PETER GRASSE, PRESIDENT AT CURIOUS FILM
Born in Pennsylvania, Peter Grasse has shaped Curious Film’s reputation as Asia-Pacific’s most dynamic production company since his arrival there in 2004. For more than a decade Curious has directed and produced some of the World’s most talked-about and awarded commercial campaigns. Ranked in the Top Three Production Companies of the Decade by BestAds, it continues to cultivate the Asia-Pacific region’s most inspiring new talent.
What do you love about your job?
Curious produces a lot of comedy and so I work with a lot of funny people on ridiculous things. So, when one enters the real world and its not all as silly as your mates in production, it can be a slap in the face. I suppose we’re open to absurdity, because anything can happen in our world. That’s what I love.
Which recent projects have you particularly enjoyed working on?
I honestly enjoy them all as its a thrill to be producing good ideas. Yet, I particularly love projects for things I value. In which case, Taika Waititi’s Hello Beer campaign is high on my list. I also like character performance & courageous casting, like Ash Bolland’s Primo spot and Robin Walter’s’ Giganaire spot for Telecom was fulfilling. As for line production, anything with Traktor! Those guys work & play on another level. Here’s their latest made with Curious in NZ.
What was your worst job and what did you learn from it?
The worst jobs are often the ones you have the most fun reminiscing, simply because the experience seems so unbelievable in retrospect. One memorable job with a squillion dollar production budget taught me not to go along with bad creative decisions just because we can afford to explore them.
Is there something you hate (or don’t like) about advertising?
The loss of good ideas to research results
What is the key to Curious’ success?
We knew early on what we were passionate about, great narrative filmmaking, and never deviated. Its easy to be distracted with what’s in vogue. Yet, its hard to be a entertaining filmmaker and we knew it was worth our focus.
Which are the main challenges for production companies nowadays?
To remember what a good crafted commercial looks like amongst all the crap and fight to make more of what we are proud to produce.
What is your favorite ad ever? Why?
Without a doubt, BLAZED. I’ve watched it all year and I’m still not tired of it.
A Perfect Circle -The Outsider. Its the first video I ever made and acted in (I’m the convince store clerk with the zits & Maynard name tag).
You were part of Ciclope’s jury last year. What was the definitive highlight of the festival in 2013?
It was nice to win Asia- Pacific Production Company of the Year. Yet, the definitive highlight was the car the anarchists fire-bombed outside the hotel because it was too posh. We shouldn’t have gone to investigate, but the police woman was very pretty and we enjoyed a nice chat amongst the burning rubber.
Why is it important to celebrate craft?
Its actually essential. If we don’t care about the quality of our visual narratives, no one will remember what well crafted work looked or, more importantly, felt like.
What are you most looking forward to in Ciclope 2014?
I hope there are some more fun people this year. They are what make a festival.