon, and you start dropping down towards the Hollywood Boulevard and the Oscars of work towards Hollywood Boulevard, use you got to start wearing more hats. And you got to start doing things. And you might have to produce a little bit, you might have to do this a little. And you and then because the budgets. I mean, the budgets were wonderful in the 90s. I mean, in the early 2000s, the budgets were just, I mean, I mean, it was insanity, the money that was being spent before the.com. Bubble popped, oh my god, there's so much money, so much money. I mean, I remember Miami had 13 post houses. And I know that's not a lot in LA state. But that's a small market, we had 13, like six of the more like, major post facilities, I used to work in all of them. And I would either be editing or I'd be directing or something like that. And then once the.com bubble popped it all just it ended up being with the ended up with like one if that and there were there were there were five, about four years ago. And then the the second bloodletting got it down to basically two wares in Miami.
Jordan Brady 16:22
In Miami. Yeah, yeah, I worked in Miami. I look, I'm blessed that I get decent budgets. I mean, I'm a working commercial director is my vocation. It's my bread and butter. And, and they're nice national clients, like I've done every car brand. But to your point, okay, I have been doing it. 22 years, there's that there's that. But to your point, I edited a job that my buddy got for this plant based protein thing. He goes, Hey, can I use your office? And we'll set up a little edit suite. And I go Yeah, and as a matter of fact, I didn't get the dog food job. So how about I edit for you and I edited with him with all the humility and grace of a guy that just wants to bring home some pizza and slurpees for my family. Right like if I tell anybody in 2020 and not just this year, if you can put your ego aside you can make money so yes, I in your right, I will produce and make a little it's it's more like when I produce I don't make money, but I save money.
Alex Ferrari 17:37
But do you? Well, do you own your own gear and rent it out to the production? I don't own anything. You don't own anything. So I because I when I was coming up a lot of commercial directors and you actually owned lenses and lighting packages and stuff and they would just rent them out as a side hustle to generate a little bit more revenue. for ya know,
Jordan Brady 17:57
My son has a you know, he has a red. Yeah, he has a lens package. He bought these cool Russian lenses. We have a whole like, right over here in my studio. We have lights sound, but nothing that I would rent out for a Toyota commercial. Sure. Like I would I would rather the DP get the money and the grips. Like I bought a slider. I was going to shoot it. So this guy, I knew a guy he goes I bought this slider I'm never using it. And I bought the slider he like literally he I think 100 bucks. And it was worth five 600 bucks, right? And I took it to a shoot. And I go Hey, let's use a slider. And the grip goes well I have a slider on the truck. When I brought the slider I put it on my car and I just got this new slider. And he just he was very respectful but he was kind of like why and I went a light bulb when I go Oh, he's not gonna get the rental. He the key grip wants to rent the thing I go by my slider but just give me 200 bucks you'll have an extra one done I never did it again. Like a literally like What an a**hole I will.
Alex Ferrari 19:10
But that was also that but that's also in today's world where you could buy gear where before a lens like like I remember that like you're buying lens packages that that was she talking about? 50,000
Jordan Brady 19:21
Alex Ferrari 19:22
100,000 so like the grip couldn't bring the DP couldn't own those things unless he was a big time dp and lighting power grip truck that that was tall. We're talking about like half a million dollar investment. But your your those these are the days of commercial directors make you're just you know, we're talking a million dollar budgets. I really Oh, it was. It was it was amazing bank. But I wanted to ask you what is the biggest myth in directing commercials that you would like to dismiss right now because, you know, a lot A lot of times people come to me and they've asked me about my commercial past and like, is it a good way to get in? Is it this I'm like, Look, guys, it's a completely different world. Like actually Couldn't even comprehend in today's world, to do what you're doing on a daily basis as a commercial director, and the only reason you can do what you're doing on a daily basis as a commercial actor is because you've got 22 years of relationships and experience and you're on that list of guys. There's a short list of guys that do this kind of work. And they're like, Oh, yeah, for the big spots, we give it to him, because we know it's just gonna get done, right. But like for a young kid to come in right now, like a 20 year old, 25 year old to start building that up without relationships. Yeah. And just trying to get like, picked up by a production company, and get represented, and sending out reels and oh, my God, I don't even know how to do it now. So what are some myths you think? Okay.
Jordan Brady 20:45
Yeah. The three R's that I teach, preach, and shout from the mountaintop, it's your real, it's your relationships, and its revenue. Those are the three reasons to do a job, you either one or for your real, you're doing it because it's a cool relationship, or a good relationship to have, or you just need the money. And rarely is it all three, that is the holy trifecta, if you get all three of them, repeat business is the the only way that I have a career is and repeat business comes from comes from relationships. And it comes from having a great real and never, never delivering dogshit. And the revenue is the least important. Which is weird, because you think you want to chase that big money gig. But I would rather do a series of lower budget jobs for really cool people with great creative repeatedly than to poopoo like nobody's poopoo and work anymore. And before I give you some of the myths, Alex, there is a list. And my wife hates when I say this publicly, because I am an A plus filmmaker. I can step on set. You could hand me the script. I can direct the shit out of it. But in the marketplace, I'm a B plus. Because I'm not on the top top list. Oh, no, you're not like Edward. David. David Fincher. Yeah, any movie anybody with a movie that had that was a hit? Is is even an A plus plus. Are they entertaining a commercial? Then there's these guys like Tom Coots, the DeLorean brothers. These guys. I just love their work. They do a lot of Geico your funniest Geico ads. Like
Alex Ferrari 22:34
it's been it's Pika, Pika still around, right. Yeah.
Jordan Brady 22:37
But that's he's an anomaly. Right?
Alex Ferrari 22:39
Yeah. But then again, we're looking to get back to Pitkin a minute. Because I got to talk to you about because I
Jordan Brady 22:45
don't think there could be another pick. I don't think you could be an asshole.
Alex Ferrari 22:48
Can you pick up today his pickup can pick up the pickup today? Is he I mean, he can't
Jordan Brady 22:52
pick it can be picked. But Kenny though I met him he was a sweetheart. But I know people that worked with him that like he threw a football at me and oh, I've worked with him like
Alex Ferrari 23:03
he's broken leg. Please do not do that farting, farting in clients, his faces. Literally. I've seen I've heard these stories from people on set that like he literally was walking upstairs and the client was behind him and he farted in the guy's face because that's what I think of you. And these are the kind of stories you hear and you're just like, are you is this man real? And by the way, if anyone doesn't know who we're talking about, we're talking about Joe pitka, the director of Space Jam. Every Clydesdale,
Jordan Brady 23:31
every proud wiser Clydesdale commercial, absolutely.The guy who Why am I blanking? He owns hungry. Brian Buckley has done more Superbowl commercials maybe not as many as Pika, but he has multiple ones. And he's from what I've heard. One of the nicest guys, and he's your comedy go to? And that's that list of guys with million dollar budgets? Oh, yeah. Huge daily budgets, great fees, and they're that list. And then your Jordan Brady is like, Oh, we couldn't get that. But Jordan could mimic that. You know, he I do. Like I do a lot of cars.
Alex Ferrari 24:11
Is that a better deal? Is that's not a bad thing at all. It's not? Jordan, I'm not. I don't understand why you're saying this. It's not a bad thing to be the, you know, on the bench after Fincher. I mean, I'd be cool with that.
Jordan Brady 24:24
I'm very cool with my place. But no, my wife is like, you know, you're a plus I go, but the difference. And this is what I think filmmakers need to understand the difference between your skill and your talent, your gift as a storyteller filmmaker, right? And where you are in the marketplace. Completely. It's great when they align, but they're two separate things. And if you can't objectively look at yourself as a commodity, and where do I need to improve? And sometimes maybe they want more sizzle, sometimes they're star fuckers. They just they Wasn't the guy that did? Oh, Napoleon Dynamite.
Alex Ferrari 25:03
Oh my god longest
Jordan Brady 25:04
time bullying dynamite? Oh, like we if you want Wes Anderson go get Wes Anderson. But for your your $110,000 for a union crew and sag actors, you probably not going to get Wes Anderson will try to wring out a spot.
Alex Ferrari 25:22
Right and Wes Anderson's price fee is 100,000.
Jordan Brady 25:26
So here's some myths. Your short film doesn't mean crap to anyone. Amen. As a commercial director, no one cares about your short film. No one's gonna watch it. No one's gonna watch your really your two minute short film. No one cares. And more and more people want to see 15 seconds. I do six second commercials. Sometimes. Well, this
Alex Ferrari 25:47
is a different world now. Yeah. 15 before for me, it was 15 second, and you know, 62nd? If that if
Jordan Brady 25:54
that. It's still 15 and 30. But more more 15. And the 30 still alive? Oh, no. Yeah. But it's not. It's not 37 seconds? No, the one one myth is your director's cut of your commercial. had better be on point with the brand messaging is right. Because if it's 37 seconds, and it has all the jokes, but it doesn't have like a second of a product shot. People are going to go well why did it take 37 seconds to tell a 32nd story? Like it actually hurts you.
