Production company 1stAveMachine has signed director, writer and actor David Ebert for representation.
Ebert has worked in front of and behind the camera for more than a decade, appearing in commercials for such national advertisers as Geico, Checker’s and New York Lotto as well as in TV shows such as MTV’s Guy Code. He’s also the co-writer of Netflix’s It’s Bruno!; created, wrote, produced and starred in truTV’s Ghost Story Club; and directed such campaigns as Google’s 2021 Pixel Fall Launch, YouTube’s Brandcast 2021 starring Hasan Minhaj; and a recent cross-promotional campaign for Dunkin’ and the NFL.
Official trailer for Netflix’s ‘It’s Bruno’
Most recently, Ebert directed and starred in 1stAveMachine’s “Real Mayo” campaign for Kraft, using his (non-accredited) astrology knowledge to deliver personalized readings via TikTok and Twitter to reveal people’s fortunes based on how they spread their mayonnaise.
Ebert also was the creative director for “GroupHug,” a 1stAveMachine-created TikTok channel aiming to help explain and amplify the impact and utility of TikTok for brands. Featuring more than 80-plus pieces of content made with 30-plus creators, including sustainable product designer Thomas Peterberns (@johannplasto) and more, “GroupHug” is a deep dive into how creators and brands are finding success on TikTok. Ebert and 1stAveMachine are planning a second season of the campaign.
Ebert has honed his deft timing and ability to rapidly generate ideas and hook an audience during his days with renowned improv theater group, Upright Citizens Brigade.
“In improv, you are constantly being presented with new ideas from scene partners. What makes a scene feel like magic is how quickly you can adopt someone else’s idea and build on it,” Ebert said in a statement. “Similarly, when I read a brief, or when I’m presented with a big pivot mid-project, or when I’m on set and I’m working with talent, the ability to take someone else’s idea and instantly honor and add to it has made the greatest impact on my career.”
Inspired by the likes of such directors as Michele Gondry, Wes Anderson, Paul Thomas Anderson, Spike Jonze, David Lynch and Jordan Peele, Ebert says communication and messaging is key to all of his creative efforts.
“I often see beautiful visuals in advertising but have no idea what their connection is to the story,” he said. “Without a deep tie to the core communication, visuals – even beautiful ones – are meaningless. So I begin by ingesting and clarifying the script’s intent. That often leads to my helping craft that communication. From there, I derive the concept for the visuals, and then I work to beat out the flow of a piece to a rhythm. Most of my work is comedy, and I believe that a good comedy video should still communicate even with your eyes closed, like music.”
It was Ebert’s collaboration with 1stAveMachine and director Karim Charlebois-Zariffa on YouTube’s Brandcast 2020 and 2021 projects that eventually compelled Ebert to join its roster.
Highlights of YouTube’s 2021 Brandcast
“I’ve played many roles in different organizations, and 1stAveMachine met me as a copywriter, yet they were immediately open to my larger vision for the projects I was working on,” Ebert said. “After a short courtship, they entrusted me with the role of creative director on Brandcast 2020. When it comes to support, no one has given me the tools I needed when I needed them like 1stAve. Other companies have allowed me to work dual roles, but when I’ve asked for resources to deliver a product I feel proud of, they’ve come up short. 1st Ave never tells me ‘no,’ they say, ‘let’s figure it out together.’ They are the first organization I’ve worked with instead of for.”