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Feature Directors Gary Ross, Gary Fleder Join A Band Apart(January 20, 2005)
A Band Apart Commercials has signed agreements with four-time Academy Award-nominated director Gary Ross (Seabiscuit) and director Gary Fleder (Runaway Jury) for exclusive representation in commercials. The agreements mark the first time that either director has made himself available for commercial work. A Band Apart Commercials will represent Ross and Fleder throughout the United States and internationally through its affiliates in Europe and South America.
Jeff Armstrong, managing director of A Band Apart Commercials, said that the companys structure and connections with the film and television industry make it well suited to helping directors like Ross and Fleder cross-over to a new medium. ?A Band Apart is perfectly set up to support directors at a very high level, Armstrong said. ?Gary Ross and Gary Fleder are world-class filmmakers, and were thrilled to have them at the company. They are brilliant storytellers, and I think their styles are a great fit for advertising.
A Band Apart Commercials head of production Scott Siegal called Ross and Fleder among the best storytellers of their generation and said that they represent a type of craftsmanship that applies directly to advertising. ?Gary Ross consistently brings big production value to the screen, Siegal said. ?Seabiscuit was an instant classic and the product of a storyteller at the top of his form.
?Gary Fleder knows how to keep audiences on the edge of their seat. His stories are taut, intense, very intelligent. Both directors are eager to work in short form and I think agencies will be responsive to the level of filmmaking skill they bring to advertising.
For his part, Ross said that he is intrigued with the compact style of storytelling required of commercials. ?Ive wanted to do commercials for years, he said. ?Some of the most interesting filmmaking can be found in advertising today, and this affiliation with A Band Apart seemed like a great fit.
Ross is the director of two critically acclaimed films, Seabiscuit and Pleasantville; he also wrote the screenplays for both films. He has earned four Academy Award nominations, including, most recently, one for Best Screenplay (Based on Material Previously Produced or Published) for Seabiscuit. That film garnered seven Oscar nominations in all, including for Best Picture.
Ross launched his career with the original screenplay for Big, which he co-wrote with Anne Spielberg. The 1988 blockbuster comedy, starring Tom Hanks, garnered Ross his first Academy Award nomination. His second Academy Award-nomination came for the original screenplay to the Capra-esque comedy Dave. In 1998, Ross marked his directorial debut with the ambitious Pleasantville.
Throughout Ross career, he has been active in local and national politics. He worked on Capitol Hill as an intern during Watergate and attended the 1980 Democratic National Convention as a delegate.
Ross also continues to be active in civic and charitable work. During his tenure as President of the Los Angeles City Library, Ross established teen centers throughout the Los Angeles library system. For his service, he was awarded the 1999 Light of Learning Award by the Los Angeles Public Library. He also received the ACLUs Bill of Rights Award in 2000.
Like Ross, Fleder said that he had been eyeing advertising work for some time and felt that A Band Apart offered him the best opportunity based on its past success with feature film directors. ?My collaboration with Jeff Armstrong actually started several months ago, he recalled. ?We reviewed hours of footage of my work, and put together a reel that captured my style and aesthetic in less than three minutes. Once we had that in place, I felt confident we could make it work.
?Im thrilled to be joining a commercial production company repping such an eclectic and esteemed list of cross-over filmmakers, he added. ?Telling stories on film has been my lifes passion, and that same drive is shared by A Band Aparts directors, who are among the most talented storytellers working in the business.
Fleders reputation is based in part on his mastery of crime and action dramas, which along with Runaway Jury include Dont Say a Word and Kiss the Girls. He has also directed numerous television crime dramas, including Homicide: Life on the Street and The Shield. Among his other credits are the sci-fi thriller Impostor, based on the Phillip K. Dick story, and HBOs From the Earth to the Moon (part nine).
A graduate of USC School of Cinema, Fleder made his feature debut in 1995 with Things To Do In Denver When Youre Dead, starring Andy Garcia. The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and garnered two awards from the Cognac Festival du Film Policier.
Fleder said enjoys working in different mediums. ?My enthusiasm for commercial filmmaking may surprise some people, he observed. ?I look forward to combining a strong visual style with my experience directing seasoned actors--Gene Hackman, Michael Douglas, Dustin Hoffman, Morgan Freeman, among others--to serve the 30-second format.
A Band Apart is headquartered at 7966 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048. For more information, call (323) 951-4400 or visit www.abandapart.com.
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