Alex Ferrari 26:29
You're right. So I actually remember seeing come every I always watch the Superbowl every year. So I always love watching it for the commercials as well as the game. And I always look at them. And the commercials a lot of times the best commercials have wonderful creative, but I don't remember the product. Yeah, and that's that's a great directing speak, but it's horrible for the client. Because I don't remember that I don't remember the the product like I still remember this great spot, like a trade. I'll give you two examples. There was one I'll never forget this he trade commercial. Where a monkey there's like two weird looking dudes in a in a in a garage. The monkey comes up, the dude hits a boombox. And the monkey sits there and just starts with a nice red t shirt on and starts dancing for 25 seconds. There's nothing and then like these kind of like, you know, deliverance looking guys are just slapping their knees in the garage somewhere. And at the end it goes we just wasted $3 million. What are you doing with your money with your money perfectly on brand. Funny, great creative, everything grabbing decades later, I still remember that damn thing. There was another commercial that I saw, which was like some guys out in the in the Boone like in the buy you in a house and they're just there and they're drinking some hot sauce. And there's a mosquito that lands on his arm. He drinks it and then as the mosquito goes off, he explodes because it's so hot. I don't remember the hot sauce. I remember that was a hot sauce. I have no idea what the might have been Tabasco. It wasn't it wasn't it wasn't a major one. It was it was it was a it was like we're taking our shot with the Super Bowl
Jordan Brady 28:09
commercial. So maybe puppy monkey was one of years ago, and I can't remember if it was mountain. Oh yeah,
Alex Ferrari 28:15
I remember. Yes. I remember baby puppy monkey. Yeah, I've no no recollection of it. So yes, you've definitely as a commercial director, you should be making commercials that work with the brand and not just be making a cool spot, because the
Jordan Brady 28:29
clients are gonna want to hire you. And your spec spot cannot look like a spec spot. Another big myth is if you put it on Vimeo, and you say, my Nike spec spot, you've already tainted the viewer by calling me the spec spot and they don't care. If you use an Alexa mini in the Zeiss lenses. They don't care. No one cares. They just put the name of the commercial and the product and, and hopefully someone will be tricked that it was a real commercial. That's the biggest thing people do is spec spots and dry and people send me their specs about john, what do you think of this spec? But I go, Why did you tell me it's a spec spot because now I'm going to watch it and go well, it'skind of a spec spot. Well, it's not. It's a
Alex Ferrari 29:17
Yeah, no. So I'll tell my quick my spec spot stories back in the 90s when I did my spec spots it cost me 50,000 to do my spec spot real Yeah, I shot 35 because I knew the game and beautiful productions all this stuff. And I originally had one of my and we did three quarter inch tapes to send them out to everybody through FedEx and stuff like that. And I did a commercial and it I put Nike at the end of it because it was a sports commercial, but like at the end of it and then after a little bit I decided you know what, I'm gonna change this I'm gonna put Body Glove so I changed the logo instead of Nike to Body Glove because now all of a sudden, he there's no way in hell this kid did Nike could have done a better Yeah, maybe a Body Glove and I got more reaction because of that. Another thing I did, which was very smart, by the way,
Jordan Brady 30:07
always go for a third tier brand
Alex Ferrari 30:09
that could actually you could actually blow your blood. Right. And then I did another spot, which was it was rough. It was rough because it was beautifully shot. It was very artistic. And it was all it was like edgy. But unfortunately, it didn't like it was a little too cool for school. So it was like, basically the commercial was this beautiful girl on a bed, sleeping. And then we intercut that with her doing drugs going crazy in the bathroom. So we got Nine Inch Nails with Disney music, and I intercut both of them back and forth. And is based on an ad that I saw there's a spec spot. So I put it all together at the very end this woman this woman is lying there. And then you as you pull back you see that she's got drugs on the on the bed and like pill bottles and things like that. This is not a very PC commercial, and all this stuff and you pull back and her hair is perfect. And the tagline is great hair never dies. And and it was for like and I did it for like this really fancy. Like some fancy hair salon in New York, which again, people could have maybe thought about it. And I was trying to do like the really cool like I remember the heroin commercial back in the day. I forgot that Fincher director, someone like that director, where it's like, this guy's like literally Oh, dealing with heroin for heroin. No, it was against heroin. You don't really need a commercial for heroin. I think it sells itself. I mean, no, but it was about like, he's like doing drugs. And he's in this dirty toilet. He's like throwing up on himself. And at the end, you're hearing during the entire commercial heroin. It's the thing to do heroin it's from. So it was this beautiful juxtaposition. So that's what I was trying to attempt to do. But I got a lot of reps that used to rip me. They're like, dude, we got to pull that spot off. It's scaring people off. And I'm like, Oh, it's so beautiful as the app is scaring people off. gotta pull it off the reel.
Jordan Brady 32:10
Yeah, sometimes a spoof doesn't work. I did a spoof commercial, and people are like, that's more like an SNL sketch. So that that doesn't help as much. And the, but I will say this in this era. A couple of like, a year or so ago, I interviewed Kirsten emhoff, who's the EP and founder of prettybird. And they have Paul Hunter, it's Paul hunters company with her. They have automatic who did Old Town road video and a bunch of great commercials recently, really popped. I think I'm saying his name right call Matic will have to Google will have to Google him. And she said, You know, I'm tired of seeing speck spots. Sure, I would rather see a young person's like, take a song and do a music video to it. You don't need the artist in it just make a cool representation of your voice as a filmmaker. But back to the myth. The other myth is well, now you don't the myth is you don't have to be in LA. Right? Wait, the myth is you have to be in LA right. Now you could you could be in any city, you just have to make yourself available. But the other myth that people think is that director writes the spot. So the director is like, a midwife. You know, the agency, and the client gave birth to this idea. And the idea was vetted, and it was sold by an account team, and a product manager and a Chief Marketing Officer at the client. And like, if you're going to make a comment, if, if you're up for a commercial for bounty paper towels, the script and the tagline the quicker picker upper, I don't even know if they still use that. But let's just say that's all that's not going to change. So if you pitch your crazy idea, you're not helping your you have to pitch your ideas that build on their idea. I always tell people it's like throwing logs on a fire that was started before you got to the campsite. You don't need to start a new fire. You don't already go Sona fire it's already gone. Just get some more wood Stoke a little bit make it better. And people love it. And so the director doesn't write the commercial and she doesn't rewrite the entire thing. But you still find that you're putting your stamp on it. And I was using the the analogy the you know the the wetness, not wetness, the midwife, the midwife analogy, and another director, the commercial director, Rachel harms. She said you know, I like dressmaker Cuz you can think of a dressmaker like Daniel Day Lewis in
Alex Ferrari 35:05
Oh, I'm in Trenton This is dressmaker I think it's called Magic. No, no, this thread. Oh secret, the Phantom thread. Phantom thread.
Jordan Brady 35:14
Yes. Which will be a great Lego Movie. In Phantom thread, he had an idea he had a creative vision for the dress. But it was based on what the princess wanted or the client wanted. And she Rachel said to me, Jordan, think about it, you're a dressmaker because you have this wonderful craft, and you have an art artisans. I, and you're really specialized that these kind of dresses. But if the client thinks her arms look fat in that dress, you're gonna put some sleeves on it.
Alex Ferrari 35:48
Jordan Brady 35:49
And she's right. And so that's a big myth that you come in and you tell everybody get out of my way, I'm gonna take your dog shit script and make it a winner.
Alex Ferrari 36:00
And I and from my experience, that kind of attitude does kind of work only at the very top echelons. If you're hiring Michael Bay, David Fincher, Ridley Scott, Spike Jones, antwon. Fuqua, any of these monsters, you want them to come in and kind of not just like, do two boards, because you're paying an obscene amount of money, they're gonna come in, and maybe they'll rewrite, maybe they'll work on some stuff, maybe they'll add some things. But that doesn't generally work for that we're talking about the top 1% of 1%.
Jordan Brady 36:32
Even those people you mentioned, are doing a conference call?
Alex Ferrari 36:35
Oh, absolutely. They're not just coming in. They don't come in and just take over, but they definitely have a little bit more input than I would in that conference, same same conversation.
Jordan Brady 36:46
Maybe Maybe, I mean, maybe not. That's kind of a myth. I mean, that when the superstar directors, especially the feature people do, take on a commercial, a lot of it has already been plotted out. Now. Conversely, there's, there's a campaign that I've done for eight years in a row where the initial job, the initial assignment eight years ago, was one picture of a cat wearing sunglasses, and some song lyrics. And there was nothing else. And they said, whatever you want to do, we just we got a cat with sunglasses. And I ended up putting a turtleneck sweater and a gold medallion and brought in a bulldog and a leather jacket, and three other cats and pink wigs. And they wanted that. Right. And that was a, that was a modest budget that I mean, that was probably 225 for a day. That was healthy. Right, eight years ago. Now that would be that would be almost two days. I mean, some social media budgets. Alex, I mean, so media budgets, that's the training ground for the for your listener right now, doing social media projects with a small crew that's nimble. That's where you break in as a young filmmaker doing commercials. And you'll get your 10,000 hours, you'll develop your voice, you'll learn how to collaborate, you'll learn how to work with a dp and an agency. And if you don't like it, you still got those hours in on set. Now go make your feature.
