- Cannes Lions goes from the ramblings of a legendary director to the poetry of an astrophysicist, in 60 min flat
Some people are born great, some people buy a speaking slot at Cannes Lions to tell you how they created greatness, from nothing, on a daily basis. Legendary director Joe Pytka, has shot more superbowl commercials than anyone else on the planet, plus feature films such as SpaceJam and, well, SpaceJam. He spent the opening gambit of his presentation talking about how the organisers of Cannes Lions wanted him to talk about his career, which seemed at odds with the official program which clearly stated that Pytka’s session (in the Grand Audi no less) was sponsored (ie purchased) by Pytka, the film production company. I’m tipping the two entities are related. Highlight of the 40-minute trip down memory goat track was undoubtedly this line: “Michael Jordan’s reputation is now completely reliant on SpaceJam.”
No sooner had Pytka left the building then astrophysicist superstar Neil DeGrasse Tyson came on stage, but not to talk. He took his shoes off and parked them under the podium, then sat on the edge of the stage, hanging, chatting and signing autographs while the Grand Audi filled up. The minders eventually ushered him back to the wings so he could make his official entrance and launch in a soaring, insightful, inspirational and laugh-out-loud-funny traipse through the history of the elements, European currency, Arabic scholars of the first millennium and the challenge for America (it’s actually the challenge for all of us – we’re in danger of becoming less smart than the generation before). The star and creator of Cosmos had us all believing wholeheartedly that creativity was really the only option we had if we are to continue living in our universe. For 45 glorious minutes, Cannes Lions was treated to the only space jam that matters.