When Anthony Anderson and his real-life mama teamed up for T-Mobile during 2020’s Super Bowl LIV broadcast, the Steve Pink-directed spot instantly resonated, as much for the escalating comedic beats as the credibility of the performances.
Pink’s film and TV directing credits include Hot Tub Time Machine, Santa Clarita Diet, and Cobra Kai. His latest long form directing project is the comedy adventure Lost and Found, which is being developed by Amazon, from a script by Pink and Jeff Morris.
Gina Rodriguez and Zachary Levi are set to star. Now teamed with VANDAL, the media production boutique founded by Heather Heller and Francis Lawrence, he is poised to expand his presence in the branded space.
“Not least of which is Heather herself. She’s brilliant, inventive, and an incredibly smart producer who always creates the kind of production environment that makes it possible for everyone to do their best work. And did I mention she’s also super-funny and an all-around great person? So mentioned!” Pink added.
Heller, who produced both of Pink’s Super Bowl spots, is similarly enthused. “As a producer, working with Steve Pink is nothing short of a blast from beginning to end,” she says. “Not only is he an absolute pro, but his wit, charm, and ability to think on his feet make him a truly exciting talent.”
Synonymous with top-tier visual storytelling at its most innovative and arresting, the VANDAL roster also spans the comedy spectrum – from satire and parody, to the broad, dark, and outrageous. This is by design. “Most of my career has been spent in high-end beauty and fashion, and working with Steve is such a refreshing change of pace,” Heller explains.
“His years spent immersed in the comedy genre are part of Steve’s ethos, not only as a director but also as a human being. He’s just damn funny!”
Pink, whose branded work also includes the spirits and technology categories, observes, “Good advertising celebrates the essential truth about a brand. And to me, because people who work in comedy love exploring and finding the humor in everyday life, there’s an intrinsic relationship between being funny and expressing the truth of a particular product or brand.”
In addition to Anderson, Pink has worked with Kevin Hart, Blake Lively, Justin Long, Jack Black, Drew Barrymore, John Cusack and Jonah Hill, among others.
When pairing celebrities with non-actors, as was the case with T-Mobile, Pink calibrates his direction accordingly. “Anthony is a brilliant comedian, so sometimes you just let him have the floor,” he notes. “With Doris, his mom, I strived to make her really comfortable on set, and nurture her fantastically funny instincts.”
Of his deep, diverse directing catalogue, Pink says, “In framing the tone of any comedy, I ask myself, ‘Is this a crazy person in a sane world? Or is this person sane, and it’s the world that’s gone mad?’”