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The Work That Made Me: Dave Bradley

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Alkemy X editor on why he'll never tire of the Coen Brothers' 'No Country for Old Men'

The Work That Made Me: Dave Bradley

A native of California, Dave Bradley started his editing career in Los Angeles at Red Car and continued to develop his style as he moved east. Now based in New York, Dave enjoys cutting both comedy/dialogue and beauty spots that allow the exploration of design and visual effects. Dave has edited many notable spots for clients, including IBM, Olay, Miller-Lite, Verizon, Vonage, Optimum, Samsung, TD Ameritrade and Sears. He has collaborated with award-winning directors, such as Joe Pytka, Erich Joiner, Carolyn Chen, Edouard Nammour, Bronwen Hughes, Adam Jones, Peter Berg and Kinka Usher to name a few. Dave’s editorial spot work has landed him several Lions, LIAAs and Clios.


The ad/music video from my childhood that stays with me…

Well, I’m going to take some liberties here because it’s not an ad/spot that you’ve ever seen. My grandfather worked and traveled around the world creating small two minute travel documentaries of his trips for our family to watch during the holidays. Music, voice over, titles, jokes, you name it… Grandad put it in there. This inspired me, at a young age, to take experiences, distill them down to their best parts, and tell a story in an entertaining way. Thanks Grandad, miss ya.


The ad/music video/game/web platform that made me want to get into the industry…

See Grandad’s travels from Question #1.


The creative work (film/album/game/ad/album/book/poem etc) that I keep revisiting…

I haven’t gotten off the Edgar Wright train yet….I love re-watching all his films.  Also, for studying the building of tension in a scene, I never get tired of the Coen Brothers' No Country for Old Men.


My first professional project…

Separate from work as an assistant, my first real editorial project was with a great director, Adam Jones. I was at an editorial boutique in Santa Monica where he brought me some beautiful, energetic footage of a West Coast hotel group. We collaborated on how to make the spot unexpected, exciting, and more than the boards. I’m happy to have collaborated on many more pieces with him since then.


The piece of work (ad/music video/ platform…) that made me so angry that I vowed to never make anything like *that*…

The Pandemic of 2020 shut down a lot of commercial production, for good reason. We found ourselves creating a tremendous amount of content using stock footage. What amazes me is when I see a spot that is clearly from stock sources that doesn’t try to create a feeling of cohesion; a feeling that it belongs together for a creative purpose. When a spot is clearly strung together, with little effort to edit or art direction as a concept… that burns my toast.


The piece of work (ad/music video/ platform…) that still makes me jealous…

I have spent most of my career in the 30-90 second commercial content realm, so I sometimes pine for the slightly longer world of a good music video, with a fun track and a great visual concept…..any of those old OK Go videos come to mind?


The creative project that changed my career…

Funny enough, I would have to say the project that set my editing/directing career in motion was a spec spot that I did.  It played on a darkly comedic idea of a contract killer having problems disposing of a body.  He realises that hacksaws are on sale at the local home improvement superstore… so, problem solved.  It got me some notice, was selected for Shoot Online’s Best Work You’ve Never Seen, and helped me to jumpstart a career in the field.


The work that I’m proudest of…

I have always enjoyed, and appreciated getting the chance to work on IBM campaigns, generally directed by Joe Pytka. So, when I got the chance to direct and edit a spot I jumped. The concept pulled back the curtain behind agency/client calls. We worked with a great team of actors and came out with a comedy dialogue spot that I was really pleased with.


I was involved in this and it makes me cringe…

During one of our nation’s darkest days, September 11th, I was working on a spot for a dog product (yikes)… As the country took a step back to realize the gravity of what was happening the client surprised me by wanting to get right back in the edit… we did, and it made me cringe to think that, while the nation was mourning, I was pulling selects on “the best” dog takes.


The recent project I was involved in that excited me the most…

I loved working on a recent Headspace spot featuring John Legend, directed by our own Josh Forbes.  Not only was it a high profile piece, and looked great, but it gave me the opportunity to explore that subtle comedic timing that I love.

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Alkemy X, Wed, 03 Aug 2022 04:26:34 GMT