“Prometheus” opens June 8, and it marks a welcome return by director Ridley Scott to the “Alien” franchise. He directed the first, and best, version of the aliens vs. humans epic in 1979. It was only Scott’s second big feature.But Scott wasn’t a young man when he directed it. He was about 42. For the previous 11 years he’d been one of Britain’s most famous commercial directors, helming Ridley Scott Associates. Even after he became one of the most famous movie directors of the modern era — he went on to film “Blade Runner,” “Gladiator,” and “Thelma & Louise” — he continued to direct campaigns for the ad world.
In fact, more people have probably seen his TV spots than have seen his movies. He’s also responsible for one of the most famous commercials ever made—”1984,” Apple’s Super Bowl commercial of that year.
Scott’s commercial work is characterised by the same things his movies are: They’re richly detailed and often darkly atmospheric.
Scott's ad for Hovis, a U.K. bakery, still pretty much defines 'bread' for many Britons, even 30 years later. All the Scott signatures are already here: it's dark, detailed and moody.
Out in the sunshine for a change, but it's still très moody.
Note: That's Star Trek's Leonard Nimoy doing the voiceover.
Tough to understate the impact of this ad. It's yet another dystopian shadow-world from Scott. Its length and cinematic ambition turned the Super Bowl into the premier showcase for big, new TV commercials.
Not everything Scott directed was a masterpiece, apparently. In this howler, Miami Vice's Don Johnson and Glenn Frey of the Eagles are driving a muscle car through the 1980s when they break down outside a nightclub filled with men wearing mullets and women with poodle perms. Visually stunning for all the wrong reasons.
This ad's political content was considered so controversial at the time that the big three TV networks refused to air it. And yes, it features the usual crepuscular Scott stylings.
Another controversial ad. The apocryphal story behind this one, filmed for the 1990 Super Bowl, is that it was pulled from the air after a single airing when executives at Nissan became nervous that it might promote street racing.
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