Twenty-one-year-old Remy Neymarc and his 23-year-old brother Andrew are the youngest filmmakers to write, direct, and produce a Super Bowl commercial – ever. They’ve even got the Guinness World Book of Records knocking at their door.
As veteran winners of the online crowd-sourcing company Poptent’s contests, the brothers were chosen out of 30,000 potential filmmakers to compete in this year’s Super Bowl commercial competition. The product to be featured during the 30-second spot was the not-so-Super-Bowlish snack, Dannon’s Oikos brand Greek yogurt.
To top it off, former family sitcom “Full House” actor John Stamos starred in the commercial.
This was the first time both Dannon and Poptent had been selected to produce a Super Bowl commercial. Poptent selected thirty filmmakers in late July and gave them two weeks to put a spot together. The brothers won.
“We’re really passionate, and we are unable to be told what to do.” – Remy Neymarc
“We were very honored, because we had just started out,” Andrew said.
Fast track to fame
A phenomenon of the increasingly-connected technological age, companies often choose crowd-sourcing sites such as Poptent to advertise their product. The sites then create competitions which virtually any filmmaker may apply to. They must use their own funds, and their own time.
After only one year competing in crowd-sourcing commercials, out of eight entries, they won six, including a spot for Jaguar and the American Red Cross.
Filmmakers must meet the guidelines of a “creative brief,” a set of parameters set by the company wishing to advertise their product, such as a target audience demographic, theme for the commercial, and even what sort of actor will be starring.
“If you’re an amateur filmmaker, and you want to break into the industry, you need to start somewhere,” Andrew continued. “Otherwise you need to go the classic route and start out as the lighting guy or the sound guy and work your way up.”
“We’re really passionate, and we are unable to be told what to do,” Remy added with a chuckle. “We’re really, really focused on directing.”
The big time
Remy flew to Los Angeles to direct the commercial they had both created, and Andrew joined him shortly thereafter. Not only did they find John Stamos to be aging particularly well, but whereas before they had to do everything themselves, suddenly they had a full production crew of 30 at their disposal.
“I told my assistant director what I wanted someone to do, and she would tell that person to do it,” Remy said. “It was awesome.”
After the shoot, the brothers forged a friendship with John Stamos. The star took them out to dinner, and at one point, they even met “Full House” star Ashley Olsen.
“John’s taken on a mentor role with us,” Remy said. “He’s trying to help us out, find us the right production house, and he’s guiding us.”
“He’s a great guy,” Andrew added.
Not your typical back story
“We are honored,” Andrew said. “We didn’t go to film school, we’ve had no film education, and we had no contacts whatsoever. We were self-taught.”
Born of an American mother and a French father and with dual citizenship, the brothers attended university in both countries. Andrew graduated with a dual bachelor’s of arts and science, and Remy stopped three weeks short of a degree in computer science after winning the competition.
So where does film-making come in?
Remy took up photography in Paris at 16, and at 17 he was working professionally doing landscapes and portraits. Andrew decided to run for president of his Paris university’s student government and asked Remy to collaborate with him to make a campaign video.
In this, they discovered they made the perfect collaborative film-making team.
“I love him,” Remy said. “We’re just like one; we move as one.”
Andrew does most of the writing, producing, and creative direction while Remy is the duo’s cinematographer. “We both complete each other,” Andrew said.
To Weehawken and beyond
In June, after traveling constantly, they decided they needed a home base in the U.S. for their production company, Neymarc Visuals. They chose Weehawken.
“We fell in love with Boulevard East,” Andrew said. “The view, the people; it’s all great.”
What’s next for the brothers? In line with their mutual love for the work of David Fincher (director of such films as “Fight Club” and “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”) and a penchant for creating “what’s genuine and what’s human,” they hope to write, film, and produce a feature film before Remy turns 23.
“If you love what you do, then nothing’s impossible,” Remy said.
Tune in to the Super Bowl’s third quarter commercial break to watch their Dannon spot, or visit their website at www.neymarcvisuals.com.
Gennarose Pope may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org