Los Angeles, California — Bicoastal The Famous Group has signed comedy director Oren Kaplan for branded content and spot work. The announcement was made by Managing Director David Kwan. Kaplan has completed recent campaigns for Wendy’s, Converse, Swiffer and Nvidia, as well has work for Jeep, Fiat, Ford, Microsoft, Mattel, Panasonic and award-winning branding for Quiznos. Kaplan also directed the feature film ‘THE HAMMER,’ based on the life of deaf UFC fighter Matt Hamill, one of the most in-demand sports movies on Netflix.
Director Focused Shop
Kaplan just wrapped his first project under The Famous Group banner, a spot for Wendys out of agency VML Kansas City. “The experience working with The Famous Group team was fantastic,” says Kaplan. “Very director focused, from writing the treatment to hiring the crew, to collaborating with the creatives. The team works alongside the directors every step, making sure we’re getting the freedom to make creative choices while keeping the client happy. It’s more collaborative here than any place I’ve seen.” For his part, Kwan was looking for a director with a specific sensibility. “Oren (Kaplan) understands the subtlest components of comedic timing and works with talent to hit just the right performance,” he says. “Oren pairs his comedy with strong visuals and detailed art direction that’s ideal for many brands.”
Kaplan considers himself a filmmaker with a penchant for comedy. “My brand of humor usually involves playing things straight,” says Kaplan. “I much prefer funny situations to loud in-your-face performances. Small, real, grounded, and relatable is what I’m going for. And when I can juxtapose a small performance with a really big visual gag, that’s when I’m at my most satisfied.” Kaplan comes from the creative side of the business. For the last four years he pitched creative solutions directing branded content at Los Angeles based WINDOWSEATpictures. It was here that Kaplan did his humorous work for Quiznos. Prior to that, Kaplan spent three years directing branded TV content at The Walt Disney Company.
As a filmmaker, Kaplan applies what he’s learned directing features and tv shows to the commercial world. “When I’m shooting spots I’m always trying to take inspiration from movies and TV shows to engage audiences — I love genre parodies and fine-tuning the lighting, pacing, and sounds to accentuate the tone,” says Kaplan. “In terms of crew, there isn’t a difference between traditional filmmaking and commercial work for me. A great DP, production designer, etc, can work across all disciplines. They just need to be ready to be more collaborative on a commercial set.”
About The Famous Group:
The Famous Group is a Cannes, Emmy and AICP award-winning production company located in downtown Culver City, Ca and Soho, New York. Founded in 2006, the company’s roster of highly skilled creatives, directors, producers, editors and artists produce an incredible array of high-quality, engaging, live action, digital, graphics and experiential content.