Winner spec spot: John Ryan Johnson
John Ryan Johnson has been making films for only about two minutes and we like what we see – we also like that he writes, produces, directs and edits his own work too. We quiz the new director about his win with his Nike spec spot, Buckets which picked up First Prize in the Test Commercial category and take a look at his other films which he’s created this year.
Did you create the scenarios for your spec spot Buckets or did you collaborate on the narrative?
Yes, I wrote the script. I wanted to see if I could do a large scale sports spot for almost no money. It worked. I can!
What were the main challenges of making the film?
I paid for production myself so the budget was very small, but I think limitations generally make your work better, not worse. Also, traffic.
What impact do you feel winning at the YDA has had? Are you represented?
I’ve had a number of meetings with reps and EPs since winning at YDA. It seems to have started the ball rolling. I’m actually in London now and for all of November taking meetings. No representation yet.
A quick potted history of your background that led you to wanting to direct please… (did you go to film school etc?)
I can’t paint or play an instrument or dance. Film it is.
I received my MFA recently in Writing/Directing from NYU. The education continues.
What’s the best film making lesson you’ve learnt?
There’s an exception to every rule.
What is the wisest quote about film making?
“The value of any ‘rule’ is not apparent until you have studied the exception to it.” – Mackendrick
Your worst nightmare production story was when….
Hah, which one!
What would be your dream directing job?
Directing a Bond film and doing it with a dark, gritty, independent feel and lower budget. A real throwback action flick with wit.
List a few inspirations that have connected with you recently: