1) Monster, Inc – “Getting Started” What’s most remarkable about the first three spots on our list is that they were created by NBC’s in-house agency. That’s crazy because a TV network’s role is normally just to host the game and collect the checks. But at a time when NBC shareholders demand revenue growth in […]

1) Genesis – “We Don’t Ask” The sheer might of Audra Mae’s vocals is what drives this spot. For years, Mae has been a contributing writer and vocalist for The All-American Rejects, Sons of Anarchy (TV Show) and Avicii. Nice to finally see her name on the marquis. Agency: Innocean USA – Huntington Beach Music: […]

In season 2 of Mad Men, Sterling Cooper advertising agency brings in two young creative superstars to help Martinson Coffee – an old iconic brand – reach a younger audience. Here’s the dialog: “We don’t want to be told what to do,” says the hip, twenty-something copywriter. “That’s over. We want to find things for […]

How do you convince a Grammy-winning, household-name that writing a jingle for an insurance company isn’t compromising his artistic integrity? By letting him re-write it…any way he wants. That appears to be how ad agency Oglivy Mather got Brad Paisley to sing the “Nationwide is on your side” earworm. This is so cool: Nationwide Insurance […]

In the last episode of this blog series, I was planning to hike up a mountain to spread my best friend’s ashes. Two months later, here’s the finished result: Many thanks are in order…. First, to Apple…for real. I sat down to edit the video at 1 PM on a Saturday with virtually no previous […]

Hearing Coltrane, Dizzy and Miles blow a solo in 1954 probably felt – at least to a layman – much like venturing out into metropolis currently feels to me. A brute force; all of it demanding my full attention and respect. Which explains why music lovers so hungrily consumed the relaxed, unhurried piano playing of […]

Grab a Kleenex for this one. In this scene from Truly, Madly, Deeply (1990), Juliet Stevenson plays an amateur pianist named Nina whose boyfriend recently died. As Nina is grieving at her piano, she’s imagining her late boyfriend (a professional cellist) playing his duet part in Bach’s Sonata No.3 for Cello & Piano. Suddenly, Nina […]

Some days, as an artist, I need to be reminded why I work so hard to match the right piece of music with the right visual. These movie clips – all with heart-melting music inseparable from the story – are the reminder I need.  Please enjoy: Film: Finding Nemo Release Date: 2003 Composer: Thomas Newman […]

In 2005, Hollywood screenwriter Blake Snyder published Save the Cat!, a movie-maker’s help-guide that explained the governing dynamics behind every movie you’ve ever loved. Snyder’s explanation of concepts like “stating the B story theme”, “fun and games” and “whiff of death” was so down-to-earth, studio executives who read the book could hold their own in […]

We think Joi Veer’s new single, “So Much Further Than Far Away – Remix”, would fit perfectly in an episode of USA Network’s Burn Notice for the same reason the show fits perfectly into our lives; it stays at just the temperature you need…for as long as you need. Almost every scene in Burn Notice […]