Alex Ferrari 38:34
Now, can you talk a little bit about there's a there's an not an anomaly, but it's something that is very specific in the commercial world. That is, that is a little bit of it in the feature world and television world, but much more. So in the commercial world, which is specialization, that you are the tabletop guy or you are a comedy director, or you are a dialogue director, which can pissed me off when I wouldn't get jobs because they're like, oh, there's no dialogue. And you're like, dude, I can direct someone talking. I mean, it just used to get me so irritated. But that they really put you in boxes and commercials, and they do so in gaming is a feature director as a television director that you specialize like, oh, you're the action guy. And occasionally you got the Coen brothers who can just jump back and forth. But
Jordan Brady 39:23
that's look at knives out. He just jumped from Star Wars to knives out like Star Wars the knives out that was insane.
Alex Ferrari 39:30
But he also has now established himself as like the home brothers is like I had I had Barry sonnenfeld on and I was talking to him about raising Arizona. And he goes because I'm like, how did you go from blood simple to raising Arizona with the Cohens. He goes, Oh, that was strategic. They wanted to do that. They wanted to make sure that they could do both. Because blood simple has nothing to do with race. Both of them are amazing movies. But then they started doing that like now it's they're like they could do whatever they want. Spielberg could do whatever he wants. Scorsese. I mean, he's done a couple comedies but generally speaking, it's Chris. It's Scorsese. Though, I would like to see a David Fincher comedy that I would pay good money to see a David Fincher cop. Oh, I think the material was there on the page. I think it would be okay. Amazing. Good.
Jordan Brady 40:17
So Alex, your question is they put you in a box, right? Do they put you in a box I will use a Tai Chi move. And say, especially starting out, put yourself in a box. Make yourself easy to sell. If I if I'm starting out and I have comedy dialogue, and then I have a spot for Mother's Day that makes you cry. I'm telling a sales agent a rep to go choose choose what I do. Because someone is selling you like your agent, we call them reps. You want to have a box that they can put you in so that you get more opportunities because the more scripts you get put up for the more conference calls you get to be on the more likely you are to win that job. So and I teach this in it's in my commercial directing masterclass available commercial directing, masterclass, calm,
Alex Ferrari 41:18
we will speak to that we will speak of that.
Jordan Brady 41:20
Yeah. And the bootcamp is put yourself in a box. So I am a comedy. Dialogue director. Right. But I also here's the big secret. You can be in different boxes for different people. Right, a group of people in New York that think I am a kid's director. Yes. And there's a bunch of people in LA, that think I do special effects like high end visual effects with comedy. And there's an another group in Detroit that no i, i Excel it, celebrities comedy in cars, like the intersection of those three things I did. Kathryn Hahn for Chrysler, Goldberg, the wrestler, we did some fun stuff for Dodge, Jim gaffigan for Chrysler, like that weird intersection.
He's very, very specific, very specific call and go, hey, we've got a script, they have a celebrity, it's a it's for a car brand, we want to put you up for it. I'm like,
Alex Ferrari 42:26
fucking a. And that was the thing. I when I got my start in the commercial business, I was a dub, I was in the dub room. So I would be making dubs all day. And I had directors with dialogue real with a comedy real with an action real, it was all relative, and they all have specific reels, so that we get a call for a job and like, I need a copy of his dialogue reel, or we're gonna cut a fresh dialogue reel for him, or we're gonna have a comedy reel. So they were always presenting different boxes, but you would never send occasionally you would get a full demo that had a little bit of everything. Occasionally, but it was rare you would generally work it generally would be unless they asked for specifically there was a relationship or something like that. They would ask for a specific thing. And that's the thing I was biggest mistake I made when I did my spec wheel. I had. I had a sports action variety, I sports action, I had a comedy and I had a suicide, air commercial. That was the thing and I had a Trojan chosen condoms, comedy commercial said that I had four different spots on my on my demo reel, and they were all over the place. So it took them a minute to figure out who I was.
Jordan Brady 43:34
That's another myth. We should point out that variety does not help. That's a myth. Myth. Right variety in having bench helps, but only if they're all in the same genre.
Alex Ferrari 43:50
Yeah, you can be a comedy director a comedy dialogue director a comedy kids director comedy visual effects director you know, I you know, I don't know if they're calling you for the next great action you know spot or victoria's secret spot you know, they're not caught that's not that's not unless the models like drip and have a pie in there and then then opposite then you're the guy you're the guy
Jordan Brady 44:12
so that by the way, you know what else you know what else sucks? What another myth? Yeah. The montage is oh doesn't help.
Alex Ferrari 44:21
Oh, no, yeah, if
Jordan Brady 44:22
you send me your montage as a director know, the ad agency and the piece of the production companies everybody goes great montage love the fire explosion. Love that you shot the with the influencer. But guess what? I need to see the spots. So what you've done is, I mean, maybe playing devil's advocate. The montage gets you in the door. But you've really just prolonging the inevitable that someone who's going to sell your talent to make you a working director has to see the finished product. They think, what what is she hiding by showing us a montage instead of the full commercial?
Alex Ferrari 45:07
Right? And in the director's mind, he's like, I'm gonna show him. I'm gonna show everything I could do, and all the highlights of my career. And I remember I never ever cut montages, like my sales reps would tell me Do not cut a montage, do not put like this cool explosions, everything like that. I had one director, friend of mine who edited to have me edit together a celebrity reel, because he's the celebrity guy. Yeah. And that's a thing, that he's done a lot of spots with celebrities. And this is a thing I feel. And please correct me if I'm wrong, the agencies have so much pressure, just like studio executives do have so much pressure on them per spot, depending even if the bigger the budget, the bigger the client, they have a lot of pressure to bring this home. And if they take a chance on a comedy guy doing a victoria's secret spot, exposes them to get fired, or lose their job or lose the client lose the account. So they have to play it safe. So that's why literally I had conversations with like, we love your work. But this spot has dialogue. And I'm like, What are you talking about? I've shot up like, I shot a feature, I shot these shorts and this like, they're like, that's nice. We just need a 32nd spot with people talking in it. And I'm like, you guys are out of your fucking minds. Like, yeah, I was so pissed off. But that is the reality. And you have to understand from their point of view, they got to mitigate risk. And yeah, and then when they and that's one of the reasons why a guy like you, and please correct me if I'm wrong. Someone like you with the experience you have, you're a safe bet for an agency to go. Jordan's gonna do this. He's done a 1200. And if something goes wrong, they got the rest covered. Like, dude, the guy's done. 1200 commercials. You look at this real like, it's not it's not me. It's not me. Right?
Jordan Brady 46:53
Literally, since we've been talking, someone just said food and comedy. Yeah, so they wanted to do I have any food and comedy. And and we're gonna get we're gonna get a dp or sometimes the tabletop director does the food portion of the stuff of the commercial? Yeah, like when you know, when they cut to the beautiful steak and this and
Alex Ferrari 47:17
that. And that is by the person. And by the way, everyone listening, tabletop guys, and gals. That's, uh, I mean, my first boss was a tabletop guy, so I knew. Yeah, he was he was one of the big tabletop guys down in the southeast. And I saw the commercials and his, his wife was a food um, was it prepper?
Jordan Brady 47:38
Alex Ferrari 47:39
Thank you food stylist. Food fluffer. Yes. And the stuff that they would do and how they made it look beautiful. It was a whole of it. And we lost an account I shit you not. They lost an account because the hamburger didn't look good in the spot and it kind of looked grody in the shot that they did. And they lost the account because the hamburger didn't look good. And it was that's the kind of ridiculousness and pressure that you as a director in the commercial world are sometimes and sometimes they will spend a day on the damn bottle and give you a give you like two hours to shoot this.
Jordan Brady 48:18
I was so fortunate in the in the early to mid 2000s. To do Kellogg's Eggo waffles. And it was a guy in a waffle suit made by Stan Winston, you know legacy effects horse Jurassic Park. Yeah, you name it. They made the waffle suit. And they had you know, the guy who was a waffle, in fact, when he was off doing a Peter Jackson thing with some of their effects. Christopher swift was his name, the guy who played the waffle. His understudy had to come in. I was like, he's just not the right breakfast item. We did.
Alex Ferrari 49:01
It doesn't have waffle experience. Experience.
Jordan Brady 49:05
He's more like a cinnamon bun. We did huge props on a white site. And we built a 20 foot toaster we built this big, giant box of Eggo waffles, because it was intrinsic to the comedy that they were large props. Like we had an eight foot beautiful stainless aluminum fork that matched a real fork in the cereal bowl, matched a little bowl and we would we would intercut real props with big props for for the gag. But because of the way the budgets were and they were healthy budgets like we would shoot like for four or five days at Sony on a stage because we would amortize costs by doing several spots at once. Sure, but we would do one full day of just food. Of all the table top worked with my, my blanket of course I'm repeating his name.
Alex Ferrari 50:07
Jordan Brady 50:08
And we went, we learned so much. And I think this is invaluable for the young filmmaker. I learned so much about tabletop, not from the DPW. But from the art director from the agency at Leo Burnett, Chicago, who Peter lo Meyer, who like invented to can Sam, and had done breakfast shots forever. And he would be like, Jordan, let me just show you. And we had little mirrors and this and it was just, it was just so fun. It's its own world.
Alex Ferrari 50:43
It's smoke and mirrors. It really is. tabletop is such a, like smoke and mirrors and they're not using real butter. They're not using real anything. It's all fake, and you will never you die if you ate any of this food.
