Seriously twisted, seriously good

Here’s what we know for sure about the slippery Perlorian Brothers: they’re comprised of art director Ian Letts and writer Michael Gelfand, they’re responsible for some of this year’s cleverest spots and they have a shared aversion to answering serious questions with anything remotely resembling seriousness. Well, that and they’re really into food.

“We had a brief stint in advertising but prior to that we were both in catering,” deadpans Letts during a conference call. “I think that’s where we really honed the craft of getting an artistic expression executed and pleasing a lot of different people. There are obvious parallels between that business and what we’re doing now.”

“We did a lot of work with fruit,” Gelfand interjects. “And fruit plates.”

Letts brings it home: “It’s about bringing a lot of disparate elements together, mixing them with your own vision, and presenting it to people. We like to think we bring that culinary flavor to what we’re doing now.” Uh huh.

Repped by Reginald Pike in Toronto and Biscuit Filmworks in Hollywood, the thirty-something directors (who insist on being referred to, respectively, as Laszlo ‘Lucky’ Perlorian and Bruce Perlorian on set) have spent the year building a reel of sharp, funny spots for clients like Timex, Saturn, Ilovemevitamins and Sunlight.

In that short time, they’ve turned heads by capturing a Gold Lion for their work on Zig’s “Prison Visitor” for Vim and ruffled feathers by allegedly hawking said Lion to an unidentified Turk on eBay. While some, such as Cannes festival chairman Roger Hatchuel, were unimpressed by the move, Gelfand insists it was just part of the Perlorians’ desire to have a bit of fun. “We’re all trying as directors and agency folk to bring a sense of irreverence and a sense of humor to what we do,” he says. “I think that award shows are important in lots of different ways, but it’s also important that we all have a sense of playfulness when it comes to how we view them.”

The Brothers’ latest work is on Rethink’s eight-spot campaign for Bootlegger (Boards, Sept. 2004), which depicts underwear-clad teenagers racing against the clock to get dressed while they complete an obstacle course littered with things like plastic deer, neon pink cupcakes and cannon-fired tennis balls. Surrealistic, disconnected, and a little bit left of center, the concepts suited the Brothers perfectly. “They had something about them that made us think of obscure art videos,” Gelfand says. “Something you wouldn’t see on TV but in some strange little gallery.”

Now that they’ve wrapped up brand new work for Wrigley’s and Ikea, what’s next? God knows, but if Subway comes knocking, they’ve got a doozy on the backburner. “I had a dream last night about a guy who made sandwiches,” Gelfand sighs. “He wasn’t really an outstanding guy, but he made the most delicious sandwiches in the world… women would become amazingly attracted to him when they tasted his sandwiches. There was one in particular – a roast beef and soft cheese on a sourdough bun – which one woman tasted and became smitten by this guy. I think we’ll probably work that in somewhere.”

Reginald Pike>

Biscuit Filmworks>