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Director Miles Gillespie Brings His Wit to Gifted Youth

Gifted Youth, an award-winning subsidiary spot shop of Caviar, has signed a new rising talent to its roster. This is the first commercial signing for Los Angeles-based writer and director Miles Gillespie, known for his sharp, modern wit in spots for Jimmy Johns, State Farm, and most recently, a Call of Duty social campaign featuring comedian Pete Davidson. 

“Miles’ multitude of talents fits in well with the team here at Gifted Youth, and we couldn’t be more excited or feel more lucky to have him,” said Josh Morse, Executive Producer. “Not only can he write a goof or two but he’s an extremely talented director,  so to add him to a roster rife with multi-talents just makes sense. His work is modern, refreshing, captivating—displaying a unique vision and contemporary voice.”

Striking a balance between the real and the absurd, Gillespie grew up around the film industry in L.A.—and around a family that encouraged his sense of humor. Gillespie is the son of the Hollywood filmmaker Craig Gillespsie, who directed films including “I, Tonya,” and “Lars and the Real Girl.”

“Do I think my dad is a funny guy?” poses Gillespie. “Of course I do…However, my whole career began because we were always disagreeing over punchlines that I thought I could make funnier.”

Gillespie’s punchlines, embedded in the short-form and concept-based work he most likes to make, are masterfully constructed. He begins by breaking down a product or brand to its most defining characteristics, looking carefully for opportunities where humor can be injected in—and he always finds the perfect places.

Take his spot for Zapps Chips, “Voodoo,” which was one of seven spec spots he created in just two days. It follows a young woman who, with the help of her bag of Zapps ‘Voodoo’ chips, seals the lips of her chatty sexist coworker, beats up a purse-stealing bandit, and curses a band of cat-calling construction workers.

His most high-profile work to date, a slew of recent spots for Call of Duty, including one portraying a frightened Pete Davidson asking hardened soldiers to hold his hand in the back of a tank, is another perfect example of how Gillespie can find oddity and delight in the most sobering of places.

“It was a combination of perfect storms that brought me to toil in comedy. My family used humor to discuss tough issues, and, as a chubby kid, I used comedy as a coping mechanism,” said Gilespie. This is how he honed his ability to walk the fine line between the absurd and the all-too-real.

Presently GIllespie is developing his debut feature film “Pigeon.” The endeavor comes fresh off directing the short film, “Magic of Passion,” which follows a magician, played by Marvel franchise actor Sebastian Stan, as he returns to his childhood home to reconnect with his mother, who he finds is sleeping with his childhood friend. Currently doing the festival rounds, the zany premise highlights Stan’s comedy chops and Gillespie’s budding talent in longer formats. 

With his signing to Gifted Youth’s roster and their relationship with parent company Caviar, Gillespie hopes to further hone his long-form writing, and of course, produce humorous spots of the highest caliber. 

“Gifted Youth is the pinnacle of comedy in advertising. When I discovered they were interested in me I was blown away,” said Gillespie. “They have the power and talent of a massive company, but the nature of a boutique studio, and having Caviar as a related feature for my scripted and feature work is just the icing on the cake.” 

Link to Miles Gillespie’s reel: https://www.giftedyouth.com/director/miles-gillespie/

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