If you’ve already burned through Friday Night Lights, Parks and Recreation, New Girl, Bob’s Burgers, The League, Orange Is The New Black, and basically any other TV series worth watching on Netflix, set phasers to the documentary section for the 2011 film Jiro Dreams of Sushi. Directed by David Gelb, the movie is a portrait of 85-year-old world-renowned sushi master, Jiro Ono, who’s dedicated (literally) almost every waking moment of his life to perfecting his craft.
The film goes to great lengths to show how far Jiro strives to make the most perfect sushi in the world while simultaneously begging the questions, “What if your entire life was dedicated to only one pursuit? How would that affect your personal relationships? How do you then define success, if the concept of ‘success’ is even an ascertainable goal in your mind?” It’s as troubling a portrayal as it is fascinating, causing the viewer a level of introspection that few other films can achieve. It only made sense, then, for Gelb to follow-up his documentary on the world’s best sushi by filming its American equivalent, Papa Murphy’s Take and Bake pizza, for a new campaign from Wong, Doody, Crandall, Wiener.
It’s clear that Gelb employs some Jiro Dreams of Sushi-style camera work here. However, whereas his documentary focuses on getting to know the people behind the food, his spot has no time to do so. So, we instead get some creepy anonymous hands, kneading pizza dough in slow motion. We get some mom feet, with a mom arm shooting into frame from above to half-hug her child. Finally, we get some assorted family hands, each reaching out of nowhere to grab pizza slices (again, in slow-motion). All of this while creepy piano-plinking plays menacingly in the background.
While watching Jiro Dreams of Sushi, I was nervous that perhaps someone in Jiro’s immediately family would comment on his coldness, or his chef-before-father mentality. While watching this spot for Papa Murphy’s, I was worried that someone would be murdered. Credits after the jump.
Chairman, Executive Creative Director: Tracy Wong
Copywriter: Jennie Moore
Art Director: Adam Deer
Account Director: Garth Knutson
Account Executive: Anea Klix
Producer: Kaylin Fitzpatrick-Horn, Patti Emery
Executive Producer: Steph Huske
Director: David Gelb
Executive Producer: Loretta Jeneski
Producer: Franny Freiberger
EP/Head of Production: Patrick Degan