Jordan Brady 50:58
When I one of my first jobs where we had fake ice cream in the freezer, there was ice cream and frost on the side of the thing. And it would look like it was dripping. Because it was like it was melting. And I literally took my finger like that I licked it and they go, what are you doing? And it's like, that's paint thinner. Or it's, you know, it's bug spray.
Alex Ferrari 51:18
Oh, yeah. Never eat the props. The props and that was the thing I remember I saw this I was on set one day and they were doing ice cream. And you can't shoot ice cream because it's gonna melt. So they had this beauty and I just was my mind was blown. Like why is ice cream not melting? Like was young had no idea what they were doing? Why is ice cream that melt in the like, do this not ice cream and I forgot what they use. But it's some combination that just made it look beautiful. It's it's a whole other world.
Jordan Brady 51:42
The one thing that the commonality of commercials in indie film or studio film, I mean, I'm sure studio film, they would have real fake ice cream. And by the way, if anyone listening has money to invest, I would love to start a fake food company that FedEx is or Amazon Prime's overnight, fake food to anywhere in the country. Because I was in. I was in somewhere in Missouri or Kansas and I go, Hey, for the breakfast thing, like, Jeff, does a prop House have fake eggs? Because they had a film community. And the guy goes, this is not LA and I'm like, I want fake eggs so that they look fresh all day like sushi. You know how good the fake sushi? Oh, it's amazing. So why don't we have a company where we, we rent whatever meal you need. But it's plastic, it's a mold. It's a small.
Alex Ferrari 52:38
It's a small market. It's a specialized market. And now it's about the cost of getting that getting the awareness to the company out to the world. That would be the big cost involved. But other than that, I think it's a fantastic idea. And things that seem like crazy. Doesn't seem so crazy when you're looking at it from a commercial lens. Like something like that. Like that doesn't make any sense. But if you've been on a commercial set, you know how absolutely valuable fake food
Jordan Brady 53:08
is. The lights? It's gonna look shitty. I mean, it gets a hard and cold and oh, but what the commonality between all forms of filmmaking is it really only matters what the camera sees. Yes. And and, and your filmmaking craft is going to be the same. Like, I remember when we had a snow cone machine, and I literally saw the prop guy balling up red tape and blue tape and sticking into snow cone. And I was like, Oh, yeah, they're in the background. Like that's, that's going to be perfect. They're just two kids.
Alex Ferrari 53:46
It's blurry and it's blurred out.
Jordan Brady 53:47
They're out of focus. Anyway, what a genius thing like that was it wasn't even like he was ad libbing that he had planned on we'll just crumple up some blue paper or something it was it was tape, like painters tape. And it worked great. That would work in a movie that would work on a commercial and a TV show. I think when you have more money, you don't get as inventive.
Alex Ferrari 54:10
Right? Yeah. And in general. Now, how do you deal with clients in agency? Because that's an art form. It is an absolute art form how to deal with clients is ridiculousness. Sometimes like we just it's the oldest joke like can you make the Can you make our logo just a bit larger? Like that's the running gag in commercials and in print commercials, everything, just make the logo a little bit bigger. And and just dealing with agencies and the politics of agencies and dealing with the client and the politics of client. I don't know about you. I was in a job once where I was doing post and that this is a true story. They were the agency and the client are in the room. During our post session. The client fired the agency off, off off of it like not in the room like There was obviously tension. And as the editor of that job, I, you know, we're Switzerland, we like, the agency says something, I'll do it. If the client says something, I do it like I have two masters I have to deal with. And then the director shows up, and I just, I'm just there. I'm like, we're just Switzerland. So they, there was tension in the room. And then like after lunch, we hear what happened. And then the next hour of editing notes was a bit rough, to the point where there was a fistfight in the poses in the post room. There was a little fist fight. We had it. This is Miami. So you know, and it was like a local fast food chain. And I remember I remember it completely, because obviously, you know which one it is. Yeah, you know which one it is? Yes, it's the opposite of polio loco. So this is what we're talking about 20 years ago. And, and I remember because the client gave me like a stack of free coupons to get as much food as at the at the fast food joint, I would just use them like crazy. When I got into a fistfight, I had to pull them apart. And it was a whole thing. And oh, yeah. So that's a extreme version of dealing with client and agency. How, what any tips do you have for dealing with that?
Jordan Brady 56:14
Yes. Another myth. The director is involved in editing. Not always a myth. Yeah, not not rarely, nowadays, the schedule is so tight, that the editor we've shipped, we've had the editor on set, and delivered a cut that night at one the morning for approval. The next day is you know, so you kind of you give the editor your notes, and you hope she or he can take that into account. But really, you hand it over to the advertising creatives to to lead the ship in the editing with the editor, and the game. The interviews are fucking awesome and fast. And they see the footage and it's it's 30.
Alex Ferrari 56:56
It's 30 seconds, like, it's 30. But the longest post job I ever did, I was involved with it. But I was I was taped up and they rented the room. They were six months. Sick. This was this was this was a million and a half dollar. Foreign. It was for like Argentina. And it was like for Benson and hedges, cigarettes, then when they would they could still do cigarette commercials. This, they flew in an LA editor for I think four months out of that time. I was doing like, I was doing the assistant editing at the time. And they just sat there for days. And move a frame here. Move a frame there. And I was just like, this is insanity.
Jordan Brady 57:37
Like someone wanted to go to Argentina.
Alex Ferrari 57:39
I know. I wasn't an art. This was in Miami. We didn't go to art in Miami. No in Argentina, of course. But no, we were in Miami. It was insane. insanity.
Jordan Brady 57:47
Well, the way you know, being a stand up comedian helps me a lot dealing with clients. Know Kenny, because humor. And you know, I believe in my kids here this since they were little there's only solutions in filmmaking. Yeah, and I never pushed my kids. My son Jake is a writer, my son, Ben's a director dp, Gabby is at USC, the study in school Dramatic Arts, Jeezy's at UT in marketing at the Stan Richards School of advertising. And I we pushed none of them into this. But I said, there's only solutions in filmmaking. So my, my approach is, I say at the pre Pro, here's how tomorrow is going to work. Like I tell them how the day is going to work. I don't ask permission, like oh, here's what's going to happen. I'm going to be at my monitor by myself. And you're going to be in the village. And the first couple of takes are going to suck. And the third take is going to be so bad that you're going to be like, does this guy know what he's What is happening? Do we get the right actors. And then the fourth take is going to be magical. And the fifth take is going to be even better. And then before the sixth steak, I'm going to come back to you and say how can we make it better? Now I've laid out how I like to work it it doesn't always go my way and sometimes a creative director wants to come over and peek and whisper something here and there. Sometimes the client like you said the fistfight sometimes on set the client in the agency don't get along. Oh, they they want to separate villages. But I try to implore them have one voice like everybody here is smart. Everybody's gonna have great ideas. We have one day so I need you all to fight amongst yourselves before I come over after take five. So that is my offensive approach to managing all the crazy notes.
Alex Ferrari 59:53
But with that, but with that said I'm interrupted but with that said you have the gravitas to pull something like that off a young a young guy or gal is not going to have that ability. So what advice would you give someone starting out to dealing with agency and client? Because it's a lot easier for someone like you or myself, who has experience who has some some, quote, unquote, gravitas with themselves that their agency has a level of respect just because of the work that that we've done?
Jordan Brady 1:00:18
Yes. By the way, you can interrupt is your show. Yes, I'm very I'm,
Alex Ferrari 1:00:24
I'm just I'm just being polite.
Jordan Brady 1:00:27
Yeah. So I mentored a young man coming up. And he went over to the village, and the creative director said, Could we try one where the guys, like, makes it lifts his eyebrow up, or whatever it was? And the young director goes, No, that wouldn't be funny. And, and, and we walked in, everybody went, ooh, and we walked away. And I was on set sort of as a executive producer role. And I go, hey, what you just did was about as dumb as anything I've ever heard on a film set of commercial films. I know. Why don't you do what he said. And then when you're done, go back over and apologize and say, Hey, you know, I thought about it. And you it was funny. Thank you for that. I had an art director one time senior art director on a four day shoot. priceless sec, OTC heartburn medicine. We were flying every day, we're cuz I'm fast, right? We're going, then this this one shot at the ocean. We're trying to do like a force perspective on a on a prop lighthouse to make it look real. All of a sudden, we're on the east coast. And the guy goes, it was like 40 minutes. He goes, Hey, this is we've been flying. Why is this? Why is this taking so long? And Alex, I had some bullshit ready to sling. And I just stopped in my brain and looked at him. And I said, it's taking too long because I didn't plan this properly. Wow. And the guy looked at me, he goes, fair enough. Take your let's do it. Right. So my advice to the young person is don't try to like especially with seasoned ad guys. And by guys, I mean women and men. They're super smart. They're very creative. There is a lot of on the line these days, like, as you pointed out, just don't try to bullshit them. Just say hey, I'm, I got stuck or, you know, I take the blame. I had a prop guy. Make a sign with a seam down the middle that I just like, Oh, I can't shoot it. And it took another 45 minutes. We had to bring something in and the producer goes, this is crazy. Yeah, that prop guys. She goes, Oh, it's not I go. I'm really sorry. It's not your fault. I said, Yeah, it is my fault. I hired that guy. So you have to be the captain of the ship. And Own your mistakes. The the craziest thing I did a Happy Meal commercial. And it was a fantastical setting. And the client said, Jordan, I just don't understand this is a decent budget. Why couldn't we get a real unicorn?
