It’s His World and We’re Living in It — Q Caylor Waxes Eloquent on Art Direction

As an extension of still photography, video projects often come with bigger payoffs — increased customer engagement, an amplified aesthetic and elevated brand presence. But with that comes an increased complexity from an art direction point of view. This week, we had the chance to catch up with seasoned Art Director, Q Caylor, who recently finished five Pottery Barn videos based on their upcoming fall book.

It’s easy to see why Q’s an asset to any team. He projects an obvious ease and confidence in directing a large team and project with many moving parts. Couple this with his kind and unassuming manner, it’s easy to see why his skills are sought after by huge brands like Pottery Barn and Target. Here he shares some of his observations on art direction:  

Tell me about the Pottery Barn video project.
This was a cool opportunity and challenge to leverage still work that the team had done and take it further with video. Using stills from Pottery Barn’s Fall Book, our goal was to put the videos together in an engaging way, generally lifting the aesthetic and brand presence.

What are the advantages of one over the other?
It’s a lot easier to retouch a still shot. For video, product samples have to be as accurate and in as good of condition as possible. And, like the move from film photography to digital, there's suddenly so much more you want to try while you're shooting. It takes forever to prep — in this case, we saved at least half a day on location by piggybacking on the styling done the day before for the fall book.

How does your work in stills and video influence one another?
Like interactive design, its the same principals; they just happen over time.

How would you describe your own personal style or the assets that make you a good art director?
The art directors who get the best work out of a shoot are the ones who will not compromise on getting the best shot possible. The art directors who you want to work with are the ones who make everybody involved feel like their contributions are vital to the best outcome and are actually pleasant to be around. 

What’s your approach to creating the perfect ambiance?
On set?? Nothing beats a great soundtrack!

What was the inspiration for these Pottery Barn digital media shorts and how do they support the brand’s aesthetic?
The main request for all of these spots was to capitalize on and incorporate as much of the great still photography that was done for the fall book. Taking those elements as a starting point, it was all about building on the season's focus by incorporating an editorial flow, motion typography and music. 

How do you creatively manage the shoot? Collaborate with the stylists and videographer?
I work closely with the producer to put a great team together and with the client to create storyboards that clearly lay out the vision for the spot. The storyboard becomes our "Truth" document that the entire crew works from to get every shot we need.
What direction do you see digital media taking for a brand like Pottery Barn?
It’s the world we're all living in. Even for a legacy brand like Pottery Barn, the core customer may not be at the leading edge of technology, but they're getting closer to it every day. And any new customers are going to likely be found in a digital space. 

Visit or to see all of Q’s work. 


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