LEGENDS OF COMMERCIALS PRODUCTION: Introduction

The best commercials directors are well known in the industry, but it takes more than one person and a camera to create a great ad. The people working behind the scenes, from stuntmen and editors to caterers, make vital contributions to the production process. Campaign Screen presents the best of the best over 20 categories.

Our main ambition when producing this Campaign Screen supplement to coincide with the 2002 Cannes Advertising Festival was admittedly rather lofty: we wanted to produce an indispensable guide to the finest talent within commercials production. In the whole world.

But we also wanted to be different. We wanted to provide something interesting and unusual, which is why we've focused on the big names and some of the unsung heroes in the production industries.

The following pages reveal those who play a vital, yet often low-profile, role in the ever-changing commercials pantheon, a celestial line-up that hails casting directors to caterers, make-up artists to editors, stuntmen to animal trainers. (Come on, admit it, you've always wanted to know who the world's best bee-wrangler is. It might come in handy - whether as conversation on a long-haul flight or for that new honey account.)

Our method was simple. We talked to key industry figures from all corners of the world, asking who are the stars, both globally and locally. Our journalists then worked around the clock, collating and debating each entry until we had our final shortlist, with, in each case, the finest practitioner in a given category gaining a single star next to their name.

However, it rapidly became apparent that the stars were brighter and more plentiful than we could possibly have imagined. Several people were nominated but were unable to be included, this time at least, for space reasons.

They include all the executive producers and producers who may not be active on set but play a vital role in developing the careers of directors and the success of production companies - the Nick Morrises, Steve Dicksteins and Frank Schermas of this world.

Other categories where the list warranted expansion obviously includes directors, with Bryan Buckley being credited for being the "it guy in the US at the moment, not to mention Traktor, Daniel Kleinman and Errol Morris.

Pinning our writers down to selecting a top three was no mean feat in the director of photography category either. Names such as Lance Acord and the Brazilian Breno Silviera cropped up several times, but not quite enough to guarantee inclusion.

This, in fact, was our biggest challenge; reducing each category to a simple trio. Just try to name your top three films or songs and you'll see how tricky it is. But then, any list polarises opinion and provokes debate - which is, we think you'll agree, typical Campaign style.

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