There’s a sometimes uneasy relationship between finances and art. There’s an equilibrium that exists which varies depending on the type and intent of what is being created. What can be said with certainty is that in the modern era, commercials have become an ideal platform for both creativity and promotion to meld into something which pleases everyone, including the general public. Producer Jeff Pangman has experienced his years in the industry as a part of productions like Eurkea and The Strain (from creator Guillermo del Toro) but has more recently taken part in the creation of commercials for global companies like Walmart, Wrangler, Mazda, and others. The “Mazda Stories” campaign which he worked on for the automotive company scooped three category wins at the Canadian Car of the Year 2019 awards held in Toronto earlier this year, thanks to the commercials and the engineering ingenuity of Mazda. Winners were selected by the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC). If the definition of art is to inform, elevate, and inspire, “Mazda Stories” and the work of Pangman and his collaborators at Asymetric Media most assuredly attained this, proving that these days a commercial can stand alongside film and television in making an artistic statement.
The professionals who have decades in the industry as a success are most often those who possess or at least understand the ways in which different departments overlap and contribute. Two decades of work on celebrated TV series and work with prominent companies across the globe confirms Pangman’s awareness and talent in this regard. In addition to his skill as a producer, he’s found another attribute key to the global demands of his work. He relates, “I often find myself transitioning to multiple time zones from day to day. You have to be highly organized with an inherent eye for detail. It’s part professionalism and part survival. The industry is filled with creative and talented people but the ones who find a way to utilize their natural strength and inclination in their profession are often the most successful and fulfilled.” Along with Executive Producer Evan Landry, Director Kacper Larksi (who won Silver at the Cannes Young Director Awards for his work with Land Rover), and DOPs Oliver Millar & Kiel Milligan, Jeff traveled to Chile and Slovenia to film in the ideal locations for “Mazda Stories.” While he has travelled globally in his work on campaigns for Wrangler, Walmart, Garmin, and others, the weather conditions for “Mazda Stories” needed to communicate a feeling of contentment and relaxation; a welcome setting for the production team. Pangman stipulates, “Santiago was very pleasant during the filming. I’ve been on an Icelandic beach in winter and freezing during a shoot; you learn to get comfortable with being uncomfortable in this type of work…it’s all part of the adventure.”