This project has a special place in my heart because George Lawrence is my dad. It is set in Lindsay, Ontario, Canada, where I grew up. I know my dad in and out, and he was the perfect real life subject for this project.
George Lawrence for Coca-Cola
Production Company: Variable
Creative: Joey L & Variable
Directors/Cinematographers: Joey L & Variable
Producer: Tyler Ginter @ Variable
Post Production Producer: Rasha Clark @ GoodPenny
Editor: Bruce Ashley @ GoodPenny
Original Score: Mike McFadden
Jonathan Bregel, Tyler Ginter, Khalid Mohtaseb of Variable and I took our production team to Canada to make a video spot on my father for Coca-Cola. My dad has been restoring the vintage machines since I was a kid- slowly turning his hobby into a profession and winning the eyes & hearts of collectors worldwide. Coca-Cola is his favorite drink besides beer, and the delicate craftsmanship in the world of nostalgia from the past has always fascinated him.
All the lines in the video are things I heard constantly as a kid. Growing up around my dad, he always told me to “do the job right the first time, or don’t even do it at all.” It means that it’s better to do something right and take a long time, then doing something the quick and easy way, which you won’t be proud of. It’s a slow way of thought that needs attention in our fast-paced modern culture.
My dad is a funny guy. A perfectionist. An absolute creative fusspot. I remember sitting watching one day as he restored an old Coke vending machine from the 1950s. He was lining up all the flat-head screws so they’d all be pointing vertically. If he messed one up, he’d curse and try again until everything was perfect. What would take an average guy who didn’t respect his craft 5 minutes, took my dad nearly an hour.
The more I think about it, the more I realize I’m turning into my dad. I really think what he’s taught me has made me into who I am now. In a way, as a photographer / director, it’s my job now to be picky, and to never settle for anything less of what I am capable of. I know that if I did put my name on something I wasn’t proud of, it would haunt me and eventually drive me nuts.
I saw a little bit of my dad in me when just the other day, I told a book publisher working with me on a project I didn’t like the shade of grey they used. I threatened that I would pull the plug on the whole thing if they didn’t choose a grey with the hint of an earth tone. I am turning out to be just like my dad, but to me that’s not a scary thought at all. I learned from him to take great pride in anything I do, and never settle for less than your vision.
When I emailed my dad this video, he wrote back the way he usually does.
It was his one-line, one-finger typing response.
“cooooooooooooooooooool scenes Dawg”
I think that means he likes it.
Update June 17th, 2012: In collaboration with Coca-Cola for Father’s Day 2012, Variable wanted to share a deeper look into the motivation behind “The Perfectionist.”