By Egotist / /
Welcome back. We’re glad you’re here to read another great 32 Under 32 interview. Today we’ve got the young star Jack Whalen. He’s a Producer at Goodby Silverstein & Partners and his interview is definitely worth checking out. Then come back on Friday for another great one.
Congrats on being chosen as one of the top 32 advertising and marketing professionals under 32. We selected people who really go above and beyond in their work. How do you think you approach your job differently than other people?
First off… thank you! I have been most fortunate to live and work in and around San Francisco’s advertising community and it’s an honor to be recognized by my peers as someone who is making it happen – also, as I turned 32 this year, this was my last shot.
I come from a creative background, so I think that has enabled me to approach my projects with keen understanding of the work from above and beyond a purely producorial standpoint.
What kind of accounts/projects are you working on these days?
I get my hands on a ton of projects for a wide variety of clients. I’m Producing TV, web video, VR, digital out-of-home stuff, a lot of motion graphics and sound design work, creative development stuff and new business work. A project I produced for SONIC Drive-In just won a Bronze Lion and a Global Gold Facebook award for best use of platform, 2 spots I worked on ran during the Super Bowl, a spot ran during the Oscars, a ton of social media work and some out-of-home stuff running in American sports arenas and European transportation hubs. I’m working on some really exciting pieces that’ll be coming out later in the year, so stay tuned!
What is it about where you currently work that really pushes you to be better?
The people. Just a group of extraordinary humans who are crushing it daily. The international perspectives, the diverse backgrounds, the wisdom of veterans, the energy of youth and the gristle of middle age all in one beautiful, well equipped, providentially located building.
In thinking over your career so far, what work had made you the proudest?
So far I am proudest of the work that most people never see. The pieces I produce that are presented in new business pitches and used for selling through new spots are the ones I get the most out of. They are the most challenging, they allow me to use and expand my skill-sets, and they carry a lot of weight. Once something has been sold through and I’m executing the piece using our footage and elements and a locked script I’m really just solving problems and making sure I’m on time and on budget, but at the end of the day it’s going to ship and that’ll be it. When we’re pitching, we’re making something from scratch, using pure craft and ingenuity to create something that is fluid and evolving all the way to the meeting. Then when we sell it through or win that piece of business it’s a real victory. It’s those victories that make me the proudest.
You’re a TV star! How’d you end up on “Check Please!” and what was that experience like?
First of all, I’ll answer the question everyone asks: YES that wine and cheese on set is real (and delicious). My wife and I love the show, and for a time we lived in the small East Bay town of Point Richmond. We would walk to the restaurant at the Hotel Mac for dinner, it’s this 100-plus-year-old 3-story brick building that has maintained its original Victorian-era decor and has amazing traditional American comfort food. So she suggested that I submit a review to the “Check Please!” website, and I did. A year-and-a-half goes by and the producer of the show calls me and say’s they’re doing an all East Bay episode for Season 10, come in and we’ll talk. I must have been photogenic enough to be on the show because they gave me the info for the other two restaurants I’d be dining at and reviewing, and we went! A few weeks later I showed up to tape the episode at the KQED building in the Mission, met my fellow reviewers and Leslie Sbrocco -the hostess- and we recorded the show! Two months later it aired, and every few months it gets re-run and I’ll have someone coming up to me saying: “I saw you on TV!”
Here’s a ridiculously clichéd interview question for you: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
As production budgets and timelines get smaller, the demand for mobile ads and content delivery increases and VR technology evolves – the smartest agencies will expand their in-house production capabilities. In 10 years I see myself playing a big role in an agency’s in-house production department making the future happen.
This might be tough, but here’s your chance to give a shout out to one person who has helped you get to where you are today. Go.
Giving a special shout out to just one person is tough- I have a gang of people to thank, but since the music is playing I really must give the biggest thanks to Vince Engel for the B+, P.J. Koll for keeping me busy and Jamie Barrett for being the 2nd tallest person in Advertising.
SHAMELESS PLUG- I want to give my home vineyard project a shout out while I’m here -I’m growing 21 Cabernet Sauvignon vines in my front yard in the East Bay and documenting the process. Check it out.