No. And I said, Well, they're extinct.
Alex Ferrari 1:03:17
Was it was he being serious?
Jordan Brady 1:03:19
totally serious,dead serious. Like, why can't we get it? She can't get her get a real Why can't we get a real unicorn? Same thing a copywriter said the parrot was doing the voice activated car thing. You know, like you talk to the car, play Sirius XM. And the parrot was in the in the car. And the copywriter asked me how are you going to teach the bird How to say the law? How does the bird learn its lines. And I went rock trainer.
Alex Ferrari 1:03:50
Jordan Brady 1:03:52
Because we just dumped it like we weren't even gonna dump it in on the day that's in post. You have a sense of humor.
Alex Ferrari 1:04:00
You've got a roll, man. You gotta you gotta roll. I was once I was once. There was this one. It was I think it was an agency. Yeah, she was agency. And she tell the story of she was just at this ball. But like she really wasn't, as I'm sorry. She was really mean, she was nasty to people. And I was doing post on it. And I've been working for a while and she was like, why is that frame? Why is that look like that? I'm like, Oh, well, is that they're not using double double drop frame on set. And then like what do you mean? She's like, you know, it was just shot drop frame but you need if you want to really clean image you need to use double double drop frame, Double, double double drop frame. And she's like, really? I'm like, Yeah, yeah, I was at by the way I was I didn't give a crap anymore. I was like, I don't care if I get fired or not. And this is I don't know when of this was fucking decades ago, and she's like, okay, okay, so let's you know when you go back on set tomorrow double double. So she walked on set the next day with all the confidence in the world that she could muster. And she's like, I demand that this gets shot double double dp to the director. And then like, Where did you hear double double drop rate before? He said, Well, I was talking to the editor. She's like, oh, Alex.
Jordan Brady 1:05:21
That's a good one,
Alex Ferrari 1:05:23
double double drop rate. It was just, but you know, you know that I don't suggest you do things like that, guys. But I was an editor on my way out of that facility. And I was pissed off at the whole situation. They hadn't paid me and that was a whole thing. So that's funny. Now, um, do you think that being a commercial director in today's world is a good entrance to being a feature director because you've directed features, I've direct the features. We both started off in commercials. But again, we started off at a different time. And you know, before Ridley, there was no commercial. To my knowledge, I think Ridley and Tony were the first couple guys who broke through from commercials to Michael Bay. Yeah, but then yeah, then there was the whole crowd of the Fincher, Michael Bay, Spike Jones, Anton Fuqua, all those kind of guys. But that was like, a while before those guys commercials was like, if you're a commercial director, don't even look at being a feature director like that was not a weigh in. Yeah.
Jordan Brady 1:06:22
I think it's good only only to prove to a studio that you have skills that you have gained. And that you've, I think a studio would like to know that you've navigated the waters of the corporate America with a team that you're collaborative. I don't even even investors on an indie film. If I saw that you had a Wrigley's doublemint gum commercial or not. You got double double my
Alex Ferrari 1:06:58
shot, double double drop frame. Hashtag double double drop frame.
Jordan Brady 1:07:03
If you had a Charmin toilet paper commercial, and it's great looking film, yeah, good performances. I would go Okay, this filmmaker knows how to knows how to the craft of filmmaking and knows how to navigate the waters. I mean, look, I'll be I'll be honest, I did one film for Miramax and Harvey Weinstein pre I mean, I think he was still scummy at the time, but no one was calling him out on it. But that aside, I don't think I knew how to net I was too young. I wish I had the experience I have now navigating the waters, of course, Colossus studio film. I wasn't prepared for the politics of dealing with that, like I did my own indie where I raised some money I did to Indies, where I was a hired gun for like a $2 million film, and had, you know, some decent actors. But, you know, it was actually ironically, a competitive commercial. It was HSI which was like a big player in commercials back in the day, who wanted to have like I said, at the beginning of the show, one of their film, you know, film division, and they found it a little indie. And I could navigate that because everybody's kind of in it, you know, together. But doing commercials. If I if I had done like even five years of commercials before doing a Miramax film, waking up in Reno, my film with Billy Bob Thornton, who was not easy to deal with Charlie's throne who was on our way up Patrick Swayze, who's the biggest star of them all. And Natasha Richardson. I think Jordan Brady would have been better equipped to navigate the politics behind the scenes.
Alex Ferrari 1:08:53
And how did you? How did you get how did you get that gig?
Jordan Brady 1:08:57
I got that gig because my first film deal scallion which premiered at slam dance, I don't know if the listener can see your shirt premiered at slam dance and it was a country music Spinal Tap, right. And then I did the producers saw the film it was called. They saw dill scallion. And I got hired like within a year to do. I wasn't even done editing at the time. But my agent had, you know said you got to see a cut of this. So I did a film called The third wheel with Luke Wilson. And Ben Affleck and Matt Damon were producers that Damon's in one scene. And after his first take I said Hey, no one's as good as you in the film. Could you just lower the bar a little bit? And this was this was before a project before Project Greenlight, so I call it project stoplight. The third wheel like they wanted to be producers in the School of Miramax too, because you know,
Alex Ferrari 1:09:59
oh yeah, this
Jordan Brady 1:10:00
They came through the Harvey school things. And then Harvey Weinstein bought the third wheel as a negative pickup. Now this is something that the the the indie film hustle T. crew will like to not know, but it's true. If you have Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, who have won the Academy Award
Alex Ferrari 1:10:27
at this point, yeah, this is post, post good Washington
Jordan Brady 1:10:30
Post. But before they won, I was attached to direct the script. And Ben Affleck was going to be the, the the lead. And and Jayla coppo. The writer and star was friends with them and wrote it for himself. When Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, I think wanted anything to do with anything. I think he just wanted to act. But the movie gets put on hold because they win the Oscar. But then Affleck says, I'll be the buddy and shoot me out in four days, like a 24 day schedule. Jordan Brady has just done this like $400,000 indie film that had like a little cult following from slam dance and making the rounds and got a video deal blah, blah, blah. So I'm hard to direct we bang it out. They bring Harvey to the edit suite which is an avid you know above a restaurant somewhere. Harvey sees the movie says he'll buy it on the spot. And fires the editor brings in a new editor like which to me is just not a classy move.
Alex Ferrari 1:11:40
As the editor on the on the on the on the barometer of classy things that hardly want to stay does or has done. Seriously. Not not that bad. Not that bad of a move. I think he jerked off on the ashtray. I'm sorry, I don't want to go there with the show. I apologize.
Jordan Brady 1:12:01
Nonetheless, what I was gonna say that your your fans may find interesting is to me, it wasn't so much that Harvey liked the movie. It was that, hey, these two stars that just made me a lot of money are producers now? I'm going to buy their movie. Well, it could have been just like, of course, 90 minutes of a close up of you know.
Alex Ferrari 1:12:26
Jordan Brady 1:12:27
Yeah, it was a political move. It was a political, I think it was a political move. He did pony up for some additional photography, like, the next summer and it took forever. And so basically, when he saw the final version of the third wheel, we had a meeting. And he said, I'm really happy with the third wheel. And my agent had given me waking up in Reno, which was like a redneck comedy. And I said, Hey, by the way, I read the script. I think you own it. I want to direct it. He said, Okay. Like it was a 12 minute meeting at the peninsula hotel, in between massages, or something. And funnily enough, many people who are listening know that I was in Project Greenlight season two.
Alex Ferrari 1:13:13
Oh, I did not know that. I was but No, that doesn't sound as impressive as it is. It is. I was in the first episode for five seconds in the montage at the beginning, saying I will do anything to make in here. I will do anything to make it into business or something along those lines. I did a whole YouTube video about it and showed it and and because a lot of people like you know, we know a Project Greenlight is and I know it came out a few years ago, but Project Greenlight was it was insane when it came out like when I By the way, when that aired I got phone calls from all around the country like the jute. I just saw you on HBO. Were you just on HBO? It was like, Oh, yeah. And in the background I had like, my wall of VHS is that we're all color coordinated. For me. It was it was it was it was good.
Jordan Brady 1:13:59
But my problem with the first season. Oh, Chris war, Miss Moore was also the producer along with Sure. with Matt and Ben. Nice guy. Okay. But he is smart enough. All three of those guys are smart enough. That that first season that they allowed the guy to shoot under the L train. They read my mind. He was like, I was like this first that's for television. This is first first day first day first day you're gonna shoot under a train. Like they must have been snickering and salivating going this is good television
Alex Ferrari 1:14:34
on Oh, it's all about I realized that years later I was like Oh thank God I didn't get on that show because it was I Oh my god. It was it was you want to watch it? I mean you it is it is you what you want to watch a train wreck watch any of those seasons at all, but it was just in St. You were just sitting there like in the DP didn't want a shot list. He didn't believe in shortlisting. And it was just like There's all this stuff and it was just like this is this is horrible. Absolutely horse a train wreck. But yeah, the second season which would have been the battle it was the Battle of Shaker Heights. The one with them shine a young, a young child both was was was in that and that was a it was an interesting season. But yeah, I mean, I've been actually I have a friend of mine who is good friends with Chris. Mr. Chris Moore. I don't know him, but I told him next time you talk to Chris. Tom, thanks for fucking nothing for not casting me in season two of Project Greenlight. So I'm waiting to actually meet him and talk to him about like, you know, man, he could have had me
Jordan Brady 1:15:40
there loss obviously, I have no regrets. I feel fortunate I'm a kid from Ohio with no ties to show business although I live next to Paul in in Mount Vernon, Ohio, who was the original center square?
