When I met up with Eric McCoy and Justus Meyer, they had scored a table at a busy Hollywood coffee house and their fingers were ablaze on their modern tech devices as I approached.
Don't let their sweet demeanors and Midwest manners fool you-these guys mean business. The business of Hollywood, and they are now in the thick of it. I asked them how they came to their current rags-to-approaching-riches state, and was surprised by the positive and adventurous route they've taken thus far.
Both are graduates of Columbia in Chicago, and having separately made the trek to LA already, the two were fast at work, actively breaking into "the biz." Through a series of other not-so-prestigious (or rewarding, it seems) jobs, they decided to take the leap and start to work for themselves. A bold move in entertainment, and it's one that usually seasoned professionals take, even then with trepidation.
"We have a way of doing it (production) and there's no one we trusted better than ourselves."
Eric McCoy is the director, and Justus Meyer is the producer of most of their works. About their collaboration, Meyer comments that they choose a project if they understand it, love it, and would do the same project just out of passion. And McCoy says that they like to have a useful balance of the outside pair of eyes, and are able to do projects they really want to work on. They continue to seek stories that are of a high caliber to work on. Their commercials may be the bread and butter stuff for the time being, but they are memorable and sustainable-which is a great achievement in the "Biz." And-they have been winning money.
We chatted for a bit about how they got their start doing commercials. McCoy and Meyer have a hefty goodie bag of work now, available for viewing on their website. They have done over 30 projects in the last year. Famous Footwear picked up the duo for their successful, "Letter to Mom" commercial piece, which ekes out a tear from even the most stoic. The feelings in the commercials and the humor are uplifting, you can watch them repeatedly. I have watched the Lays ad many times, and always relate to both the smart gal and the nervous guy. Their work is very human, relatable.
Another favorite is the music video, Fellow Rebel's, "Baby Please," which is a toe-tapping and invigorating song. The video is shot in a really cool diner, not one of the common ones in LA, though. Keeping costs down, McCoy and Meyer approached over 12 venues before choosing it, and shot the thing "guerilla style," they said.
The results speak for themselves. You'll be humming it later today, guaranteed.
"Our goal is to make feature films, our job is storytelling. We surround ourselves with people smarter than us. We had access to an unparalleled network at Columbia, and many of those people are here in California now. We seem to get the right talent at the right time. So far, we don't buy any equipment; we have very efficient ops, and put the money won from these commercial contests back into new projects."
Some of my favorite quotes from McCoy and Meyer are:
"Preparation, preparation, preparation."
"Write what you know, shoot what you have."
"We love our moms."
Please enjoy the website and have some laughs and tears. Looking forward to McCoy and Meyer's continued success in commercials and also future feature films.
More about McCoy and Meyer on their website here.
Michelle Williams lives in Berkeley and is a former youth footballer star. Michelle's modern girl maxim? “Read lots, and always dress right for your motorbike!”