Documentary Filmmaker Rory Kennedy Is Making Ads Now

Storytelling in a new creative medium

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New gig: Commercial director, Nonfiction Unlimited

Continuing Gig: Documentary filmmaker

Age: 45

Why the interest in commercial production?

I’ve been doing documentaries for about 25 years and want to continue to do that, but I love the idea of working in a different medium. Advertising pushes the envelope creatively and there is some really great work being done right now, so I’m excited to jump into it.

Photo: Karl J Kaul/Wonderful Machine;

Hair and Makeup: Carissa Ferreri/Tracy Mattingly


What is some of the advertising that has inspired you?

A couple of things that immediately come to mind are the Pantene commercial, “Labels Against Women,” and “Best Job” for P&G, which was part of the London 2012 Olympics “Proud Sponsor of Moms” campaign.

Do you see advertising as a way to address social stereotypes through more broadly distributed image-making?

Those two commercials relate to women and pretty efficiently reframe the way...



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