Alex Ferrari 1:15:56
You are you sir?
You so are dating yourself and me at the exact same time because I
Jordan Brady 1:16:01
know that reference, but I did. I came out here. Look, comedy stand up comedy got me everything. stand up comedy keeps me grounded. I've made documentaries about stand up comedy. And, and taking a page from your book, realized, you know, after doing those features, and what I think what the the commercial director and the feature director. Obviously, if one of the movies is a hit, you can just coast and they cherry pick you. But if you're a working director in both realms, as soon as you leave commercials for six months to prep and shoot a film or even a, you know, a no budget indie film, when you come back to commercials, you've lost all momentum.
Alex Ferrari 1:16:47
Again, unless you're hit
Jordan Brady 1:16:48
for films, unless you're hit. Yeah. And I had, you know, critical flops. It was like starting over each time. And I was making great headway. So I said in commercials. And I, I told myself in 2000 it was like 2003 or four. Okay, I'm just going to do I let my agent go. I said, I'm not resigning. It's better for you if I don't resign because I'm not going to do another movie. So I'm going to do commercials for three years. And that turned into like 17 years. And that three year period just I woke up like when you're doing four and five day Eggo waffle shoots, making serious bank and Oh, it was so forward to from Oh, for 207 quarterly five day shoots. You're making more than if you were doing Oh, Amir amerimax feature Really?
Alex Ferrari 1:17:45
Oh, no question. It was much more money in commercials before much more. And did you do music videos as well? You did some music videos Never.
Jordan Brady 1:17:52
Never did unlike a couple of a couple in my life for you know, friends that famous? Whatever. Yeah. But no, never cracked the music video thing. I mean, my son cranks out music videos, and he's got it down. The problem he that I'm talking to him about? He's he'll be 25 He's 24. He, Ben Brady, Ben Brady TV. He's over delivering. Like, they don't care if you show up at the a seven and you're bringing out the red and the steadycam. And some of the like some of the rap guys don't know the difference. If you did it with your iPhone, like you could actually pocket more money. But he said, throwing my own philosophy back in my face is for the real. And I'll always say invest in your real over the revenue.
Alex Ferrari 1:18:47
Oh, there's there's there's no question because I know it look if he's hustling music videos right now in LA. God bless him because it's that's a hustle.
Jordan Brady 1:18:56
That's got one a country video coming up. He's done a gospel video that crushed it. A handful of you know, these upcoming rap guy hip hop guys with, you know, millions of views.
Alex Ferrari 1:19:07
And yeah, but those budgets, but but those budgets. Are you looking at 20 505,000? If you're lucky.
Jordan Brady 1:19:14
I can't speak for him. But it's it's between five and 15 on some Yeah.
Alex Ferrari 1:19:18
Somebody has said and he's actually he's working at the upper echelon of ups right now. Yeah, if that's the case, it goes. I mean, I remembered when I did, I did a run of like two years of music videos here in LA. And the budgets are just and that's directly just what just good or bad. No, it's horrible. Because, but the only way I made money was direct produce, and did all the posts. So I was able to combine it all as a package deal. And that's how I got gigs. I got gigs on and actually my budgets were much I actually was doing 50,000 to $80,000 budget music videos, but they were like, that's a good budget. Yeah, but they were like for Comedy Central. It was for a big stand up Kai and he was doing music videos for his stand up special. And it was like it all kind of amortized out. It wasn't a straight up music video. It was kind of like a combination of commercial music video and all that kind of stuff. But those budgets were insane.
Jordan Brady 1:20:15
I did one one stand up comedy special. For Maria Bamford I'm really proud of called the special, special special where she performed in her house for her parents.
Alex Ferrari 1:20:25
Oh, that's amazing.
Jordan Brady 1:20:27
And it made it and we did it for a it was a it's a now defunct website called chill, calm.
Alex Ferrari 1:20:35
Yeah, remember that?
Jordan Brady 1:20:36
Chill, chill froze. But we made it. We made it on the cheap. And then she got the rights back and sold it to Netflix. And it. It was a huge hit. And she actually she actually sent me a personal check. Absolutely sale to Netflix, because we made it for the website. Yeah. And she goes, No, I know, you called in a lot of favors. I know you did it, you know, on the on the cheap. And we put all the money into the spatula. Sure. Sure. Sure. And she goes, You know, I mean, that was it didn't ask for anything. And I that's a I mean, I just love that.
Alex Ferrari 1:21:16
That's I mean, I don't
Jordan Brady 1:21:16
think it made me the reason I'm telling you this. I don't think now, like music videos. I don't think there's a market for stand up specials.
Alex Ferrari 1:21:24
Because everybody I directed a stand up special a couple years ago, and we did it at the worst. No, the comedy isn't the Comedy Store. Not that not the commerce. Next, keep going. What's the other ones? improv? improv? I think we did it with the improv. And and we did it was one of those little small rooms that they had. And it was very intimate and annex improv annex. Yeah, I think it was the I was that. It might not be the improv it might be one of the other ones but was one of those big ones that that we did. And, and we did it we shot it all. We shot it with some some black magics. And we had some cranes and all that stuff. Shout it out one night, two performances, boom, boom, boom. I edited it. Yeah, I edited it. Put it all together. I think it got sold to a distributor who has not? Not not haven't received any? No, not yet. This is prior to my experience in the distribution realm. everyone listening. So that's why I have first hand experience on getting screwed multiple times by distributors.
Right? Why? You know, I'm blanking on the name, but Taylor Swift.
Jordan Brady 1:22:46
He's a magician comedian. Okay. And I interviewed him for my podcast, respect the process, like a week after I interviewed you. Okay. And I had to self distributed one of my documentaries before getting distribution. In fact, you know, that's the big secret there is you can self distribute and still get a distributor and get on. Like I am road comic, I did myself for five bucks. And then got a distributor with comedy dynamics, who got it on Netflix and Hulu with an ad rev deal. I saw my own commercials. During the Hulu version with commercials plugged in. I saw my own dodge commercials play during my film. And the budget for the movie was less than lunch for the three day dodge.
Alex Ferrari 1:23:37
So you basically that's when the space time continuum exploded in your mind. When you're watching your own movie when your commercial comes up on your own movie. By the way, how was your experience with with them? Have you been paid?
Jordan Brady 1:23:49
I was paid. I was paid. Not without some you know, emails like hey, it's been a while. Hey, I haven't heard from you guys in a while and they always answered they always came back. Okay, good. And Taylor Hughes, Taylor Hughes was the magician. And after I interviewed you and I was talking to him. I said, based on my experience, you need to self distribute your own comedy magic spell. dynasty typewriter. He put it on, like Vimeo on demand. Sure. shusha. And I said, you know, even if it's just, it serves as a publicity tool. Forget the money, but you will make money rather than sitting around and COVID with nothing. And then he got it on Amazon Prime.
Alex Ferrari 1:24:37
And you'll make you'll make something. Yeah. Yeah. So I'm,
Jordan Brady 1:24:41
I am a disciple of the indie film hustle. I mean, anyone should do it. And especially if you know going in like I wish I knew going in with some of my indie films, my documentaries that I was going to do that but because now tell anybody doing a doc, tourniquet on spending ABS crank that tourniquet on your spending and don't. And I would I would even now do zoom calls. Whereas six months ago, I would have gone No, you gotta fly to Yeah, absolutely Detroit and get the interview. Now, I would just record the zoom because the viewer is used to it.
Alex Ferrari 1:25:21
Or you could at least even in worst case scenario, you could send them a small camera, have them set it up, and still do the zoom interview, but have them set up a camera and film themselves and a hiring genius. I mean, it's what the news, that's what news organizations are doing right now. So they say, you know, set somebody up or hire someone local to kind of just go and set things up or something along those lines, much easier, much, much easier, much more cost effective. To do it. I'm going to give you a one I wanted to give you a quick la story because I think you'll find this funny. And then after after this la story, then we'll we'll we'll wrap it up because I don't want to take up any more of your time, sir. I know. You're a busy busy man, I appreciate your time on here, but when I moved to apply to such an LA story, so I moved to a townhouse here in LA and across the hall from my townhouse. There's this guy that guy kept looking at me like he looks familiar. Who is this guy? And I like I like you know, I was because I couldn't look him up I didn't know how to look them up. So I was like, This guy seems like he's not an actor though. I've seen him a lot and this is what we were going back 12 years 12 years or so. And and then I bumped into him you know groceries or something like that out in the in the courtyard. And okay, how are you doing? He can I look at his face I was like, is that and he goes Hi, my name is Kato. And I'm like are you kidding? Oh, Caitlin. Kato Kaelyn lived across the hall from me. So I had my posts I had in my post suite in my extra bedroom in my house. So I would have clients come over all the time. And I remember I had this one filmmaker who was in he was in Titanic. He had a bit part in Titanic and we were working on some projects. And he was just couldn't under like he couldn't keep himself in his seat. He would like look out the window waiting to see if he would walk out he was like freaked out that gate. Okay, look, the nicest guy by the way. Kato was the sweetest, nicest guy ever. But that's such an LS.
