You may know Paul Soter as the cop in cult-comedy classic Super Troopers who says “meow” 10 times during a routine highway stop, but the writer, actor and director has spent the past five years as director of creative development at Los Angeles indie shop Omelet. Soter’s creative vision is responsible for some of the shop’s best work, including a Pokemon spot for Super Bowl 50; he regularly works with big-name clients like AT&T, Microsoft and Walmart, and is behind “Scrambled,” the agency’s hilarious original-scripted web series.
But make no mistake: Soter isn’t replacing entertainment with advertising. He likened it to the fictitious Dr. Henry Jekyll and his alter ego, Edward Hyde. “It’s cool having a double life … it keeps life actually incredibly interesting,” Soter said, taking a short breather to chat amid a recent press tour for Super Troopers 2 (which, not by coincidence, hits theaters on April 20).
Still, Soter never imagined he’d be an adman until someone at Omelet explained the concept of branded content, a term he’d never heard before. “I asked him if it would be weird if I sat in on a meeting at Omelet sometime,” he said.
From then on, he was hooked. He came back, again and again and again—until Omelet’s creatives started handing him scripts to “touch up,” Soter explained. “Eventually they were just like, ‘Do you want to do this?’” he said.
Now, when Omelet has a project, Soter can either choose to “hop on or off” it. In the beginning, Soter felt more comfortable leaving Omelet to concentrate on his film career, but now, “I don’t feel like I can shut it off anymore,” he said. “I’m very invested in the company.”
Even when Soter took a brief hiatus to write and film Super Troopers 2 with his comedy group, Broken Lizard, he worked on projects for Omelet during his downtime on set. “What we’re doing at Omelet is original comedy,” Soter said. “We create these crazy ideas. We make each other laugh. And we come up with really cool stuff. Omelet is very unique and special.”
Director of creative development, Omelet, 2015–present
Freelance creator, Omelet, 2012–2015
Writer and director, Watching the Detectives, 2007
Writer and actor, Super Troopers, 2000
Writer, Broken Lizard comedy group, 1990–present
To aspiring creatives, directors, writers, Soter advised: “Have confidence not just in your creativity, but give confidence to your partners. It raises the level of creativity all around.”
How He Got the Gig
Soter got his start in entertainment while attending Colgate University. He said he and friends started seeing young screenwriters with little resources getting their films picked up by Hollywood so they thought, “why can’t we do that?” Voila: Broken Lizard, then called Charred Goosebeak, was born.
Soter said he enjoys the balancing act he’s created for himself between entertainment and advertising. “It’s possible that there would be a scenario where I’d have to give up [one] … but if I can keep it up, I’d love to keep it up,” Soter said.