Maleficent Director Says Users Connect to Characters, Not Devices

As more brands turn to content to engage consumers, the line between traditional and branded forms of entertainment—articles, songs or even feature-length films—gets blurrier by the day. At the same time, the emergence of branded entertainment as a principal method of engagement has raised important questions about the relationship between creativity and advertising. For instance, how does an artist feel about creating branded work?

Clio sat down with PJ Pereira, a co-founder of the San Francisco-based agency Pereira & O'Dell, and Robert Stromberg, director of the 2014 film Maleficent, to discuss that very issue. The pair talked about their recent collaboration on the film What Lives Inside, a feature-length project (divided into four episodes) sponsored by Intel to promote the Dell 8 7000 tablet, and the latest in a series of films Pereira & O'Dell has produced for the technology company. As it turns out, the film, which centers on an obsessive artist (JK Simmons) and his relationship with his son (Colin Hanks), not only struck these two as a genuine work of art, but also had personal resonance for both of them.

What Lives Inside premiered on Hulu on March 25.