Jordan Brady 1:27:28
That's funny. Now do you know to that point when I have clients from Chicago, come out. Like for some you know, whatever the product is the client. Not so much the agency people but I do it to them by game. They kind of know my trick. But the word the client dinner we're in Santa Monica Beverly Hills at a steakhouse or something. Yeah, I will have so many all you just miss Gina Davis. Or if I go to the food law was in the urinal next to me.
Alex Ferrari 1:27:56
Tom Cruise, just miss Tom Cruise.
Jordan Brady 1:28:00
Adele, you you'll hear like know last night, the director saw Michael Keaton at the salad bar with jack nicholson. It was crazy. They were talking Joker Batman.
Alex Ferrari 1:28:15
And they buy it and they've Oh, that's great. Yeah, that's good times. So um, you have this amazing masterclass in regards to commercial directing. So can you tell us a little bit about that? Oh, my
Jordan Brady 1:28:27
goodness. Well, I commercial drinking bootcamp is an in person thing. And I'm doing it's sold out for October.
Alex Ferrari 1:28:37
I'm still doing it and you still don't use doing it? Yeah.
Jordan Brady 1:28:38
Well, I did it in January then COVID hit so I had one in June. And it was about half sold out. When COVID hit in March. So I pushed it. Well, I other than the election of Donald Trump, I've never been so wrong. I thought, ah, by the time late June comes around, we'll be over this code.
Alex Ferrari 1:29:00
This is just a passing fad. In March. I'm like we can't How long is it gonna last? Like, I mean, they can't, they can't like shut down the entire world. That's insanity. In mid mid March,
Jordan Brady 1:29:11
I had two juicy gigs. Too juicy gigs, a one day shoot for some medicine where there was basically like, you know, the mom in the driveway, taking the pill. Yeah, or feeling good because she'd already taken the pill bunch of animation that someone else would do a minute in shot. And that's where like we said the director, you don't get on the phone and change it to a big sweeping opening shot from the driveway with a crane. You go, yep, I can do this. And I'll get a good performance. Yeah, so I have that job. Then there was this other multi day job and I was like, that's gonna be that's going to drive me through the summer. Monday morning, they're gone with COVID and I'm sitting around and I go, you know, I can't do the boot camp. Or maybe I can, but I'll just do a masterclass. So I, I cherry picked some of the lessons. And I did a two hour thing in my office. My son Ben shot it for me. You know, can I edit it? And a couple weeks later in April I put it out and it has. It has been very helpful to a lot of filmmakers. Great. So it's commercial drinking. I put everything at commercial directing film school. So commercial directing masterclass, calm or commercial directing film school. And it's a you know, I put it up on a teaching platform. And you see behind the scenes that I've had shot with my son, as he grew up filmmaking, I would say, shoot me directing. I talked to the camera, like while I'm directing from a couple years ago, a national Toyota commercial. There's some me directing Kathryn Hahn and the Chrysler minivan stuff. And I knew someday it would be valuable behind the scenes footage. So I don't think there's much like this with, you know, a working commercial director showing you this kind of behind the scenes, right, a lot of great products out there. There's how to do music, but
Alex Ferrari 1:31:05
I really haven't seen any I've really haven't seen much on commercial directing. And I mean, I actually went to the I was it the workshops in Maine?
Jordan Brady 1:31:15
Oh, those are great.
Alex Ferrari 1:31:16
There's so I actually went there to take a commercial directing course back in the 90s when I was starting to get my commercial real go and and and, you know, they had the guy from the the client from the biggest they buy Procter and Gamble. So yeah, they had had that come in. And I, you know, by the way, everybody, Procter and Gamble. I don't know if they still do, but they were the they spent the most on commercials ever than anybody else, by far.
Jordan Brady 1:31:42
So, yes, that is true BMG. And they have all your famous products, for every everything. They are also so inclusive of people from underrepresented populations. They were the first to really say like, Hey, why don't we put a same sex couple in our toothpaste commercial?
Alex Ferrari 1:32:06
That's pretty ballsy. That's pretty powerful for a company that size. Does it?
Jordan Brady 1:32:09
Can it be a black couple? Why does it have to be a white couple all the time? Like, they really are forward thinking with inclusion before? You know, the the murders in 2020? I mean, they've been doing this for years. So if I put out a masterclass, it's doing great. I've had about 350 students from eight different countries. And can I throw out a deal for your listeners? Sure, of course. So you go to just go to commercial, trucking, film school, and there's links to everything. My podcast book, blah, blah, blah. But if you type in when you sign up for commercial directing masterclass, you're about to check out. And it's 249 fucking dollars. Why don't you use the code nifty 50 and take 50 bucks off of that?
Alex Ferrari 1:33:04
Nice. Nice. Well played, sir. We'll play I'll put that link. I'll put that link in the show notes. And I tell you one more thing.
Jordan Brady 1:33:12
Yeah. So on Thursday night, right. I had another. No, you don't know this. Okay. I had another behind the scenes that I couldn't put into the masterclass about how to direct cats.
Alex Ferrari 1:33:27
So why not men and not cats? The movie?
Jordan Brady 1:33:31
No, no, no. That says in the anime line critters,
Alex Ferrari 1:33:35
Jordan Brady 1:33:37
Directed about seven or eight cat commercials.
Because you're the cat.
Alex Ferrari 1:33:43
The cat guy, cat guy, you're the cat got you're the cat guy.
Jordan Brady 1:33:48
I do dogs. But I really do cats. But not llamas. So I put up a mini course, for a lower entry price. And it's directing cats with a 17 minute behind the scene, same thing, I'm talking to the camera. And here's why it's worth it just for this. I put in the original agency brief that they sent to the directors. And then I put my treatment so you can download both. And then the production notes and the script notes and all that. So you really see a case study. And if you can direct catch, you can direct anything. So and the Indian if by the end of that course, I give you the I think I give you the nifty 50 code. Like if you take that course. And then you take the other one. It's like getting it free. Cuz right. I got the code, the nifty 50 code.
Alex Ferrari 1:34:40
That's awesome. That's awesome. And now Didn't you just release a feature film sir.
Jordan Brady 1:34:47
So people on YouTube we're talking about my first film deal scallion the country's spinal tap. And last night someone tweeted you know it's on YouTube someone like four days ago for Five days ago, put it on YouTube. And I wrote the guy go, Hey, you know, I was gonna put it up, but I'm the, it's my copyright. I have the publishing to the music, which I don't know if you teach that, Alex, but if you can control that, I made more money off the publishing of that movie, you know, owning the music in the movie, the original music, then the movie itself?
Alex Ferrari 1:35:20
Well, with that said, though, in today's world, publishing is not what it used to be from not. It's a little different nowadays. But yes, if you could own publishing that was, that's the thing. Absolutely. So
Jordan Brady 1:35:34
I asked the guy to take it down, which I think he did. And I, I put it on Vimeo. So it's, you know, Vimeo on demand, forward slash dill scallion. And I put it up for rent $1 99, buy it for 399, I'm going to get 100% of whatever comes in to St. Jude Children's Hospital. Because it's a 20 year old film, I wanted to put up for free. But if there's a chance to help, one of my favorite charities, why not? Sure. So there's no discount, they're just you're going to spend two bucks. And hopefully we can make a few $1,000. That's awesome for the next few days.
Alex Ferrari 1:36:15
I will. I will put that in the show notes as well. Now I'm going to ask you a few questions. I asked all my guests. What advice would you give a filmmaker trying to break into the commercial business today?
Jordan Brady 1:36:30
Study advertising the way you study filmmaking? Why did you know how to sell this? Yeah, you know how to tell a story in 30 seconds, versus just some really cool shots. And I would also say, Don't open don't start your shoot day with the wide shot, because it barely makes the commercial. take so much effort to plan sell, right?
Alex Ferrari 1:37:00
I've shot so many wide shots that never ever make it.
Jordan Brady 1:37:04
That's in my book commercial directing VUDU. $10 on Amazon. Sorry, everyone.
Alex Ferrari 1:37:11
You're hustling baby. I love it.
Jordan Brady 1:37:12
I'm like Mr. Haney from Green Acres. If you want a dated reference,
Alex Ferrari 1:37:16
Jordan Brady 1:37:18
betta went bizarre on my website. Oh, yeah, the DP and the ad will always want to start with the wide shot. And then the agency will be picking apart the wide shot.
Alex Ferrari 1:37:30
I don't like that plant.
Jordan Brady 1:37:31
I don't like this. I don't like the way she says that in the middle of the spot. And you're like, No, I'm just letting the actors do it. It's never going to be in the cut. I just want the actress to do the whole script. But because she say it this way, can we try an outline? No, the outline isn't funny in the wide shot. So if you start your day, you're going to be like 45 minutes late. Because you fucked around on this wide shot. And then in the edit bay. The editor goes, I don't even need the one. That's
Alex Ferrari 1:38:01
well that's gone. All right. Now what is the lesson that took you the longest to learn whether in the film industry or in life?
