Artistic Television: 10 Directors’ Commercials for the Small Screen

Darren Aronofsky’s unsettling crystal meth PSAs made the rounds earlier this week. The Black Swan director worked with the Meth Project Foundation to trouble us with visions of intense drug addiction, and boy did it work. Aronofsky isn’t the only gifted filmmaker who has dabbled with short-form film and the telly advertising world, however. Many auteur moviemakers found their start on TV, creating some of the most memorable works that have ever been brought to prime time. Others just enjoy creating little bites of film-esque entertainment as a break from the Hollywood machine. Whatever the reasons, the condensed screen time provides a fascinating snapshot of each director’s overall style. Click past the break for a look at ten directors who made creative commercials for the small screen.

Tarsem Singh for Campari

Before Tarsem Singh was working on his Snow White adaptation, Mirror Mirror, The Cell director was injecting his visual sophistication into early music videos for bands like R.E.M and creating some of the most elegant television commercials around. His slinky Campari ads are the cleverest of the bunch, toying with a little gender bending and using a track from Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut by Jocelyn Pook.