The Towering Talent of the Scott Family
Sir Ridley Scott
In 2003, the British born director and filmmaker received the honour of a Knight Bachelor for services to the British film industry by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace.
Ridley’s many other accolades include 9 Academy awards, a Bafta Fellowship award, a Bafta Outstanding Contribution To Cinema award and a Directors Guild of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
His first feature film ‘The Duellists’ won a Cannes Film Festival award for Best Debut Film.
Many notable movie successes followed like ‘Alien’ and the iconic ‘Blade Runner’, considered by many film critics to be the most important and influential science fiction movies ever made.
Ridley Scott’s ‘Thelma and Louise’ was another great box-office triumph as was the 5 Academy Award winning movie ‘Gladiator’ staring Russell Crowe who took home an Oscar for Best Actor.
RSA Film and Production Company
In 1968 Ridley and his brother Tony founded Ridley Scott and Associates (RSA), a film and commercial production company.
Ridley made many commercials at RSA during the 1970s, including a notable 1973 Hovis Bread commercial ‘Bike Round’, filmed on location in Gold Hill, Shaftesbury, Dorset, and voted the UK’s all-time favourite commercial in a 2006 poll.
His later 1984 commercial, titled ‘1984’ for the launch of Apple’s Macintosh computer is regarded as an advertising masterpiece and possibly the best commercial of the Twentieth Century.
Ridley’s sons Jake and Luke are both acclaimed RSA directors of commercials, as is his daughter, Jordan Scott.
The Inimitable Tony Scott
Besides being a successful RSA commercials director Tony Scott was also a highly accomplished and immensely talented feature film director. His moviemaking spanned a career of more than two decades during which his greatest box-office successes include the following memorable films.
1986 Top Gun starring Tom Cruise
1987 Beverly Hills Cop II starring Eddie Murphy
1990 Days of Thunder Thunder starring Tom Crusie and Nicole Kidman
1995 Crimson Tide starring Denzel Washington and Gene Hackman.
1998 Enemy of the State starring Will Smith, Gene Hackman and John Voight
Tony’s last great box-office success was ‘Unstoppable’ in 2010 starring Denzel Washington. He sadly passed away in 2012.
1. Turkish Airlines, The Journey
Advertising Agency: Anomaly, Amsterdam
The Turkish Airline mini-movie ‘The Journey’ by RSA Films was directed by Ridley Scott and superbly edited by Jim Weedon to mark the opening of Istanbul Airport as the world’s latest and largest aviation hub with an annual capacity of 200 million passengers.
The commercial also marks Ridley’s return to directing commercials after an 13-year absence.“I decided to go back and click-into advertising because I love the chase and the speed of the job. The fact is that this project went beyond the limitations of traditional advertising, and allowed me the creative freedom to tell the story”.
“Istanbul is a powerful backdrop to the visual narrative that brings together the main characters in an exciting and spectacular way, much as Istanbul has done for generations”.
‘The Journey’ follows a cat-and-mouse chase across Istanbul’s iconic landmarks and features Sylvia Hoeks, the Dutch star of The Girl in the Spider’s Web and Blade Runner 2049.
She described the short film as a compelling mystery; “As an audience, you’re chasing that woman with the main character trying to figure out who she is. I think that mystery leads in a sense to ‘go travel’.”
2. Hennessey X.O, The Seven Worlds
Advertising Agency: DDB, Paris, France
The epic 4 minute long short film, also superbly edited by Jim Weedon, features Ridley Scott’s visual interpretation of each of the seven tasting notes as defined by Hennessy X.O’s ‘Comité de Dégustationas’; ‘Sweet Notes’, ‘Rising Heat’, ‘Spicy Edge’, ‘Flowing Flame’, ‘Chocolate Lull’ and ‘Wood Crunches’ culminating in ‘Infinite Echo’.
I must confess that to me the tasting note descriptors sound like fanciful hyperbole. Ridley however, thought they represented an exciting opportunity and explained what motivated him to take on the Hennessey X.O creative challenge:
“I was attracted to this project because I was inspired by the potential for art and entertainment to bring this story to life. Hennessy has a great product, and I was lucky enough to have the freedom to interpret this and create something amazing. I think people will be stunned when they see the film.”
A 60-second edit of the film was also planned for airing during this year’s 91st Oscar ceremony that includes a visual homage to the Academy Awards with huge golden figures modeled after Oscar statues.
3. Hennessey X.O, Behind The Scenes of The Seven Worlds
This brief look at the production of Ridley’s imaginative visual interpretations of Hennessy X.O’s seven taste notes and aspects of the planning complexity and artistry required to bring them to dramatic filmic life makes for fascinating viewing.
Jake Scott and Black Dog
Ridley’s son Jake established a hugely successful music video subdivision of RSA called Black Dog Films.
He made music videos for many famous bands and pop-stars that include Soundgarden, The Smashing Pumpkins, Blind Melon, Tori Amos, Radiohead, Lilly Allen, No Doubt, Oasis, The Supernaturals, The Verve, R.E.M., U2 and George Michael.
He has also become a much sought after Filmmaker and Director of commercials by Advertising Agencies.
4. Kia Sorento, Where Do Babies Come From?
Advertising Agency: David&Goliath, Los Angeles U.S.A.
My favourite Jake Scott directed commercial is this amusing story about a Dad who thinks up an imaginative answer to his son’s question that doesn’t completely convince the young skeptic.
The visually spectacular story depiction is superbly crafted and a joy to watch.
5. Johnnie Walker Blue Label, The Gentleman’s Wager
Advertising Agency: Anomaly, New York, USA
Filmed on location in the British Virgin Islands and London and direcred by Jake Scott the short film stars Jude Law and Giancarlo Giannini as the two friendly protagonists engaged in a gentleman’s wager.
The commercial motivated 45 million online views and was shared 120,000 times on social media. A remarkable achievement for a premium priced, niche brand that resulted in a 41% increase in sales.
6. Johnnie Walker Blue Label, The Gentleman’s Wager II
This sequel ‘mini-movie’ is over 11 minutes long, nearly double the length of the first commercial but once again online viewers were enthralled and social media was abuzz with ‘shares’ and favourable comment.