With Ridley Scott’s latest film Body of Lies hitting theatres this weekend, I thought it would be a good time to bring back The Short Works Of… feature to explore some of the stuff he has directed outside of film. As many people know, Scott started his career in graphic design and advertising, before eventually transitioning to TV and movies. Here’s a collection of some of his best short form material from over the years, hinting at the talent that would eventually produce Blade Runner, Alien and Gladiator.
1984 Mac Ad
Let’s start with the best. This landmark ad is widely considered one of the best commercials ever made. It aired during Super Bowl XVIII and is an early example of Apple’s brilliant marketing. The spot likens their competitors IBM to a dull, grey dystopian world, with Apple coming in to save the day and smash the system.
Hovis Bike Ride Ad (1973)
Another classic that was recently voted Favourite Advertisement of All-Time in the U.K., this commercial simply shows a boy delivering bread on a cobbled street. Not very flashy, but obviously quite effective.
Nissan 300ZX Super Bowl Commercial (1990)
Cool car commercial that really emphasizes speed. It supposedly aired during Super Bowl XXIV, and was never seen again because it was thought to promote street racing.
Short Film: Boy and Bicycle (1975)
A short black-and-white student film shot on 16mm, “Boy and Bicycle” stars Ridley Scott’s younger brother Tony as a kid who decides to skip school and ride around town on his bike instead.
Orange Telecom: Future Thoughts Commercial (1998)
Clever ad for Orange Telecom with plenty of cool imagery.
Pepsi Miami Vice Commercial (1985)
An 80’s commercial for Pepsi during their “Choice of a New Generation” campaign, starring Don Johnson and Glenn Fry from Miami Vice. The lighting is just classic Ridley Scott!
Barclays Bank Query Ad
This was part of a series of Blade Runner-esque spots that Scott did for Barclays and it could very well be the coolest commercial ever made for a bank.
Roxy Music – “Avalon” Video (1982)
Believe it or not, the only music video Ridley Scott has directed to date. And it has a falcon in it.
W.R. Grace Deficit Trials Commercial (1986)
Another commercial that uses a sci-fi angle to take a somewhat dull topic and make it memorable. According to Time, it cost about $300,000 to produce at the time.
There are plenty of other Ridley Scott commercials out there, but I’ll leave you with this one: a 1969 Luv Ice Cream Commercial starring a really young David Bowie!