From now on, I am going to review a director's reel once a month.

Partly it's because I feel like championing some new talent this year rather than just slagging everything off, and partly it's to get us talking about the craft of making ads, and not just reviewing the actual ads themselves.

First up is Dan Chase, at QI commercials.





As you probably guessed, Dan works at Film4, where he is in charge of what the TV promotions world calls "On-Air" - basically trailers and idents.

I'm always interested in directors who come from TV promotions. It gives them a chance to make hundreds of little ads before anyone really notices what they're doing. Valuable practice. And no less a personage than Jonathan Glazer himself came from a TV promo background.

Dan is by no means yet in that league, but I do think his reel shows a hell of a lot of promise. It's high-style stuff, and he shows a great filmic eye - for example in the ident where the bottles are being shot. Some interesting touches on sound too, which suggest to me a more rounded talent than for the purely visual.

In terms of content, the man seems to have a mild chair obsession, but there is plenty to enjoy here. I love the shot where the cars smash into the street in slow motion, and I could listen to Maggie Gyllenhaal say the words "a little jolt" all day long.

The challenge for Dan will be to move beyond his film niche. There is one non film-related piece on the reel, but I don't think it's his best work. However, his high-style aesthetic does, I believe, give him an excellent shot at cracking the ad world, where we often need to make stuff look great. I've lost count of the number of times I've seen a brilliant director's reel, but with an aesthetic so gritty that it's hard to imagine what one could use him for.

Please note I'm not being paid to big up this geezer, although I am mates with the people at QI, I'm mostly doing this Director of the Month malarkey as an experiment. Hope you like it. Feel free to share your own view of the reel, in the comments.

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