What’s the most creative advertising idea you’ve seen recently?
Bobby: Other than our reel?
Brig: I think it’s gotta be the Apple Underdogs series. The latest spot, Swiped, is great. Even with shorter and shorter attention spans, we really love long form.
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What website(s) do you use most regularly?
Bobby: Honest answer? Google Slides, baby. We use it for everything.
Brig: Even more honest answer? Pinterest. Pinterest gets a bad rap because everyone thinks it's just for crafty moms and such, but we pull visual inspiration there all day every day.
Bobby: It’s become something of a calming ritual. Just pinning one beautiful thing after another. And it’s shocking to see how our vision of a project changes after we delve deep into Pinterest for inspiration.
What’s the most recent piece of tech that you’ve bought?
Bobby: A welder.
Brig: About five years ago, Bobby bought an ‘86 Volkswagen Westfalia camper van. We’ve always loved cars and motorcycles, but that van has infected us with the bug to fabricate our own stuff. The ability to make real, functional things from scratch is intoxicating.
Bobby: 'Functional' is generous. We have yet to build anything that works out as planned. We spend most of our time with our necks craned, trying to watch a YouTube video on a phone to figure out what we are doing.
Brig: But we are learning all sorts of stuff.
What product could you not live without?
Bobby: R&Co High Dive Hair Moisturiser and Shine Cream. As you have probably noticed, we are a hair-centric duo.
Brig: We have a little rivalry to see who can get it longer.
Bobby: And I am crushing it. But we both have exceedingly dry hair and, without the High Dive, we wouldn’t last a day.
What’s the best film you’ve seen over the last year?
Bobby: We are avid cinephiles, and are completely up to date on every streaming platform. So it has been necessary of late to start at the beginning and watch all the old stuff. I think our favourite gem we uncovered lately was His Girl Friday (1940, Cary Grant & Rosalind Russell). The dialogue is so sharp and cutting, and there are a million jokes a second. You almost feel guilty for laughing because you might miss the next joke.
What film do you think everyone should have seen?
Brig: I was on a plane a few days ago and I was doing my obligatory viewing of Kubrick's 2001: Space Odyssey so that I would feel cultured or whatever. But nobody ever says anything in that movie, and the shots are, like, 20 minutes long, and I found myself watching the entire film Goodfellas with subtitles on the guy's screen in front of me. I was watching it through the seats and squinting my eyes just to read the subtitles. So, I think maybe the answer is Goodfellas.
What’s your preferred social media platform?
Bobby: Again, Pinterest.
What’s your favourite TV show?
Brig: Right now, it’s probably The Bear. Not every episode works, but we love the visual editing language they’ve built. Staccato and rapid fire. When you are cutting to all this stuff around the room etc, it gives every scene so much feeling without having to say it overtly.
Bobby: I was surprised you liked it so much. Brig usually won’t watch anything without swords or dragons.
What’s your favourite podcast?
Brig: Don’t listen to them. I think podcasts are usually meandering and unproduced. If I want to hear strangers talk, I’ll just eavesdrop at a coffee shop.
Bobby: Well, I guess no one is gonna invite us on their podcast now. Personally, I love Armchair Expert.
What show/exhibition has most inspired you recently?
Brig: Dance recitals. Our kids are both dancers, and they dance their little hearts out. A couple of months ago, our daughter Jane choreographed a solo dance. She asked Bobby to play along on her harp (yes Bobby plays the harp, and about 17 other instruments). Jane recorded a voiceover to go over the music that was a tribute to her hero; me. It was, like, 30 seconds in before I realised it was a tribute to Bobby, not me. But I was already crying like a baby and I just kept weeping through our son’s performance as well.
If you could only listen to one music artist from now on, who would it be?
Bobby: One artist? Pass. I think, without multiple artists, life wouldn’t be worth living. Anyone that could listen to one artist, or even one genre, doesn’t deserve music.
Brig: Music is a huge part of our creative process, especially on set, and we keep eclectic to the extreme. Here, I’ll pull up our latest playlist we made for set... L'Impératrice, George Strait, Kendrick, Wilson Phillips and The Talking Heads.
Bobby: If you are going to ask me my favourite song right now though, it would have to be Ryan Gosling singing Matchbox 20 in Barbie. A historic performance.
If there was one thing you could change about the advertising industry, what would it be?
Bobby: One thing that we are currently trying to change is to make sure we all have fun on set. We all got into this industry because it was fun, so let’s try and have some fun.
Brig: We really believe that in every Zoom, pre-pro, tech scout and shoot day, we should be having fun... the agency, the actors, the crew. That energy and chemistry comes through in the work. If everyone is stressed during production, the viewers will feel it when they watch it.
Who or what has most influenced your career?
Bobby: Nancy Hacohen [below]. She’s the Managing Director at Tool. Ten years ago, Brig and I directed our first commercial together, using our own money, camera and kids. We built the set in our garage. But we had young kids, and I was too busy to commit to all the travel and meetings so, for the first few years, Brig directed alone. I was still extremely involved, a creative partner in everything besides the title. Nancy was the one who saw this and encouraged me again and again to come do it right as a full-fledged director. Our kids are in high school now, so I have way more flexibility and time. I am grateful for Nancy and the women who encourage other women to come out from backstage.
Brig: OK, this is gonna get corny, but the person who influenced my career the very most is, undeniably, Bobby. I grew up on a ranch in Utah and really had no exposure to the creative world. Everyone was pushing me to become a dentist or a contractor or something practical. But Bobby believed in our potential to go into the arts. She was the one who pushed us, as 22-year-olds without a plan, to spend literally 100% of our net worth - every penny we had - on a Mac laptop, the Adobe Creative Suite and a camera. Without that blind faith that Bobby had in us, we never would have gotten into this creative world.
Tell us one thing about yourself that most people won’t know.
Brig: I have IBS. Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Bobby: I hardly think that’s a secret, Brig. A lot of people are surprised when they find out we have a child applying to college. We had our first kid at 23, before we even graduated from college. Starting so early really put the gas in our engine to learn as much as possible as fast as possible. It was stressful back then, a lot of pressure. But now it’s great.
Brig: That’s probably where my IBS stems from, actually.