1984′: As Good as It Gets
A single TV commercial redefined Super Bowl advertising. How was it made?
Jan 30, 2011
The “1984” spot nearly died when the client on the shoot refused to sign the estimate for a second day of shooting. O’Neill called me from London again, saying the spot was dead if we couldn’t get two full days of shooting. I had just been promoted to vp at Chiat/Day, therefore becoming an officer of the company. I asked O’Neill if he could proceed on my signature. He said, “Hey, you’re an officer—I can go ahead on your say so. But if it doesn’t work out, you’re fired.” I thought it was a risk well worth taking.
Ironically, the spot that the client was really interested in was a commercial for Lisa, the $10,000 Mac-like business computer that never really got off the ground. Ridley gave us a deal, agreeing to shoot both the Lisa spot and the Macintosh launch spot for a package price of about $600,000. Jay Chiat used to delight in showing the spot the clients cared most about—a nothing bit of braggadocio that dropped from public consciousness like a stone. Thank God.