Due to the phenomenal success of the Twilight New Moon Spoof from Take 180 Studios, my impression suddenly went global. I had no idea Aussie’s took such a strong interest to Tom Cruise. It must have something to do with Tom’s separation from Aussie Nicole Kidman (Nic as he affectionately called her) or the fact that Aussie’s are particularly intolerable of Scientology. If you don’t believe me, check out this interview I did for this Australian morning show, Weekend Sunrise.
Whatever the reason may be, I got a message one day from the editors of a popular Tabloid Magazine, called FAMOUS, which runs weekly down under. The FAMOUS team wanted me to create, produce, and direct 3 web commercials, centered around Tom Cruise, to promote their tabloid magazine. They had just run a one page spread in their magazine.
This was a big opportunity for me since I’d never been given a chance to direct before. I actually thought this potential offer was some elaborate prank! But it was real, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. I was knee deep in credit card debt and deeply depressed about it. Somehow, the Universe answered my desperate pleas for salvation. I was so excited about this offer, I was literally jumping for joy. I got on the phone with my brother, who is a writer, to drum up a bunch of ideas to submit to FAMOUS mag. We met at a coffee shop in Union Square. During the next two hours, we came up with at least a dozen inspired ideas.
Some of the ideas were as follows:
1. There’s a popular STREET DRUG floating around, dealt by a mysterious cloaked dealer. The drug gets people really EXCITED about life and those who take it LAUGH UNCONTROLLABLY. Turns out, Tom Cruise is the Mysterious Dealer. He’s somehow managed to create a drug that emulates his eccentric characteristics.
2. Aborigine in Australia, minding his own business, is flying a BOOMERANG. All of a sudden, without warning, Tom Cruise steps in to frame. He proceeds to tell the Aborigine he doesn’t know the FIRST THING ABOUT BOOMERANGS (a la Matt Lauer Interview). He snatches the flying object from his hands and proceeds to throw it a multitude of times, laughing maniacally the entire time. The third time he throws it, his laughter is cut short as the boomerang LOPS OFF HIS HEAD. The Aborigine shrugs his shoulders and picks up the boomerang to resume throwing it.
I loved this one and it would have required me to fly to Australia. Unfortunately, it was not picked.
3. Tom Cruise wrestles with a Crocodile in super slow motion. Cut to tom Wrestling with a Puppet Crocodile.
Obviously, I was trying my best to get flown out to Australia!
These were just a handful of ideas. What they ended up going for was one of the least of my favorites. It was simply the least edgy/risky of the concepts. Basically, they gushed over A DAY IN THE LIFE OF TOM CRUISE, where you have Tom Cruise in everyday normal guy scenarios, like getting a cup of coffee or buying some norwegian sock-eye salmon. Stuff Like That.
With a skeleton crew, I shot these videos in 3 days, during a massive snowstorm, and still managed to get all my setups and shots. With a few weeks of editing, here’s the final product. We even got a shout out from Perez Hilton for the coffee episode.