Face-to-Face with iDidTht: Featuring Jason Fialkov from Egg Films
Take one oversized grey hoodie, add on some thick rimmed black glasses, a pair of Havaianas, slightly (but by no means accidently) rolled up Diesel jeans and finish it all off with a sprinkle of salt and pepper hair. You wouldn’t mistake Jason Fialkov for anything but a commercial director. And it suits him. He’s quite a dish.
Jason has over 20 years of experience in the industry and has become known for creating beautiful imagery, captivating performances and visually appealing commercials. Working as a director at Egg Films, you can just tell he becomes deeply emotionally attached to his work, he is committed to fostering an on set chemistry between himself and his actors and is passionate about storytelling.
“I like stuff that evokes emotion. Because that’s what people remember. Either make them laugh or make them cry.”
iDidTht’s Director’s Chair for Jason Fialkov
After meeting with Jason, we’ve decided to award him his very own director’s chair. A chair that speaks to the kind of work he does and his character. And hey, it’s also just a great way for you to find out more about him without actually having to read real words…ain’t nobody got time!
Congratulations Jason, you get a rocking chair! *cue angel choir*
It’s the type of chair that’s suited for people who tell good stories. The orange colour has a distinctly South Africa flavour, just like his work. He also gets a chair with a modern twist, a sexy, sleek design, well crafted. We form emotional attachments to rocking chairs, just like Jason, he really feels for his work. And of course, there is a cat on his chair, because hey, Jason is a trusted guy, a nice guy. A guy cats would like. Never trust a person a cat doesn’t like…
By the time Jason was in Standard 9 (when will we figure out how to convert to grades) he had worked himself up to a followspot operator at Theatre on the Bay. He still excitedly recalls lighting The American Chippendales show to an auditorium filled with impassioned female audiences. Soon he had landed himself a weekend job at one of the first and foremost lighting studios, John Young Studios, operating the followspot on big productions like Chris de Burgh. Again with auditoriums filled with women, albeit it perhaps slightly more sophisticated, but equally impassioned. By the age of 20 he had landed a full-time job with Sports Illustrated, and for the next 8 years he would focus on framing and lighting the female body. But this time he was the impassioned one…in a non-creepy way of course.
“Yes, my love for fashion and beauty came from shooting Sports Illustrated. But the older I’m getting I’m dying to tell stories. I believe my work has got a bit of soul.”
His love of beautiful imagery has certainly matured over the last 20 years that he’s spent working in this industry and you can tell. His work is captivating and beautifully shot.
Jason’s portfolio speaks to his love of visually captivating work, authentic performances and storytelling. Here are some of iDidTht’s top picks.
WCG ‘The First Kiss’
Wimpy & Engen ‘Roadtrip’
VW ‘Goodbye Citi Golf’
Playboy ‘Hair Through the Ages’
McDonald’s ‘Night & Day’
On The First Kiss:
“I really really fell in love with this kind of commercial making. Because it wasn’t obvious advertising. I think people are bored of conventional adverts. For me, it’s finding a way of being able to surprise and draw people in from a filmic or narrative point of view”
On how they pulled off the The First Kiss accident scene:
“We didn’t have a lot of money. But we cut a car, put it on a gimbal and rotated it to create an anti-gravity feel. We did about 6 shots in 10 hours, it was murder. But these kids were amazing, they had never even done stunts before. That should have been a two day shoot, just that crash scene.”
The First Kiss ad is also the only South African finalist in the Cinema category at The One Show #NailedIt and one of Jason’s personal favourites.
1. What commercial do you wish you did?
Probably Allan Gray ‘Beautiful’ by Keith Rose. The one where the mother is so gorgeous. (He really can’t help himself)
2. The best industry related advice you’ve received?
Just be a nice guy… Cause I think there are a lot of arseholes in this business.
3. What movie did you watch as a child that’s left an impression on you?
I remember the road in front of the old Truworths building in town, there used to be an old cinema there. People used to smoke inside and we used to sneak in there when we were young and watch movies like Blue Lagoon at the age of 12. I also remember movies like ET and Top Gun.
4. What should no director be without on set?
Your producer and coffee.
5. What department on set do you admire the most?
Too much credit is given to directors. We are fucked without everyone on set. It kills me. DOP’s are the ones that deliver all those pictures. Directors always get the credit. Why? If you’ve got a great DOP it changes the game.
6. Who are the heroes on set?
The craft people. You could be on top of a mountain and suddenly a trestle table appears with a cappuccino machine connected to a generator. They are the first and last on set. Our craft teams in this country are amazing. Yeah, people like that. Everyone really plays a critical role.
7. If you could be any cocktail what would you be?
Cosmopolitan – It’s nice and sweet.
8. What piece of advice would you go back and give yourself?
Not to take everything so seriously. What people don’t realize is that I’m very emotionally attached to what I do. It drives me. So if I don’t create and if I don’t do good work, I’m the one that suffers. People think it’s just a job. It’s not a job. There’s a lot more involved. It’s a hard business, it’s a tough business.
9. Your surname is not your average South African sounding name, where’s it from?
Fialkov is Russian. My dad’s father is from Russia, but my mom is a Du Plessis from Rondebosch, below the railway line. But nobody can pronounce it properly.
Please pronounce it for us, we are also here to teach.
10. What did your mom want you to be when you grew up?
A doctor. ‘Jason’ means ‘the healer’, from Greek mythology.
Jason quickly segues into talking about his mom, who clearly had a big creative influence on him. ‘I always used to wear my mom’s clothes and wear make up around the house. Try on her heels, put on some lipstick.’ We never get to clear up if this happened when he was a child or last week. Oh well. He speaks fondly of how they used to sew together and that she’s desperately trying to get him into crocheting. Ms Fialkov, if you’re reading this, get your son some knitting needles stat!
We almost couldn’t believe that a man so comfortable with his sexuality would be single. We needed proof, which he gladly supplied in the form of his Tinder profile.
Now, if that winky face in his description doesn’t get the ladies to swipe right we don’t know what will! But we are more interested in the fact that he does yoga. Apparently Bikram yoga. This guy is full of surprises! Naturally we immediately demand a demonstration.
*Jason’s Standing Bow Pose
*Actual Standing Bow Pose
Produced by the iDidTht Content Studio
Credits: Writer – Anne Hirsch / Art Director – Julie Maunder
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