Danville native works on new form of advertising


When filmmaker Andrew Hardaway was passing through Danville this spring after a stint filming in Japan, he was glad to be stateside again.

"I worked on it for five months, from start to finish," said Hardaway, who lives in Los Angeles. "I'm on my way home now, through Kentucky. I have not been home since Dec. 10."

His film, titled "it," is a fiction story "about a young computer scientist that is pursuing a very strange and weird phenomenon. "it" was filmed in Czechoslovakia and New York. Hardaway wrote the script, but said the "type of project" is more interesting than the film itself.

"In Japan, there's a new form of advertising on the Internet sponsored by NEC (a leading solutions provider for broadband networking and mobile Internet)," he explained. "They are trying to change their global image in the Far East, Europe and North America. They reached out to a handful of different directors from around world."


Hardaway was one of those directors, and he signed on to create a series of short films.

"It's a form of advertising. ... The intention really is to entertain people who download, not overload them with infomercial (material)," Hardaway noted.

"(The genre is geared toward) the 18-32 demographic. I think NEC is a younger, hipper company. That's really what this project is about. It falls somewhere between a feature film and a commercial. It's a really whole new form of advertising they're trying out in Japan, and the early results (were) good, based on the first week of downloads."

After the late-March release in Japan, "it" went on to open a few weeks later in China, then Europe.

"The first week it was available to the Japanese with a relatively small amount of advertising, over a million people downloaded," Hardaway said.

"It requires an extremely fast Internet connection. It is not a download. In Japan, the Internet infrastructure is much more advanced than here in the U.S. The bandwidth and the amount of information people can download is much more in the future than we are."

He said he "sorta put life on hold for a while" during the filming process, as was looking forward to spending time with his wife and dogs.

"It's incredibly demanding on personal time," Hardaway said of the filming process.

It was demanding on wife Jill, too, Hardaway noted.

"It took some effort from her part," he said. "My wife is an interior designer on a TV show - her show is called 'Guess Who's Coming to Decorate,' on The Style Network. ... She's an on-air designer."

After a break, Hardaway was planning on more work in the United States.

"Hopefully, I'll get involved with more commercials for television in the states. I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to that."

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