Oct 27, 2021
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THE BRIEF: What do Canadian directors need to do to make the cut in Toronto? Part 2

By TO411Daily Columnist
Linda Chandler

Last week, The Brief addressed Martin Shewchuk, ECD of J. Walter Thompson-Toronto, with his charge that Toronto creative directors discriminated against Canadian commercial directors. The Brief spoke to many of the top CDs to get their take on this and came away with the opinion that Shewchuk had a particularly multinational POV concerning 100% Canadian content. This week, The Brief reports on some of the top Canadian directors’ reaction to Shewchuk’s claim. 

Are they feeling discriminated against for being Canadian? According to many top Canadian directors, if you can make it here you can make it anywhere. In addition…

Canada loves you when you leave. James Davis, Partner at Untitled Films, represents some of Canada’s hardest-working directors including: Steve Gordon, Hubert Davis, Tom Feiler, John Matromonaco, and Curtis Wehrfritz. Davis knows better than anyone the importance of promoting Canadian directors and getting them outta here to succeed. Canadian born director, Michael Downing, who now lives in Los Angeles, credits Davis with “having the balls to stick by Canadian directors” and says it’s basically because of him that Canadian commercial directors are taken seriously around the world. 

Downing describes Davis as the “smartest guy in the business.” And the “smartest guy in the business” doesn’t believe there’s any discrimination going on as far as hiring Canadians. “90% of the work is done by 10% of the directors. Most of whom are Canadian,” says Davis. If more than 10% had star-power – something Canadians love to hate – more Canadian directors would be shooting boards.

It’s not because you’re Canadian, it’s because you’re good. The Brief spoke to directors who shoot everywhere in the world, and what they all agreed on was that Canadian directors are some of the best. Best with interpretation. Best with budgets and timelines. Best with clients. And respected outside of Canada as such. Steve Gordon, who recently brought a Pencil and Clio home on a Canadian brand, says that when he works here in Canada it’s not because he lives here, it’s because he’s a director who can compete on an international level. Downing believes it’s not about geography, it’s about who’s best for the job!

The impossibly busy Perlorian Brothers, Lazlo and Bruce,* known for bringing home a Lion or Gold say, “At the end of the day, we’d like to think that the only discrimination is against staid and uninspired thinking. And that it’s not really about where the director is from.”

The Perlorian Brothers, like so many directors The Brief turned to, don’t believe there’s discrimination against Canadian directors. To the contrary, they think that Canadian directors get a lot of work in Canada simply because they’re Canadian. And therein lies a certain danger. The Perlorian’s caution, “Any director who builds his reel in Canada and only shows Canadian work on this reel might lack a certain sexiness. His or her work will likely seem less exotic and his or her scope might seem more limited than someone from across the border or from overseas. So a Canadian director (with only Canadian work on his reel) might have to work harder to portray himself as someone with a unique vision.”

The work according to Shewchuk. Shewchuck says that “…hiring foreigners for Canadian projects can only have an adverse effect on the native directorial talent, as well as on the specific projects.” The Perlorian Brothers response to that is, “We shouldn’t forget that it’s the creative director’s job to search out the best talent to execute their script. And good for any agency creative who writes a script that elicits interest from the finest talent from around the world.”

Do we have an advertising market guilty of discriminating against Canadian directors as Shewchuk claims? The Brief thinks to the contrary. We have directors who have to leave home to be viable here.

And why is that, eh? Gary Holme, Creative Director, describes our national neurosis as a Canadian self-loathing-character-flaw. Related to the Hero Not Welcome In His Own Country syndrome.” And perhaps that’s some small justification for Shewchuk’s “protectionism.” And for the caprice of geography, which forces our identity to crash into our national nemesis – America – we suffer, like a stepchild, from profound and unfounded rivalry and low self-esteem – and we have to get over it.

