LOS ANGELES Director/cameraman Eric Saarinen, a winner of five Clios, a Cannes Grand Prix and numerous other awards for excellence in advertising, has joined Bully Pictures for exclusive national representation. Saarinen is widely considered one of the industry’s top directors of automotive advertising, with recent credits including Chevy, Fiat, BMW and Jeep. Many have credited him with having redefined the car genre through his use of unique visuals and engaging stories. His work, in fact, extends far beyond cars, touching virtually every product category and advertising genre, and also includes feature films and documentaries.
Bully Pictures Executive Producer Jason Forest called Saarinen a rare talent whose work continues to evolve artistically and technically. “Eric has a firm sense of authorship,” says Forest. “When you view his work as a whole you see a signature that is all his own. His visuals are stunning and have such a richness in detail.” Forest also adds that while Saarinen’s skills as a problem-solver are well known, his talents for storytelling and portraying humanity are surprisingly underestimated.
“Eric has an incredible way of taking a board to the next level and turning it into something fantastic,” adds Bully Pictures executive producer Astrid Downs. “While keeping a grand, epic scale, he infuses a gentle soul and insightful wisdom to each project. He brings lots of experience to the table and is a joy to work with.”
Saarinen has already completed a few projects with Bully Pictures including one for Leo Burnett Chicago and is currently in pre-production for several others.
In recent years, Saarinen has forged a close connection with Austin agency GSD&M, resulting in groundbreaking campaigns for BMW, the U.S. Air Force, and John Deere. One of the GSDM collaborations included BMW’s “Feats” which showcases great triumphs of engineering including the Empire State Building, the St. Louis Arch, the Taj Mahal and the Egyptian Pyramids—all with their bottoms missing, as if they were being built from the top down.
Such striking visuals are typical of Saarinen’s approach toward making memorable campaigns. “I love to engage the audience with visual spectacles and suspense,” he notes. “If I can keep their attention through these storytelling means, in an age of tivo and tons of of other technological distractions, I can continue creating successful advertising for my agencies and clients.”
Saarinen was previously represented, most notably, by Plum Productions, a company he co-founded and owned with executive producer Chuck Sloan. During his time at Plum, Saarinen won virtually every major advertising award.
He is a member of the prestigious American Society of Cinematographers for his extraordinary achievement in broadcast commercials, and he continues to serve as DP on most of the spots he directs. He also served as DP for the Academy Award-nominated short Exploratorium. Saarinen continues to undertake occasional long form projects and recently traveled to the Arctic to shoot a documentary on the declining polar bear population.
For his part, Saarinen said that he is excited about his new association with Bully Pictures because of the commitment the company makes to its directors. “Jason is a very smart executive producer with tremendous focus,” he says. “Astrid is full of positive energy, is a sharp salesperson, and brings a huge database of contacts to the table. “I feel well supported by the rest of the sales team and general staff and love coming to the office. Lastly, I’m impressed with their roster and feel happy to be a part of this talented and diverse group of filmmakers.”
About Bully Pictures:
Bully Pictures was formed in 2006 by Executive Producer Jason Forest. The company’s roster includes Juergen Bollmeyer, P.R. Brown, Fredrik Callinggard, Dana Christiaansen, Jeffrey DeChausse, Gaute Hesthagen, Daniel Kaufman, Christian Lyngbye, Franco Marinelli, Eric Saarinen, Michael Shapiro, Craig Tanimoto, and Eric Will. For more information, write [email protected].