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Sam Jones' DIRECTV Spot Pushes Viewers to Rethink TV

Leading commercial production company Tool of North America today detailed photographer, filmmaker and commercial director Sam Jones latest commercial work, an imaginative :60 spot for DIRECTV entitled ?Rethink TV.

The spot debuted on Jul. 7 and is set to continue airing throughout the summer on the DIRECTV system. Jones joined Tools roster at the end of last year and has since directed several commercial assignments, while also jumping headlong into his next feature film project, a documentary on champion motocross star James ?Bubba Stewart which is being produced by Cruise/Wagner Productions through Paramount Pictures.

Jones work to-date, including his debut feature ?I Am Trying to Break Your Heart, has piqued the interests of many, including Neal Tiles, the DIRECTV Executive Vice President of Marketing who led the project, and Scott Bantle, DIRECTV Senior Vice President of Creative Services.

?The main idea of the spot is to communicate the true spirit of DIRECTV?which is ?rethinking what television can be, explained DIRECTVs project copywriter/creative director Roger Poirier. ?Neal and Scott gave Sam more creative license than hes probably used to from ad agencies, because we have such high regard for his work and creativity.  After we described what we were after and provided some script guidelines, Sam came up with the vignettes and captured them.  He also recommended the Kinks song ?I Need You, which everybody loves for the spot.

For his part, Jones interpreted the projects main challenge as making very visual and slightly chaotic ideas fit the ?rethink TV theme.  ?I was trying to create ideas that were unexpected in the medium of satellite television advertising, and to make people think a bit, he said.  ?I wanted people to see the images, read the text, and have to fill in the bridge between the two.  I wanted to make viewers have ?aha moments.

The input and creative freedoms DIRECTV provided were a perfect prescription for fueling Jones artistic passions.  ?I made up about 40 ideas and they let me shoot almost all of them, he added.  Asked about his favorite moment from the spot, he responded,  ?I am probably most attached to the skateboarder going down the street standing on a TV because I shot that from another skateboard, and we both nearly killed ourselves.  But I also love the surrealistic imagery of a guy watching his hedge from a barcalounger, he admitted.  ?I was really happy they let me see that odd idea through.

Along with Neal Tiles, Scott Bantle and Roger Poirier, DIRECTVs project credits also include producer Patty Lum, art director Christine Woertink and graphics designer Jerome Cheng.

Tool of North Americas project team included executive producer Jennifer Siegel, head of production Amy DeLossa, line producer Michelle Abbott and director of photography Kristian Kachikis. Colorist Stefan Sonnenfeld performed the telecine transfers at Company 3 in Santa Monica.  The team from LA editorial company Rock Paper Scissors included editor JD Smyth and producer Dex Deboree.  For VFX company A52 in West Hollywood, the team included executive producer Mark Tobin, producers Scott Boyajan and April Killingsworth, visual effects supervisor/lead artist Kirk Balden and VFX artist Justin Blaustein.  Luke Eddins of Luke Hits re-recorded the Kinks song, and the spots sound design and final mix were both handled by Mick Brooling.

About Tool of North America
Established in Santa Monica in 1995, leading commercial production company Tool of North America represents an inspiring group of world-class directors via representatives in LA, Chicago, New York, Toronto and Paris.  Owner and award-winning director Erich Joiner continues drawing international acclaim for his high-profile commercials, and an endless array of new projects continues to spotlight the unique talents of directors Sam Cadman, Clint Clemens, Harry Cocciolo, Sean Ehringer, Sam Jones, Poiraud, Bob Richardson, Tom Routson, Johan Tappert and François Vogel.  For more information, please visit or call 310.453.9244.

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