DAN LEVINSON // JURY FOR USA
Meeting-up with Dan Levinson, founder and president of Moxie Picture.
With the tools to become a director now at everyone’s disposal, has that made finding new talent that can genuinely compete in the marketplace more or less difficult?
Finding new talent is always a difficult task. Are there more directors now, because the barrier to entry is lower? Yes. Does that mean they are better? No. It in a weird way makes it more difficult to sift through the amount of talent out there.
How important would you say the annual YDA competition is to the industry at large?
I am not really sure how important the annual YDA competition is to the industry, but it surely is getting more relevant every year. Any Cannes award is important, more for the Director in this category, than the company. Is it as important as winning Sundance, or Academy Awards? No. That said I am sure some great talent has won YDA.
Last year The YDA introduced a new, socially aware category called Changing the World Frame By Frame; what role do you think directors and the ad industry at large has to play in global social education?
We are all communicators, so the better we communicate the problems that are around us the better. I do think if Directors pick good ideas and execute stories about global social education, then there are plenty of places to see that material.
As more agencies and some clients continue take production in-house, what do you think these companies are missing out on by turning away from the more traditional model of commercial creation?
There needs to be a healthy push and pull in a creative process. When all the work is done under one roof, it will become bland and stale. It will become path of least resistance as the agency will not want to rock any client boat, and that is what is needed for greatness sometimes. This process is nothing new, and if it was really the best for creative process to get best work, the big Hollywood studios would be doing all of their films this way..
What will you be looking for in the shortlisted work when you sit down with your colleagues to judge the YDA?
I will be looking for a formed POV. If I told you everything I am looking for, I might be letting the world know my secret sauce:)