Jeff, Why Don’t You Direct?

Adweek is running a meditative piece on creatives who like to direct their own spots.
One of the interesting facts in the article is about Joe Pytka’s new production venture called The Mother Ship, founded to help those creatives who want to take their work from concept to completion.

“There’s a hurtful thing happening in the business when very good creative people leave for whatever reason to become directors,” says Pytka. “I thought it would be interesting to have these people stay in the business and direct their own work when they see fit to do so.”

Hey, not so fast there, Orson…

Gerry Graf, ecd of TBWA\C\D, New York, says it is almost always inappropriate for a creative to direct. Most creatives, he says, simply aren’t qualified. “The thinking is, ‘Well, I’ve sat in a chair at a lot of film shoots, so I should be able to direct.’ Like you learn from osmosis or something. Just because you can write or art direct doesn’t mean you can direct. It is a different skill set.”

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. gerry graf speaks from experience. he speaks the truth. listen to gerry. not that netflix-inspired voice in your head. that’s the devil!