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The Work That Made Me: Oscar Oboza



Nice Shoe's colourist Oscar shares work from his childhood, the work that makes him jealous and why he is proud of the Arby’s ‘We Have The Meats’ campaign

The Work That Made Me: Oscar Oboza
Oscar Oboza has worked as a colourist since 1992, collaborating with directors and creatives across advertising, independent films, music videos, and short films.

He has been influential in the marketing of many major North American brands, crafting bold, eye-catching looks that draw the attention of broadcast audiences. As a feature colourist, Oscar has worked more subtly, supplying looks that support the stories of films such as Hoop Dreams, Fritz: The Walter Mondale Story, Memorial Day, Older Than America, Time For Ilhan, and most recently, Raise Your Voice.

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

Coca-Cola - I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing. 
It was my earliest memory of seeing people of different ethnicity/colour, like myself, on television. 

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

McDonald’s McDLT Sandwich. I stopped by to visit my friend working as the summer intern at Cutters, and this spot was getting edited on the KEM (Flatbed film editing system). Something told me that working on projects like that would be pretty cool. I asked if they needed an intern for the school year, and the rest is history.

The creative work that I keep revisiting…

The Godfather I and II. 

My first professional project…

As a colourist, I think it was for Suave Shampoo. The agency was Bayer Bess Vanderwarker.

The piece of work that made me so angry that I vowed to never make anything like *that*…

Can’t really think of anything that makes me angry, but I would certainly give an eye roll to those ‘get rich quick’ 90s infomercials.

The piece of work that still makes me jealous…

Any Michel Gondry/White Stripes video. Jealous because being around that kind of creativity can only rub off on you and make one want to push or stretch their boundaries of what’s cool.

The creative project that changed my career…

A couple of McDonald’s spots - ‘Quiet Time’ and ‘What’s For Dinner, Mom’. The opportunity to work on these instilled the confidence that I was on the right track.
(I have these on D1 tapes, but who even has those machines around anymore?)


The work that I’m proudest of…

The Arby’s ‘We Have The Meats’ campaign - six plus years and still going strong. Working with the team at Fallon on these has been a pleasure, and the spots themselves are really enjoyable. They always find a new twist on the humour, and get the punchline in quickly. Starting on this campaign coincided with joining Nice Shoes, and working with our partners at VOLT Studios. Fallon and the marketing team at Arby’s have received a ton of well-deserved recognition for the success of this campaign over the years, and to have played my part in helping ‘the meats’ look their best before they go on air has been an honour.

I mention the timing of coming to Nice Shoes along with starting on this campaign because I was often the sole colourist at other studios. I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to share shots or looks with other colourists, as well as see what everyone else is working on. Being a part of the campaign, and this community have helped me evolve as a colourist. 

I also look back fondly to my collaboration with Harder/Fuller Films for these two videos - Incubus ‘Drive’ 

And Pulp ‘Trees’ 

I was involved in this and it makes me cringe…

I’m sure there’s a project or two, but I’ve done a good job of blocking it from my memory. The whiskey nights we’ve hosted at Nice Shoes Minneapolis / VOLT have helped with forgetting anything too cringe, while forging some new memories with great friends and clients. 

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

Dickens’ Holiday Classic - presented by the Guthrie Theatre/Freestyle Films. It’s a film that took the play ‘A Christmas Carol’, which couldn’t be shown on stage because of COVID-19, and was reimagined as a unique hybrid film/theatre presentation for a virtual audience. 

I’ve also had a blast connecting with the Mother LA team to grade some really fun Sonic campaigns. 

Despite being able to work remotely for years out of Minneapolis, I have mostly worked with clients in the Minneapolis market. I’ve loved getting to know this team and the work shines despite us never being in the same room together. Even as things get back to normal, I’m looking forward to keeping the remote work going with more clients in LA, and all over the world. 

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Nice Shoes, Wed, 07 Apr 2021 10:29:08 GMT