Curiosity brings knowledge. Knowledge brings experience. Experience brings confidence.
You are hardly going to make it as a creative if you don't open your mind to new inputs and experiences. We know we babble about that a lot, but the more members we feature on this space, the more this becomes a blinding truth: there can be no creativity without curiosity.
Antiestático film director Ivan Vaccaro enjoys breaking patterns and stepping out of his comfort zone to look for new creative experiences. All of this didn't happen overnight, of course – it took patience, loads of learning and plenty of experimentations before he cracked the perfect formula that works for him. And often, creativity is just about cracking the formula that works for you.
For this Member Spotlight, we are learning more about the life of a driven commercial director, including his stellar advice for other creatives in the industry.
How did you get into the industry?
I started working in the management team as an assistant, then as 1st AD. At the same time I started directing my first music videos, I grew slowly and that led me to work with the best known artists in Latin America. Later I went on to direct commercials.
Where are you based now and who do you work for?
I am currently living in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I travel a lot filming around the world, or at least that happened before the pandemic :)
If you weren’t in your current industry, what would you be doing?
I would probably work as a musician or working on something related to science.
Can you explain your creative process?
When I get a project, the first thing I do is talk to the creatives, really ask them what their expectation is and what the client's expectation is.
Once I have that information, I imagine what the tone for the piece is.
My goal is to find the best possible way for that particular idea to come to life. I think there is always enormous learning when you try to get away from the patterns you already know, and that is why I am interested in working in different styles. I feel like that gives me the possibility to get into different worlds every time I have to film, and not always do the same thing.
Once I have a certainty of where I think the project can go, I share the process with some friendly directors with whom we have aesthetic affinities and I accept the suggestions that may come from their part. All that information I discuss with the team that helps me with the treatments.
They start sending me an amplification of all those chosen languages, but my job is to filter what I feel is better and generate coherence for that specific idea. The synthesis of this whole process is reflected in the treatment and attempt to have a layout and aesthetics represent that vision in an intuitive way, visually it has to reflect where I think the project should go, and the texts that are simple and clear. That they have the strength so that the person who reads it understands a general concept of how I plan to promote that specific project.
How has technology affected the way you work (if at all)?
Technology has brought us closer. Today it is possible to film anywhere in the world and contact production companies and reps very quickly.
As well as exposing your work and talking with other directors from other parts with their more advanced career and continuing to nourish yourself through others eyes.
Seeing what younger people are doing both on instagram and on Vimeo or other platforms is something I do almost daily as a personal exercise to keep growing, it is exciting to see how many talented people are out there and then meet them in person and be friends.
What’s your secret to staying inspired and motivated?
Having multiple interests, not drawing on a single discipline. Appreciate what your other fellow directors do, be humble to ask what you don't know yet.
Enhance curiosity, be surrounded by people you admire, and trust that all this that you do intuitively will pay off.
What’s the work achievement you’re most proud of?
Entering a set and seeing that all the technicians are happy that the director with whom they are going to live for more than 12 hours, under a great level of pressure, is me.
How do you recharge away from the office?
In my house, cooking for friends. Playing the guitar, reading books, investigating the sky with the telescope and the music as a thread that unites all my personal narrative.
What advice would you give to other aspiring creatives looking for work?
That they have patience and confidence about themselves. That they surround themselves with people who know how to focus on the good and not on the bad and never believe themselves better than anyone.
What’s your one big hope for the future of the creative industries?
That ideas help make everyone's life more sustainable. That we enhance the good that inhabits us as human beings and that the old stereotypes are definitely displaced by updated concepts.
If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be?
Let fear as a working language be left behind and let us understand that we all want the best in each piece we make.