Tribune, The (San Luis Obispo, CA)
December 18, 2008
UNLIKELY DUO TEAMS UP TO CREATE NATIONAL, LOCAL ADSSLO'S 'FLICKER' OF LIGHT
Author: Bill MoremEdition: TribuneSection: LocalPage: B1Estimated printed pages: 4Article Text:You've probably seen the ad on television: Santa Claus isbusy in his workshop, welding on a slick-lookingMercedes amid a shower of sparks. He leaves the roomand toys come to life and gape at the car. It's asprofessional an advertisement as you'll find on the tube,and it was shot by one of the creative minds running SanLuis Obispo's Flicker Films, John Stanier.Stanier has been a producer, cameraman andcinematographer on some of the most powerful andavant-garde films to come out of England and Hollywoodin the last 50 years -- "Pink Floyd The Wall," "Lifeof Brian" and "Midnight Express" are just a few highlightsin his résumé.His colleague, Joseph Michael Olesh, is also a director andwriter of Flicker's short films, but his acknowledged forteis being the team's technical wizard when it comes tocomputerized film editing.From their studio offices on the second and third floorsof the former Lori Silvaggio Academy of Dance brick building on Higuera Street, the two men--mentor andprotégé -- have produced dozens of ads for nationalcompanies like Dodge and Coors, and local subjects fromMission Prep to Compass Health that run as either Internet videos or as trailers in local theaters.This particular evening, Olesh, a former Cal Poly architecture student, and English-born Stanier are editing anadvertisement for La Rouge, a local lingerie outlet. Stanier, who's filmed dozens of fashion shoots, is giving Oleshsome thoughts on how to subliminally interject La Rouge's logo into various scenes involving scantily cladmodels strutting down a catwalk. It's one of six five-minute films dealing with local salons and boutiques. Yes, it'sgrueling work, but these guys suffer for their art--and it doesn't come cheap.A national ad like the Mercedes piece costs in the neighborhood of $650,000 to produce; a local 30-second adruns anywhere from $8,200 to $10,200.Stanier's route to San Luis Obispo was somewhat circuitous. Although he began shooting films in England as a17-year-old in 1959, Stanier didn't immigrate to the U. S. until 1975. He went home, came back to the states toshoot "Fame" in 1980, went home, and then returned permanently in 1984. Thirteen years ago he and wifeKimberly moved to San Luis Obispo, where he has commuted to film locations and Hollywood. Flicker Films wasformed about a year ago through fortuitous circumstances.Before enrolling at Poly, Olesh, 26, worked in Hollywood as a photographer's assistant grip while taking actingclasses from John Homa, an acting coach who also worked with young actors like Kirsten Dunst.Homa, who became a mentor to Olesh, urged his protégé to study architecture rather than attend film school as ameans of learning structure in filmmaking.