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Next Director Award 2016 Interview - Brad Lubin

US born director Brad Lubin never wanted to be anything else when he grew up. In fact, he made his first film at just age 11 in 1990, directing himself in the role of Vanilla Ice in a music video for Ice Ice Baby. It was met with much acclaim. “Better than the original,” said Brad’s mom.

Graduating from Brooks Institute of Photography with a BA in Film Production, he promptly moved to Los Angeles to make that dream a reality. After several years working under Craig Gillespie, The Farrelly brothers, and Mark Neveldine, (and carrying thousands of cups of coffee along the way), he worked his way up from intern to director’s assistant.
Known for his comedic style that is equal parts accessible and aspirational, Brad has been nominated for numerous young director Awards and has had official selections at film festivals nationwide. And, in 2016 he was shortlisted for the D&AD Next Director Award. We caught up with him to hear all about his climb to the top and find out if he had any tips and tricks for fledgling directors. 

What are you up to now and what’s next for you?

I’m currently in pre-production for an exciting European brand campaign and then I'm headed back to the States for a fun job.

Two of your films were shortlisted. Could you talk us through each of them?

Living Nutz

"I was looking to make a film for my reel. We reached out to a small, family-owned company, Living Nutz. The result was just as intended: a spot that is hysterical and encourages multiple viewings.

The humour was layered within the SFX allergy makeup and the funny dialogue. I’m proud that we created a commercial that worked: It received publicity and expanded brand awareness for Living Nutz."

Birth Class

"I cut my teeth bringing coffee to the Farrelly brothers, so I have a very high bar when it comes to humour. When I read the script, I had to do it.

Our target audience were sexually active people and I wanted to do a film that would be effective, but in a hysterical way.

The script called for the class to react in unexpected shock, so I would not let the lead interact with actors before we shot."

What’s your favourite part about what you do ?

"When I make something that moves people emotionally. Maybe they laugh or get misty-eyed, but the point is they're moved because they're emotionally connected to a story that I've had a part in telling."

Also, my job gives me the opportunity to meet all kinds of amazing people. After I got signed with Mindseye, I flew to London to work for 2 1/2 weeks, "I made a lot of great friends and connections and had the best shoot of my life. I was sad that it was over because my crew was just outstanding. I really hope to work with these agency creatives again because they are very talented and great people."

Is there anyone whose work really inspires you?

"Absolutely. Craig Gillespie consistently inspires me. He is amazing. He continues to raise the bar with his filmmaking and never shies away from a challenge. He's fearless and razor sharp. Also, Harold Einstein is a comedy genius and so dedicated to his craft.

Every time I watch one of their films it reminds me I can never get comfortable. I always have to keep pushing myself to be more creative because guys like that are continually raising the bar."

How important are competitions and award shows for creatives?

"In my experience, they’re incredibly important because that’s how one gets noticed and earns respect within the industry.

After the nomination was announced, I was approached by several production companies who were interested in representing me in the UK. I chose Mindseye because I was blown away by Hughie Phillips' understanding of comedy and his dedication to his directors. Within a week of signing, I pitched on my first job, which I won.

I will forever be grateful to D&AD for changing my life in such a profoundly positive way. Being shortlisted was definitely a career highlight."

If there’s one piece of advice you could give to fledgling directors, what would it be?

"Don’t let the fear of imperfect work or mistakes prevent you from creating. Embrace your unique voice and individuality. Strive to bring out the best in those around you. Don’t be an asshole."

The D&AD Next Director Award unearths the best new talent and promotes it back into the industry. The competition is open to new directors with less than two years professional experience.

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