Jordan Brady 1:38:09
What is the lesson?
Alex Ferrari 1:38:11
What lesson took you the longest to learn whether in the film business or in life?
Jordan Brady 1:38:18
It's we not me.
Alex Ferrari 1:38:22
Amen. Very, very true. And I'll ask you three of your favorite films of all time and three of your favorite commercials of all time.
Jordan Brady 1:38:32
That's so hard, because on any given day,
Alex Ferrari 1:38:35
what's that? What today's that day, whatever today is what are those three films and three commercials if you can think of them? Yeah.
Jordan Brady 1:38:42
I mean, film wise. I always love Mel Brooks history of the world.
Alex Ferrari 1:38:49
Part One, part two,
Jordan Brady 1:38:51
it's part two. Yes. Okay. Of course.I always laugh at that, you know, I and it's silly, and it's probably outdated style of humor. But I love that Best in Show. I always laugh. Of course. I mean, that's like, it's so sly. So good. So good. And, you know, there's a film called Blue in the trilogy.
Alex Ferrari 1:39:17
Of course. Yeah. Christopher saucy. Yeah, it's amazing.
Jordan Brady 1:39:20
I've seen that film. When I say I've seen it 25 times. It's not a comedy.
Alex Ferrari 1:39:26
Not by any stretch. It's It's It's It's a moving, moving painting. It's a moving painting. It's amazing. It's so beautiful. I love red. Like I love red. Yeah, red. I just Iran. Jacob was just
Jordan Brady 1:39:41
Alex Ferrari 1:39:41
god. She was amazing. And that both those films amazing. Julia manouche. Isn't blue if I'm not mistaken.
Jordan Brady 1:39:48
Yes. I think she's also is she in? What was the one that double was in with the clouds. It's like the clouds of solar own.
Alex Ferrari 1:39:59
I think I don't know, I don't remember that one,
Jordan Brady 1:40:00
I don't know.
Alex Ferrari 1:40:02
And then three commercials that kind of kind of gets stuck in your head stay in your head because I've got a few in my head that I, and they're all from the same group of directors.
Jordan Brady 1:40:14
Well, I mean, I watched so many commercials.
Alex Ferrari 1:40:16
Is there anything that stuck out?
Jordan Brady 1:40:18
Yeah, well, my my wife's first spec spot for Bridgestone tires, where we we rented the location that has the Michael Bay tree. It's called a boy in his tire. And we shot it was the last of the film days 10 years ago. And it it got her shortlisted it can that the advertising can not the reo can. And that spot is so beautiful. And it's my wife, it was my wife's entry into the marketplace. So and it got a lot of press. And so that's near and dear, that's like a personal one. You're asking for ones that that people would know.
Alex Ferrari 1:40:56
Oh, I'll tell you. I'll tell you. I'll tell you a couple. So Aaron Burr, Michael Bay, classic, classic Aaron Burr. I mean, and a lot of people crap on Michael Bay. And I'm the first to say that, you know, other than the rock bad boys and Armageddon because Armageddon is fun. There's a handful of movies that you know that he's not the greatest storyteller. But visually there's he changed the game. action movies changed after bad boys in the rock. Like completely, like everybody's tried to beat Michael Bay. So I want to say ehrenburg I'm going to say there was a Levi commercial that David Fincher did with a clairvoyant. What's her name Claire, for me, me, Joe black, which is the one that there's like, at last that that whole spot was amazing. And I'm not sure if it was Bay, or if it was spike Jones. But remember, did you ever remember the it was super green commercial, where they were gonna do a, they were like moving the camera like they're about to, like do some sort of surgery and they're sitting like he's sitting in this chair, this kid sit in this chair and all the doctors around and like moving the camera in the cameras like, angling and like they're gonna shoot something into this kid's face. And all of a sudden, the camera just goes off. And like snaps like a stapler and it leaves one of those little Levi divots, like off the money on his nose. He's uh, he was stylish since 1950 something or whatever it is. And I think it was either spike Jones or Fincher on that one. But those are those are three that I remember.
Jordan Brady 1:42:30
Jason momoa in Rocket Mortgage for the Super Bowl.
Alex Ferrari 1:42:34
Oh, so good.
Jordan Brady 1:42:35
Oh my god rip off his face and creative team and I know that effects team. Oh, that was also the effects were also the guys that did the Lego suit.
Alex Ferrari 1:42:48
back and we're circling back to the days when you know I'm when you see when you have a connection to something. Yeah. And Michael core Bay, who was a creative director that went over to work for Rocket Mortgage. That was his first spot as his house creative director. And then you know, the guys at Legacy effects formerly Stan Winston. When you see they all work, like I know these guys, and I didn't I love the spot before I even saw that. It was great. And I don't know if you saw the meme that was flying around Facebook and Instagram where it was a picture of Jason momoa in that spot when he has like, balding. His arms are really thin and he looks horrible. And on top of it. There's a picture of him Aqua man. He goes shooting 4k on your iPhone. Shooting 4k on a red was brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. Now, Jordan, where can people find you?
Jordan Brady 1:43:43
Yeah, that's true. Okay, third is Geico whale, by Florian brothers, where a guy goes into the belly of the whale. Like in another guy comes in his kayak and they're in this it's clearly a set, you know? And then another guy comes in, and they're like, What the fuck is happening? And the guy's like, I just say 15%. You know, my car insurance. So I think that's a really, I'll send you the link that
Alex Ferrari 1:44:15
sent me a link. I'd love to see that one. And where can people find you, Jordan?
Jordan Brady 1:44:20
I would say on Twitter. It's that Jordan Brady? Instagram that Jordan Brady. I'm pretty good on Instagram these days. That took a little learning. I am not on tik tok. I don't know if I have the bandwidth.
Alex Ferrari 1:44:33
No, don't Don't do it. Don't do it.
Jordan Brady 1:44:35
It's fine. But commercial drinking film school is where I was sent people because it commercial directing film school I got the masterclass and the cats in the bootcamp and the book and the podcast. And I have a hot sauce called oh so delicious hot sauce. Obviously we, we give we cuz that was the twist. Right? That was the that was the the pivot as they say and we give $1 From every bottle of hot sauce to National Military families.com.org, which is a great charity, helping military families and veterans, reunite after service, they have camps for kids like your mom's in Afghanistan, or your dad's in, you know, he would Jima or somewhere that these kids are left alone, the kids pay the price. So we give $1 per bottle to that charity. And everything is a commercial directing film school.
Alex Ferrari 1:45:30
My friend, it has been an absolute pleasure having you on the show fun.
Jordan Brady 1:45:33
I can't believe it.
Alex Ferrari 1:45:34
I mean, it's, we could talk for again, another few hours, I'm sure. But I hope this has helped a few filmmakers understand the world of commercial directing, because I know a lot of them like, hey, maybe I should just do some commercials. And he you know, there's a thing it's a thing. It's a thing you don't you don't want to dabble. You can't dabble in commercials, you might be able to dabble in music videos, maybe. But commercials is it? Is it a little bit a little bit bigger, it might want
Jordan Brady 1:46:01
to commit and it'll pay off in experience when you go to do your feature.
Alex Ferrari 1:46:05
Oh, absolutely. I mean, I was a much better director because of all the time I spent on set as a commercial director. And, and by the time I did my first real narrative stuff, I was you know, I just knew how to run a set. It was really, really a great experience. But unlike you and me, today, these kids, they could just go on shoot, and they could just edit on their laptops. And I had to go uphill barefoot in the snow to edit on an avid on a Quadro 750 with 33 megabytes 33 megabytes quadrate 350 with 33 megahertz excuse me of screaming power back in the day with my vision rat tail. Yes, with the with 15 scuzzy drives hooked up to get a gig.
Jordan Brady 1:46:50
Or Oh, hey, I'm thank you for this podcast and all the information. And you know, I listened to the show. And I know your take on how distributors can really, like I had a distributor just wanted the fee. Just wanted the fee. Just like even like, did I have weed? Like, shouldn't you be selling my film? And you position it in a positive way. You don't just when I listen to the show, you give us the warning shot over the bow. But you have solutions for people right how to try to get their career how to build an audience. And and I admire it man, I am of your school of thought and I think what you're doing and, and sharing, sharing the knowledge is really cool.
Alex Ferrari 1:47:36
I appreciate it. I look at distribution specifically. I think it's such a it's such a treacherous part of the filmmaking journey. It really is. And it is predatory. And it's a little rough, but I try to shine some light and sometimes I might get a little negative but unfortunately, I rather tell I always tell people I'd rather you hear it for me than lose your film. Yeah, for five years, I rather you hear me going Dude, you got to do this, this and this. If you don't, you're gonna get taken advantage of so I try to do the best I can but I really do appreciate that and I appreciate what you're doing with your, your podcast as well. Your podcast is pretty awesome and, and pretty funny and really entertaining. And if anybody wants to know more about commercial directing, I would definitely recommend you listen to Jordans podcast and I will have that in the show notes as well.
Jordan Brady 1:48:25
Jordan make it very accessible to me you email DM me I'm I'm not hiding, you know in the hills.
Alex Ferrari 1:48:32
We might well actually actually we are now actually are heading in the hills now. But Jordan, thank you again for being on the show. I appreciate it man.
Jordan Brady 1:48:38
I'll talk to you later.
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