Sources

—–

Comment to Linda at this address: thebrief@to411.com.
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Front Page, Industry News

THE BRIEF: What do Canadian directors need to do to make the cut in Toronto? Part 2

By TO411Daily Columnist
Linda Chandler

Last week, The Brief addressed Martin Shewchuk, ECD of J. Walter Thompson-Toronto, with his charge that Toronto creative directors discriminated against Canadian commercial directors. The Brief spoke to many of the top CDs to get their take on this and came away with the opinion that Shewchuk had a particularly multinational POV concerning 100% Canadian content. This week, The Brief reports on some of the top Canadian directors’ reaction to Shewchuk’s claim. 

Are they feeling discriminated against for being Canadian? According to many top Canadian directors, if you can make it here you can make it anywhere. In addition…

Canada loves you when you leave. James Davis, Partner at Untitled Films, represents some of Canada’s hardest-working directors including: Steve Gordon, Hubert Davis, Tom Feiler, John Matromonaco, and Curtis Wehrfritz. Davis knows better than anyone the importance of promoting Canadian directors and getting them outta here to succeed. Canadian born director, Michael Downing, who now lives in Los Angeles, credits Davis with “having the balls to stick by Canadian directors” and says it’s basically because of him that Canadian commercial directors are taken seriously around the world. 

Downing describes Davis as the “smartest guy in the business.” And the “smartest guy in the business” doesn’t believe there’s any discrimination going on as far as hiring Canadians. “90% of the work is done by 10% of the directors. Most of whom are Canadian,” says Davis. If more than 10% had star-power – something Canadians love to hate – more Canadian directors would be shooting boards.

It’s not because you’re Canadian, it’s because you’re good. The Brief spoke to directors who shoot everywhere in the world, and what they all agreed on was that Canadian directors are some of the best. Best with interpretation. Best with budgets and timelines. Best with clients. And respected outside of Canada as such. Steve Gordon, who recently brought a Pencil and Clio home on a Canadian brand, says that when he works here in Canada it’s not because he lives here, it’s because he’s a director who can compete on an international level. Downing believes it’s not about geography, it’s about who’s best for the job!

The impossibly busy Perlorian Brothers, Lazlo and Bruce,* known for bringing home a Lion or Gold say, “At the end of the day, we’d like to think that the only discrimination is against staid and uninspired thinking. And that it’s not really about where the director is from.”

The Perlorian Brothers, like so many directors The Brief turned to, don’t believe there’s discrimination against Canadian directors. To the contrary, they think that Canadian directors get a lot of work in Canada simply because they’re Canadian. And therein lies a certain danger. The Perlorian’s caution, “Any director who builds his reel in Canada and only shows Canadian work on this reel might lack a certain sexiness. His or her work will likely seem less exotic and his or her scope might seem more limited than someone from across the border or from overseas. So a Canadian director (with only Canadian work on his reel) might have to work harder to portray himself as someone with a unique vision.”

The work according to Shewchuk. Shewchuck says that “…hiring foreigners for Canadian projects can only have an adverse effect on the native directorial talent, as well as on the specific projects.” The Perlorian Brothers response to that is, “We shouldn’t forget that it’s the creative director’s job to search out the best talent to execute their script. And good for any agency creative who writes a script that elicits interest from the finest talent from around the world.”

Do we have an advertising market guilty of discriminating against Canadian directors as Shewchuk claims? The Brief thinks to the contrary. We have directors who have to leave home to be viable here.

And why is that, eh? Gary Holme, Creative Director, describes our national neurosis as a Canadian self-loathing-character-flaw. Related to the Hero Not Welcome In His Own Country syndrome.” And perhaps that’s some small justification for Shewchuk’s “protectionism.” And for the caprice of geography, which forces our identity to crash into our national nemesis – America – we suffer, like a stepchild, from profound and unfounded rivalry and low self-esteem – and we have to get over it.

