Q&A With ‘Homecoming’ Director Mark Molloy

"I love capturing the beautiful little moments of life."

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“I can’t believe we’re finally doing this.”

Buying a home is one of the craziest decisions we make. There’s so much uncertainty, yet we bet on our future, trusting in what could be.

Director Mark Molloy beautifully captures this reality in Zillow’s latest commercial. The first of several new TV spots we’re rolling out this summer, “Homecoming” is about a couple’s journey to find a home and bet on their future in a remarkable way.

To get a behind-the-scenes look, check out what Molloy had to say about the making of “Homecoming.”

What drew you to this project?

The humanity of the story is what first drew me to it. I love this idea of two huge moments happening in the lives of this couple: buying a house and adopting a child. I love how these two momentous occurrences in their lives kind of fold into each other. You get to see what’s happening, but there is this journey going on in the background, too.

When we see the adoption — and the surprise and beauty of that moment – that’s what led me to it. I think with all jobs, what I love to find is the humanity at the heart of it. I love capturing the beautiful little moments of life.

What was your favorite scene to shoot?

My favorite scene would probably be the hardest one to shoot: the adoption scene. It was hard to get a really authentic and natural feel to that whole scene, especially when working with really young kids and time pressures and everything. But when it came together, that’s when, as a director, I could sit back and really enjoy it. It has that real kind of emotion. I loved working with actors to put their true emotions on the line. Those are the moments I really love directing.

How did you work with the actors to give authentic performances?

It started way back in casting. I had a very definite idea in my head of how I wanted that [adoption] scene to play out. There were a couple actors who really nailed it. Before shooting, I sat down with actors and had a good chat about it — the choreography of the scene — to make sure I captured that emotion in their eyes when they first see the little boy.

I worked very closely with Sarah [Sido], the lead female actor. Her sister went through an adoption process really similar to what we were shooting, so she knew the real emotion and drew on that a lot.

What’s your favorite part of directing commercials?

There are so many different areas I love, but I think my favorite part is working with actors to take words off a page and really make a scene. In commercial ads, I like trying to make people feel something — have an emotional connection to it. When I can do that, that’s when I really love what I’m doing.

Where do you find inspiration?

Films and cinema are where I’m most inspired in terms of the art form. But, I try to draw from life, getting as much life experience as I can. I draw inspiration from reality and observing the world around me.

What does “home” mean to you?

I think, for me, home is where my family is. I’ve been moving around a lot. Wherever I am with my family, that’s where home is.

Home plays a really important part in the story we made. There’s all these emotional things happening: buying a house, going to adopt a child — things the couple has been thinking about for years. A place to settle down with their new family is the one thing that kind of grounds them.

What’s your favorite thing to do after a long shoot?

I just like to go home and spend time with my family — hang out with the kids. I don’t get to see them much when I’m shooting. Relaxing, for me, is just taking them to school and picking them up. The mundane things are what I really want to do when I finish up a big project.

How do you feel if someone is deeply moved by your work?

It always makes smile because making people feel something is what I do it for. To know you’ve had an effect on someone and they’ve thought about it or maybe there’s a child in their life, makes me feel like I’ve done my job. There’s a nice little reason to it. You’ve touched someone and they’ve thought about their life and how it all kind of relates. That’s always a good thing.