Interview with a client: Steven Lippman talks with John Paul DeJoria on shooting for Patrón and Paul Mitchell

Patrón Spirits and Paul Mitchell, which are owned by John Paul DeJoria, have just released two new “What inspires you?” commercials and a 3-minute viral, the latest in a series of spots by the company that celebrates notable charitable efforts and aims to encourage viewers to think of ways that they too can give back. The commercials and the viral were directed by Steven Lippman, who collaborated with John Paul on the original “What inspires you?” concept.

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Steven has been shooting print campaigns and directing TV/online spots for Patrón and Paul Mitchell for several years. Since he and Steven have become friends over the years, I thought it’d be fun if Steven interviewed John Paul about their collaborations. A couple of weeks ago, he did just that, taping an interview at John Paul’s Malibu home. Below is a condensed version of John Paul’s responses.

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Steven Lippman and John Paul DeJoria.

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“I met Steven a few years ago. We wanted to film a new, unique Paul Mitchell commercial, and we went around looking for recommendations for directors who could make it feel energetic and lively and make it feel like this is a great way of life. We ran across Steven, and little did we know that not only is he a great director—he’s also an unbelievable photographer. We brought him on to help enhance the image of Paul Mitchell as something that was active and cool and something you want to be associated with.

He has a way of shooting something and pulling out the raw truth, whether it’s someone flying through the air on a skateboard or a worker in our agave fields in Mexico saying that he feels Patrón is the very best tequila. Steven is able to capture all of that in stills and in motion and to make it feel sincere. That’s very unique.

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From a 2007 campaign for Paul Mitchell. Photo by Steven Lippman.

From a 2008 campaign for Paul Mitchell. Photo by Steven Lippman.

From a 2010 campaign for Paul Mitchell/Tea Tree. Photo by Steven Lippman.

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My favorite Paul Mitchell commercial that we’ve worked on together was the one where we start out with a gentleman cutting hair at a million miles an hour, people breakdancing and flying through the air, and then letting people know that this inspires us and asking, What inspires you? With Patrón, these last commercials we did that are out right now—not only are they very inspiring, but also the viral he did really captures us and what we’re all about.

Steven’s also involved in a number of charities, and it’s been great to collaborate with him and other friends of mine—whether it’s Pierce Brosnan or other celebrities—on PSAs that we can show all over the place. That has been an extra benefit of working with Steven.”

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Many thanks to John Paul DeJoria for making time to do this interview.

See below for more of Steven’s Patrón/Paul Mitchell commercials and virals. And for more of his fashion and beauty advertising work, go here.

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