STORY today announces that it has signed award-winning
comedy director Joe Schaak for exclusive representation. Schaak, whose work has
been short-listed at Cannes and included in the permanent collection at MOMA,
specializes in character-driven comedy and is known for delivering genuine performances
whether working with actors, celebrities or real people.
“Joe is a true comedy pro,” says STORY Executive Producer
Mark Androw. “Agencies love working with him because he always shows great
insight to the strategy and brings great ideas to the table. We’re very excited
to welcome him to our roster.”
Schaak has directed more
than 200 commercials over the course of his 20-year career. His classics
include a Johnsonville spot in which a rogue bratwurst vendor takes over the
broadcast booth at Lambeau Field, and a Super Bowl ad for Century 21 that
featured guest appearances by Deion Sanders, Apolo Ohno and Donald Trump.
Recent efforts include a campaign for technology reseller
Gazelle.com featuring real people reading actual online reviews and cleverly
staged to bring out their personality quirks. He also directed a deliciously
deadpan campaign for health services nonprofit Baby Can Wait. In one spot, a
man presents his nephew with an unusual gift: a breast pump. The boy, it turns
out, is pregnant. “I loved that campaign because the agency was so
collaborative and I was able to have a hand in developing the concepts,” he
says.

The director adds that he enjoys directing comedy because
each project offers new opportunities for invention. “I love finding the magic
in characters,” he says. “The discovery process is always fun…that’s what keeps
it fresh.” Schaak’s reel also includes work for McDonald’s, Target, Purina,
Kellogg’s, Nyquil, ESPN and other top brands.
Schaak says he was attracted to STORY by its success in
working with comedy directors and diverse agency relationships. “I was looking
for a company with strong, established executive producers and footholds in
Chicago, Texas and across the Midwest,” he notes. “STORY has a great reputation
and impressed me their knowledge of the advertising market.”
STORY expects its relationship with Schaak to extend beyond
traditional commercials. The director has experience in directing branded
content, web series, reality and scripted television and features. He is
currently independently developing a comedy television series called RenFest (www.renfest.tv), a behind-the-scenes look at
the office politics in the world of Renaissance festivals.
STORY is represented on the East Coast by Elyse Emmer (212)
580-8568; in the Midwest by Melissa Thornley (312) 752-5369, in the Southeast
by Miller + Associates, (954) 563-6004; in the Southwest by Gossip!, (214)
288-2813 and on the West Coast by Yvette Lubinsky, (310) 827-2626.
For more
information, visit http://www.storyco.tv/
 
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