ilanar_big.jpgThe Basics
Age and occupation. How long have you lived here, where did you come from, and where do you live now?
I'm 29. I'm an art director for FCB NY - an ad agency. I make commercials for everything from diet soda to financial services. I've lived in New York my whole life - born in Long Island, college upstate, and living in the city for the past eight years. I've lived all over Manhattan, including a short stint in Brooklyn, but right now I make my home in the East Village.

Three for You
1. Tell me about your work on the drug-free commercial that appeared during the Super Bowl. Don't you think the message to today's youth should really be about staying "boob-free" and not turning into the Janet Jacksons and Courtney Loves of the world?
When I shot the drug-free ad, I didn't know it was going to run on the Super Bowl. The ONDCP put all the spots in its new campaign, 3 from our agency and a bunch from another agency through testing and which ever one scored the highest was going to debut on the Super Bowl. I found out my spot won about a week beforehand. It was pretty exciting having it on. It's probably the only time people outside of the business actively pay attention to advertising. The weird thing is that every other ad I've ever done has humor in it and now most people know me for the downer drug ad. As far as using my creative efforts to promote a boob-free world rather than a drug-free one... I do a lot of work with Nabisco. The word "wholesome" shows up in almost every strategy statement.

2. Among the many tools your agency deploys is the "Chess Team" strategy which I imagine involves meeting after work around 3pm, wearing army fatigue jackets and picking scabs. I think the proper game analogy you're looking for is "Battleship" because you really want to blow the competition out of the water. Right?
I believe the Chess Team is a group in our research department. I'm guessing they call themselves the Chess Team because they come up with solid strategy on which to base advertising. "Battleship" uses strategy too but anybody can learn how to play. Chess suggests a higher level of expertise. The only time I've ever heard them referenced was when I was sent to FCB's young leadership program in Chicago. The program consisted of classes on each department and I believe one whole hour was devoted to learning about the Chess Team. I, however, learned that I don't like to listen nearly as much as I like to doodle. But that, my friend, is why I'm in the creative department. The only thing that is expected of me is to dream up wild ideas that will hopefully take everybody involved away to exotic shooting locations.

3. Imagine Gothamist as a website badly in need of a nationwide branding campaign. We'd probably want to buy ad time during that new Friends spin-off "Joey" so what do you envision our commercials to look like?
Maybe I'd make you into some sort of superhero, saving seemingly intelligent New Yorkers searching for internet fodder on their beloved island from reading one more article about the Olsen twins invading Soho. It would be a big production with lots of extras, so naturally we'd have to shoot it somewhere with low productions costs...like South Africa.

Proust-Krucoff Questionnaire
Time travel question: What era, day or event in New York's history would you like to re-live?
I was in Barcelona during the blackout. I was sad i missed it.

9pm, Wednesday - what are you doing?
Checking out what's left to watch on my DVR list, erasing duplicate episodes of The Inferno, and wondering why everyone thinks The Office is so brilliant and why i continue to record it.

What's your New York motto?
Street cart nuts smell way better than they taste.

Best celebrity sighting in New York, or personal experience with one if you're that type.
I worked out next to Sly Stallone once. But that was in a hotel in Canada. In New York I love D-List celebrity sightings. Caroline Rhea was my favorite. I knew it was her because she was wearing a Sabrina the Teenage Witch t-shirt.

What's the most expensive thing in your wardrobe?
On my first commercial shoot, the director, who was from out-of-town, asked me to take him shopping. We ended up at Takashimaya where i tried on this ridiculous looking felt beanie. It was solid grey on one side, red with square cut-outs on the other, and a random piece of felt sticking straight up out of the top. The director thought it looked fabulous. I laughed and said it was over $500. After the shoot was over and the director had gone back from whence he came, I received a package in the mail. It was the beanie. With a note from the director that said "wear it well." I've never worn it (wouldn't be caught dead in it) and it didn't occur to me that I could have exchanged it until just now.

What was your best dining experience in NYC?
Recently I was at a party thrown by a production company where they served teeny tiny ice cream cones filled with peanut butter and marshmallow fluff. It's a toss up between those and the Muse roll at Ginger in the East Village. Eel and banana with tempura flakes and spicy tuna on top. Tastes like candy.

What happened the last time you went to L.A.?
I spent half the day in a parking garage and bought a really expensive pair of sunglasses.

Of all the movies made about (or highly associated with) New York, what role would you have liked to be cast in?
John McClane in Die Hard 3. I love puzzles.

If you could change one thing about New York, what would it be?
The bike paths. Why doesn't the bike path go all the way up the East River like it does on the Hudson? And why is the bike lane on 2nd Ave only from 1st to 14th street?

The End of The World is finally happening. What are you going to do with your last 24 hours in NYC?
I'd go to the Italian coffeeshop across the street from my apartment and eat all the tasty looking pastries that I try not to look at every morning when I buy my cup of coffee. And then I'd do some damage at Magnolia.