Samon Siripanichgon has a problem. He has so many choices! This highly sought after set lighting and camera expert is pulled in numerous directions as a consequence of his great skill and reputation. He finds the whole situation quite funny because like most of his peers, Samon spent a large part of the pandemic sitting around and wondering if the world and his career would ever return to normal. In the past year he has collaborated on a number of film (including Fish Out of Water with Francesca Scorsese which featured actors from many of her father’s most famous films), the most popular views of YouTube sensation Joma Tech, music videos, and commercials. He’s quick to inform that the latter of this list provides him with something he craves as a professional; diverse scenarios and challenges with a quick turnaround time. Making commercials is the professional version of speed-dating, in which you learn a lot in a curt amount of time and define your preferences. Having spent time working and living on different continents, Samon Siripanichgon has an inherently curious nature that craves problem solving. A fast paced set which demands solutions at a moment’s notice is his comfort zone of uncomfortability.
The talent featured in commercials is an essential part of keeping a viewer’s attention. Similarly, there’s always something interesting about working with this talent when you are on the crew of a commercial. On a series of ads for luxury brand Coach, Samon worked with Korean actor Chan-Young Yoon (of the hit Netflix series All of Us Are Dead) and Zoey Deutch (British Independent Film Award–nominee, and star of Primetime Emmy Award–nominated Series The Politician). His work on a commercial for MasterCard featuring Mandy Bowman (Founder of Official Black Wall Street) was highly praised for promoting awareness of black-run businesses. Mr. Siripanichgon notes that he was excited to work on an ad for WNBA League Pass because it aired on ESPN which he was a longtime fan of. Samon muses, “There’s always somebody interesting to meet and have discussions with on set. I spend almost all of my time with the DP and other crew members but there seems to always be a minute to have a discussion with the on-screen talent. One of my favorite parts of being involved in this industry is that everyone seems to get it that we’re all a part of the same team. Individually, we all want to excel so that collectively we make something special.”
Creature comforts and a mundane pace are not something Samon has ever been inclined towards. His adventurous inclinations naturally dispose him to a career in production. Freewill is the gateway to enjoying the unexpected nature of day-to-day in this industry. Recalling a time on one particular Saks Off 5th commercial, Mr. Siripanichgon confesses, “It was a brutally hot day and we were building a ‘fly swatter’ which is term for a large frame built on a condor. It wasn’t comfortable but the production brought in an ice cream truck which instantly made the day better. That same summer, I did a commercial for Zandesk but we were inside…I was thankful for air conditioning that day. Similar situations but very different experiences. The little things make a huge difference. I remember being on a shoot for Brooklinen that involved a lot of dog talent. You’ve never seen a crew’s morale surge upward as when a bunch of puppies are roaming around asking for your attention. It can be chaotic, like most things, but you just enjoy it and focus on the positive.”
It’s no secret that for cast and crew, commercials often bring monetary compensation while film work brings creative satisfaction and accolades, but Samon Siripanichgon perceives much more than this. He espouses the virtues of using every opportunity to engage his creative side to the fullest. He spent the majority of his life living in parts of Asia, dreaming of a career in the international film industry. Now, through those connections, he has found his talents sought out for nearly every type and style of production within a much wider industry. Samon’s spirit is as endearing as his sizable talent.