Sources

—–

Comment to Linda at this address: thebrief@to411.com.
LinkedIn // Facebook // Twitter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Front Page, Industry News

THE BRIEF: What do Canadian directors need to do to make the cut in Toronto? Part 2

By TO411Daily Columnist
Linda Chandler

Last week, The Brief addressed Martin Shewchuk, ECD of J. Walter Thompson-Toronto, with his charge that Toronto creative directors discriminated against Canadian commercial directors. The Brief spoke to many of the top CDs to get their take on this and came away with the opinion that Shewchuk had a particularly multinational POV concerning 100% Canadian content. This week, The Brief reports on some of the top Canadian directors’ reaction to Shewchuk’s claim. 

Are they feeling discriminated against for being Canadian? According to many top Canadian directors, if you can make it here you can make it anywhere. In addition…

Canada loves you when you leave. James Davis, Partner at Untitled Films, represents some of Canada’s hardest-working directors including: Steve Gordon, Hubert Davis, Tom Feiler, John Matromonaco, and Curtis Wehrfritz. Davis knows better than anyone the importance of promoting Canadian directors and getting them outta here to succeed. Canadian born director, Michael Downing, who now lives in Los Angeles, credits Davis with “having the balls to stick by Canadian directors” and says it’s basically because of him that Canadian commercial directors are taken seriously around the world. 

Downing describes Davis as the “smartest guy in the business.” And the “smartest guy in the business” doesn’t believe there’s any discrimination going on as far as hiring Canadians. “90% of the work is done by 10% of the directors. Most of whom are Canadian,” says Davis. If more than 10% had star-power – something Canadians love to hate – more Canadian directors would be shooting boards.

It’s not because you’re Canadian, it’s because you’re good. The Brief spoke to directors who shoot everywhere in the world, and what they all agreed on was that Canadian directors are some of the best. Best with interpretation. Best with budgets and timelines. Best with clients. And respected outside of Canada as such. Steve Gordon, who recently brought a Pencil and Clio home on a Canadian brand, says that when he works here in Canada it’s not because he lives here, it’s because he’s a director who can compete on an international level. Downing believes it’s not about geography, it’s about who’s best for the job!

The impossibly busy Perlorian Brothers, Lazlo and Bruce,* known for bringing home a Lion or Gold say, “At the end of the day, we’d like to think that the only discrimination is against staid and uninspired thinking. And that it’s not really about where the director is from.”

The Perlorian Brothers, like so many directors The Brief turned to, don’t believe there’s discrimination against Canadian directors. To the contrary, they think that Canadian directors get a lot of work in Canada simply because they’re Canadian. And therein lies a certain danger. The Perlorian’s caution, “Any director who builds his reel in Canada and only shows Canadian work on this reel might lack a certain sexiness. His or her work will likely seem less exotic and his or her scope might seem more limited than someone from across the border or from overseas. So a Canadian director (with only Canadian work on his reel) might have to work harder to portray himself as someone with a unique vision.”

The work according to Shewchuk. Shewchuck says that “…hiring foreigners for Canadian projects can only have an adverse effect on the native directorial talent, as well as on the specific projects.” The Perlorian Brothers response to that is, “We shouldn’t forget that it’s the creative director’s job to search out the best talent to execute their script. And good for any agency creative who writes a script that elicits interest from the finest talent from around the world.”

Do we have an advertising market guilty of discriminating against Canadian directors as Shewchuk claims? The Brief thinks to the contrary. We have directors who have to leave home to be viable here.

And why is that, eh? Gary Holme, Creative Director, describes our national neurosis as a Canadian self-loathing-character-flaw. Related to the Hero Not Welcome In His Own Country syndrome.” And perhaps that’s some small justification for Shewchuk’s “protectionism.” And for the caprice of geography, which forces our identity to crash into our national nemesis – America – we suffer, like a stepchild, from profound and unfounded rivalry and low self-esteem – and we have to get over it.

Sources

—–

Comment to Linda at this address: thebrief@to411.com.
LinkedIn // Facebook // Twitter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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