In her feature films, Christine Jeffs has directed leading Hollywood talent — Gwyneth Paltrow and Daniel Craig, in Sylvia, and Amy Adams and Emily Blunt, in Sunshine Cleaning — and screened those films at festivals in Cannes, Toronto and Sundance. She is also an award-winning commercial director and continues to work with leading agencies in the U.S. and in her native New Zealand. A former film editor, Jeffs began directing full time after the release in 1994 of her first film, Stroke, a short she wrote, directed and edited. She recently signed with Xenon, a New York City-based commercial production company founded by executive producer Doug Robbins that will be representing her U.S. spots exclusively. We reached her via email at her ranch in Auckland, New Zealand, where she lives with her partner, cinematographer John Toon (Sunshine Cleaning, The Jane Austen Book Club, Sylvia), and raises horses.
StudioDaily: What do you think feature film directors can bring to shorter-form projects and commercial spots?
It’s all just the same stuff… casting, performance, eye for detail, storytelling.
You’ve made a long career of successful projects in both the feature film and commercial production worlds. What’s your secret for moving so effortlessly between the two?
You have to like putting film through the camera, which I do.
What are you working on right now?
Many scripts, including developing a romantic comedy, Wonderful Tonight, with Castle Rock Entertainment.
What project, short or long-form, most impressed you in the last year and why?
I take little bits from everything… a photo, a human moment observed, and recently I am having a laugh with the films of Francis Veber.
What’s your go-to mobile device on the job?
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