Work/Life: Sunshine

In last night’s Mad Men season premiere, Megan asked, “What’s wrong with you people? You’re all so cynical. You don’t smile, you smirk.” In the business of selling happiness, it’s easy to lose perspective.

Sunshine is a short documentary by commercial director Doug Nichol. It’s a portrait of John Benet, a veteran producer reflecting on his career and current place selling McDonald’s in Shanghai. There’s no motion graphics here, but there’s a lot to think about for those of us working in advertising.

“You go from job to job to job…years pass… I’ve been freelance for twenty-two years. There probably isn’t a month that’s gone by that I haven’t worried about the next job. I mean, we’re all just chasing our security, but then decades go by…”

“I’m doing two things… I enjoy the work, but I’m also doing something else. And sometimes I’m not completely aware of what that is.

Hat tip to Short of the Week.

Editors Note: The film is no longer on Vimeo as of 4/12/12. It is still embedded in a follow up article at AdAge.


Gabriel Rocha

Very honest doc. One of the best i`ve seen in some years.

banoofee byeef

great film, i particularly enjoyed the portion of describing food porn and the “cum shot”. 

Pablo Gonzalez

wow, that was a big slap in the face!  amazing doc, love that guy.

Claus Nielsen

It’s so strange when people in this business say ” I love all the traveling, and the shooting and the luxury that comes with it” in a tone that really says “please shoot me”. I love his thoughts on freelancing though

Michael Wong

Nice video. This proves that the world is a much bigger place than he imagined. Enjoy getting out of the cocoon Mr Sunshine. ;)


Haha I feel vindicated seeing this culture clash in capitalism BS fakery. I mean what’s the difference between Communist govt controlling the images, messages in society and Advertisers controlling the images and messages in society for their own selfish goals. It is very sad that China is going down the same pipeline but failing as they can’t even express themselves. It is so much of a literal “expression” it has become fake, trying way too hard, and lacking any feeling of artistry or humanity. All I see is bells and whistles. The real beauty was in all the ancient history that was banished by the Cultural Revolution

Lilian Darmono

beautiful. Very touching in its honesty. Nice work, Higa.

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