A Good Ribbing

Headshot of Tim Nudd

Better bruised ribs than a bruised ego.

When Danny Hiele, cinematographer par excellence, was notified this year that he’d won an award from the Association of Independent Commercial Producers, he wasn’t exactly jumping for joy. He wasn’t jumping at all, in fact. “I said, ‘I just smashed my ribs. Let me call you back,’ ” he recalls. “I had no idea what it meant.”

Just that day, Hiele had taken a spill while filming on a glacier in Iceland. “The sled turned over on me,” he says. “I was trapped under it, and couldn’t breathe. I got out and was X-rayed, but nothing was broken. So I started getting ready for the next day.”

The judges honored Hiele’s style, not his toughness. Hiele says BBDO’s “Broadway Poem” spot for Visa—for which he won—embodies his belief that advertising “reflect the culture of the city it’s shot in. … It looks like two guys from different countries showed up and made it, which is exactly what happened, and which is very New York.”

The meaning of the award only began to sink in at the ceremony, Hiele says. “You open the pamphlet and see names like Tony Kaye and you go, ‘Hey, that’s my name.’ That’s when it starts to hit.”

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.