I woke to sad news this morning that acclaimed British filmmaker Tony Scott had died. He was an influential filmmaker behind the camera and even further behind the scenes creating some truly brilliant films and adverts alike.
He had a very unique style depicted brilliantly in the 10 minute mini-movie he directed for BMW’s branded-content series, ‘The Hire” on behalf of Fallon Worldwide. The spot uses Scott’s pseudo-psychedelic saturated colour palette, high contrast reproduction and choppy, kinetic editing which made his films such a pleasure to watch. It also boasts a plethora of music and movie A-listers such as Clive Owen, Gary Oldman, James Brown, Danny Trejo and Marilyn Manson. Owen stared as ‘The Driver’ in a number of other short film for BMW’s ‘The Hire” and Fallon presided by other acclaimed directors such as John Woo, Guy Ritchie, John Frankenheimer, Ang Lee, Joe Carnaham, Wong Kar-wai and Alejandro González Iñárritu.
Here’s the late, great Scott’s spot entitled ‘Beat The Devil’ from October 2002:
One of my favourite adverts directed by Tony Scott has to be ‘Big’ from March 2001 for Barclays
Admittedly, the arrogance conveyed by the spot along with the weight and pompousness it carries itself with is not ideal for a bank to use at nearly any point. However, the beautiful scripting and Scott’s wonderful direction of Hopkins’ performance helps elevate the advert above the ordinary.
The spot was created by Leagas Delaney who won the Barclays account over JWT. The ads were deemed misleading by the ITC and divided public opinion. As a result, Simon Gulliford immediately handed the account to BBH London without a pitch after the PR nightmare that followed the spot. It’s a shame such issues with the company overshadow the great work by the copywriter and Scott himself.
My favourite piece of work from the late director is ‘Life in a Day’, a motion picture he co-produced with his brother Ridley. You can read more about it in my blog here.
To conclude, here’s a video of Tony Scott talking about directing both films and adverts.
We mourn a brilliant filmmaker and a creative visionary.