Where are you based and how did you first get into this line of work?
Born and raised in Toronto. Still live here, but often shooting abroad. Grew up through still photography and transitioned into film through advertising.
How did you get the IKEA: Lamp 2 project?
I was barely out of photography school when the original aired and directing was not even on my radar yet. But, even then I remember appreciating the “Ikea Lamp Commercial” as something great. Since then, I’ve lost count of how many times it’s been referenced on briefing calls. So when ‘Lamp II’ came in for me, I wondered aloud to the agency, “Why not get Spike to shoot it?”. They quickly informed me he wasn’t available! Then we joked it’s like being tasked to make Empire Strikes back. Good for me I guess…. No pressure!
What gear/cameras did you use and why?
We shot alexa mini with old zeiss lenses. We cranked the ISO for a more textured image. No essentials for me. I try to approach each project with a POV that suits the story or emotion we’re trying to convey.
Did you plan out the story structure from the beginning or did it come out in post?
Obviously, we referenced the storytelling techniques used in the original, like the POV photography and keeping the owner anonymous.
We purposefully mirrored some moments in the new story to play off of the original beats, also added a few easter eggs for the ad nerds (myself included). Like a POV shot of lamp leaving the outside world where the original used POV to leave the inside world.
We also wanted to carve out some of our own storytelling and used the original as the jumping off point.
Like the way we embraced the “anonymous owner” technique for the first part of our film while the lamp was still “old”. Once the bulb was replaced with the new LED bulb and the lamp turns on, we intentionally cut to the lamp POV of the girls face glowing in it’s warm light, no longer alone in the world.
What do you do differently from other filmmakers?
One might know me for being a director who is very hands on. I love to operate the camera (even on seaways). I like moving gear, lighting things, etc. I find it easy to find moments and react when I’m holding the camera. But the main reason why I like to operate is that I get bored sitting on a chair behind a monitor. I think this style of directing is becoming more and more common.