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The Directors: Anthony Garth

The Directors 28 Add to collection

WETHEPEOPLE director on the process as a collaboration, creating emotion and the need to embrace new technology

The Directors: Anthony Garth

Born in Detroit, raised in California Anthony Garth discovered a love for directing early in life. While studying photography & architecture in college, saw an opportunity to combine these passions for the visual form by becoming a director. With a keen eye for striking imagery, mood and story, Anthony quickly began helming music videos for the White Stripes, Eminem, Von Bondies, D12 and Jim Jones among others. With his hand firmly on the pulse of his native Detroit’s vibrant music scene, he has also called the shots on a feature length tour documentary for EMINEM, and digital shorts for the likes of Kid Rock, Carrie Underwood & Slum Village. 

Inevitably, his talent for cinematic storytelling attracted Madison Avenue. His debut spot for Chevy, featuring a Hip Hop sensibility established his signature style & tone, an ability to construct unique, unexpected narratives with a distinct eye for the passing, but beautiful detail. His spots Chrysler / Lose Yourself “Born of Choir” and “Pure Michigan” have won numerous awards for clients such as McCann Erickson & Doner. He has worked extensively with a long list of international brands all over the world including Cole Haan, ALDO Harley Davidson, Chevrolet, Ford, Lincoln, Dassault, GM, John Varvatos, Porsche, JEEP & many others. 

Name: Anthony Ernest Garth

Repped by/in: WTP / We The People

LBB> What elements of a script sets one apart from the other and what sort of scripts get you excited to shoot them? 

Anthony> A great idea is the basis for great work. It all starts with the script or idea and having people willing to push the boundaries instead of being the norm. In a world of telling stories in short form the goal is to give the product its light but also attach the viewer emotionally whether in the shots, talent or dialogue. 


LBB> How do you approach creating a treatment for a spot?

Anthony> The initial phone call is so important. I do my research on the brand and agency, look at past work and try to learn about the product and creatives. I take all the details the creative team or client want and then need to stir it around in my head. Sometimes just thinking through the process, the locations, the talent and all the details. From there I put together a vision of what I see us capturing. I always start with how and what we are going to film, then I break down all the details from cinematography, art direction and talent. Treatments have evolved so much and the process has become a fun way to look at way of approach & vision but more importantly a director can really express their vision.  

LBB> If the script is for a brand that you're not familiar with/ don’t have a big affinity with or a market you're new to, how important is it for you to do research and understand that strategic and contextual side of the ad? If it’s important to you, how do you do it?

Anthony> Products are always evolving and changing. Whether it is a vehicle or new technology I need to research. Even looking at the web or social media has been part of my process. I feel like the more I know about the product the more familiar I am when talking about it on call or in a treatment. Looking at past work or sometimes even going and becoming tangible with the product helps to understand. The more familiar I am with the brand I have a better sense of execution and who it is for. I love to ask all the questions upfront to get a knowledge for the product. 

LBB> For you, what is the most important working relationship for a director to have with another person in making an ad? And why? 

Anthony> I have always looked at this process as a collaboration. Whether it is with the production team, agency or client. There are always little details that make the work better when you are open minded to ask questions and work with the people you have access to. The creative team is my partner and keeping them in the process is so important. They have all the details the client is pushing for and when we work together it means the world. Also the producer on my end. I need to have transparency so I know where we can push the process in the making. And of course the cinematographer. I am always trying to pair up the right person for the project. 

LBB> What type of work are you most passionate about - is there a particular genre or subject matter or style you are most drawn to? 

Anthony> Visual storytelling, whether it be people, cars or a product. I love creating emotion with the camera. I have never been one to not try new things such as comedy or longer format. To me being a filmmaker is challenging yourself in cultures, places or things. I have always believed a wider array of work makes a director more versatile which gives you an opportunity to look at a project and inject or create a more interesting film. 

LBB> What’s the craziest problem you’ve come across in the course of a production – and how did you solve it? 

Anthony> Production is a puzzle and you have to enjoy finding all the pieces to make it whole. There are always challenges when you are in production but having plans and ideas is what makes it amazing. I tend to think of all the variables leading up to a shoot so when we are on set I can shift or adjust to make sure we are always heading in the right direction. Sometimes you have weather, talent or whatever it might be that is not expected but nine times out of 10 if you have planned or have an idea it works out for the better. 


LBB> How do you strike the balance between being open/collaborative with the agency and brand client while also protecting the idea? 

Anthony> I have always believed in communicating as much as possible and working with teams as we are in pre production. The more everyone is abreast of the day(s) of filming then it leaves the day(s) filming to be 100% creative. Presenting your creative up front with a clear vision is the best way of making it come to life. 


LBB> What are your thoughts on opening up the production world to a more diverse pool of talent? Are you open to mentoring and apprenticeships on set? 

Anthony> I have always been a big proponent of opening doors for a more diverse production world. I have had interns on set or shadowing and trying to help people that might not be exposed to this industry or might not have an avenue in. The people I work with has always been an open door but looking for areas of opportunity where people might not have access or opportunity is always a goal. 

LBB> How do you feel the pandemic is going to influence the way you work into the longer term? Have you picked up new habits that you feel will stick around for a long time? 

Anthony> The pandemic has changed the pre-production in a way that makes communication and dialogue a little easier and transparent. I feel we are video calling and chatting much more and this helps as we are building the blocks. Production has been the same outside of tapping people that might not have been able to attend the shoot but this has opening a new door for people to be involved. In a weird way I like a lot of the new elements added in. 


LBB> Your work is now presented in so many different formats - to what extent do you keep each in mind while you're working (and, equally, to what degree is it possible to do so)? 

Anthony> Love all the different formats. It opens the doors to unique ways of filming and sometimes it makes it feel more alive. 

LBB> What’s your relationship with new technology and, if at all, how do you incorporate future-facing tech into your work? 

Anthony> My idea is always to embrace new technology. I feel it is part of a director's evolution. Whether it be a new camera, lights or post I enjoy exploring new tech and figuring out how to incorporate it into a production to make it unique. 

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WETHEPEOPLE, Thu, 28 Apr 2022 08:59:16 GMT