Member of the week: Ark18, the best of the best!

Hey Zooppsters, it’s that time again! We are pleased to present Ark18, an exciting new member of the week! Ark18 has become well-established with Zooppa with his various video endeavors, and recently wowed his client in the Mrs. Dash: Live it. Love it. Eat it. contest, winning him a prize of $5,000! This submission, titled “Meet the Quinns”, is featured below, along with more information on the art of Ark18’s film-making style in an interview.

Tell us about yourself.
I’m a commercial director out of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. I’m 27, happily married, own a rambunctious corgi, and am pretty obsessed with commercials and advertising. My likes outside of filming are roller coaster riding, working on my house, and feeling like I did something productive at the end of the day. Sounds ridiculous but oh so true.
Describe your film-making background. What got you started?

What got me started? The money – there’s always money in the banana stand. My senior year in high school I developed a public access show, a rip off of Jackass of course, and that’s what got me hooked – the idea of creatively making something that (hopefully) other people will want to watch. I really have no background in commercials though, and during film school just became interested in them. I worked for CBS and PBS here in Pittsburgh doing promotions and that eventually led to my current job working for a production company. While I do direct and produce commercials for various clients inside and outside of work, the company I work for produces some of the largest Republican ads around, and I being a fairly liberal Democrat, have found this to be a hilarious mix. It’s a pretty cool working environment. Watch out. 

Share with us your creative process. What have you found inspiring?

I find inspiration mainly from other commercial directors; Rupert Sanders, Nicolai Fuglsig…tons of others. In terms of working, I try and keep my sets low key – working with a small crew and shooting as efficiently as possible. And despite my spots on Zooppa contradicting this, I mainly produce non-dialogue commercials since I’m not the best writer so I’ve tried to make that work for me. There’s also a huge challenge in telling a story in 30 seconds, and it forces you to reexamine every shot and cut in those 30 seconds – making sure they’re all necessary. Ever heard of the messed up editing term ‘know when to kill your babies?’ That couldn’t be more true than in commercials.

What are you hoping to achieve in the future?

So far the commercial contests having been panning out well. Between Zooppa and other resources the commercial contest outlet is a great way to go; it forces you to adhere to a brief with a client, meet their standards, and win or lose you (conceivably) walk away with a great spot for your reel. So while I’ve had some success with directing and producing on my own, my biggest goal is to get signed with commercial directors representation. While I love other aspects of filmmaking, commercial directing full time is my ultimate goal. And maintaining a balance with family life heh.

Safe to say you’re a fan? Then take a look at the rest of Ark18’s profile!

Jasmine Moore

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