"I really wanted to make it look like an artful documentary. We put them through ridiculous classes, such as a class on chickens and one on rockets. It was a wild ride and I knew they had taken a leap of faith in giving me this job."
Wall started out as a copywriter in 1989, rising to creative director at Wieden & Kennedy, New York. Along the way, he worked on ads for ESPN and Nike. In 1999, he left to make television comedy through Hungry Man but decided not to pursue a career in TV after a couple of seasons.
Meanwhile, he'd been given a chance to do some commercials directing and loved it. He signed up with Epoch Films and, capitalising on his network of contacts, started to direct ads.
His first spots included "coach" for ESPN which features sports fans across the world watching sport on TV. "There's an empathy and drama for people who do love sport," Wall says.
He's also directed ads for Etopps, a website for trading baseball cards.
The spots, featuring two sad office workers, have shades of The Office about them. "It was an opportunity for me to do something as a director that was very simple, performance-based, comedy dialogue. Before that a lot had been vignettes."
Wall's most recent work is for the new global Orange campaign. "Architect" and "snoring" are vignettes on a new scale for Wall.
"Both of them were written like children's books for adults," he says.
In the first, the architect's masterpiece is brought to life as people occupy his building, bringing personal clutter. Wall says he owes much to the director of photography, Jeff Cronenweth, whose credits include the film Seven. For "snoring", where a crew of firemen produce different snoring sounds, "we used a technique I'd never done before, shooting high speed so we could create a fly's eye view".
- Stacy Wall was talking to Pippa Considine.