Direct This – Spencer Antle

After graduating from college, International Shooters director Spencer Antle set out for l.a. with dreams of making movies and a cool idea for a milk spot - the catalyst for getting into commercial directing....

After graduating from college, International Shooters director Spencer Antle set out for l.a. with dreams of making movies and a cool idea for a milk spot – the catalyst for getting into commercial directing.

A creative writing major at the University of Miami, Antle was inspired by Luc Besson’s directing work on the feature film La Femme Nikita and the work of Tony and Ridley Scott (who are now also on International Shooters’ Canadian roster). Beyond just telling stories, he wanted to ‘capture atmosphere’ and film seemed like the obvious way to do that.

He began by writing film scripts with the hopes of being attached as director, something the l.a.-based director now says is ‘a pipe dream in this town.’ Determined to learn about film, he spent some time working as crew, did temp work at various Hollywood production companies like New Line Cinema and Columbia, and then moved over to MachineHead and Primal Scream, where he learned about sound design and how film and music work together.

While hanging out in a bar one night, the aspiring director told an acquaintance about his idea for a milk ad.

‘Somebody said I should shoot it and I said, ‘What am I going to do with one commercial?’ and the guy said, ‘You could be a commercial director.’ I thought I might as well shoot something,’ says Antle.

So, with no experience, no cash, about 1,300 feet of film and one take, Antle shot his first spot, a 60-second Rambo-esque action spec for milk featuring a bride, a groom, a wedding cake, one glass of milk and a machine-gun battle between two families.

‘It really took off,’ he says. ‘It became the El Mariachi of commercials. It went all over town and the kids in the dub house loved it.’

In just over a year directing, Antle has helmed approximately 40 spots for such clients as Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada, Fox Sports and Bobs Stores out of New England. Recently he wrapped a James Bond-style action campaign for Horseshoe Casino in Louisiana, complete with helicopters and car chases, which he says is his favorite spot to date.

‘It’s hard to be a director at the top of a 27-storey casino with a helicopter overhead and stuntmen all around – and not have a good time,’ he says.