What is the most creative advertising idea you’ve seen recently?
One of the funniest spots I’ve seen in the last year is Twix Bears. It so simple but just instinctively makes me laugh every time I see it. Clever how the campers and the bears share the same dialogue. And you get all that needs to be said about the actual Twix bar too.
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What website(s) do you use most regularly?
Google to search. YouTube to watch mainly old interviews with my favourite filmmakers or obscure documentaries. For example, Heavy Metal Parking Lot is a fascinating insight to the heavy metal scene in 1986, if you happen to be interested in that kind of stuff. It’s a 30 minute, home-made movie of a fan capturing random footage of heavy metal fans hanging out at a stadium car park prior to a Judas Priest concert. Hardly highbrow, but fun nevertheless.
What’s the most recent piece of tech that you’ve bought?
A PO–20 pocket size synthesiser, by Teenage Engineering. It’s super-fun to play around with to create simple drum beats and synth sounds. And small enough to easily carry with you.
What product could you not live without?
My laptop. How else am I going to write that treatment?
What’s the best film you’ve seen over the last year?
The Whale stayed with me for quite some time. It had a really powerful and moving performance from Brendan Fraser, and the rest of the cast was brilliant too. The Wonder, by Sebastian Lelio, also felt special, and it was beautifully shot.
What film do you think everyone should have seen?
Oh, there’re too many to choose from to ever find a perfect answer to this one. But I re-watched 12 Angry Men recently and think it’s a masterpiece. A great character study that deals with a lot of complex issues, including prejudice and the American justice system. In many ways the film is just as relevant now as when it was made.
What’s your preferred social media platform?
Instagram is probably the only one I really use. Although it was way better when it first began, as people simply posted fun or cool pictures they’d taken. Sadly, it has now become too commercialised. Now, that’s ironic coming from a commercial’s director!
What’s your favourite TV show?
It’s a three-horse race between The Wire, Fargo and Mad Men. I just realised I’ve cheated and mentioned three. OK, I’d say The Wire if I really have to choose one as it totally blew my mind when I first watched it. The writing and storytelling is absolutely flawless. It has an amazing cast, fascinating characters and each of the five seasons is self-contained but builds into a larger narrative. I had to watch it with subtitles though, as I couldn’t understand the slang or Baltimore accents!
What’s your favourite podcast?
My favourite ongoing podcast is WTF with Marc Maron. He interviews such a wide range of interesting people and manages to make it into a personal conversation rather than an interview. And how can you not love Marc?
What show/exhibition has most inspired you recently?
Without a shadow of a doubt it’s Beyond the Streets; a graffiti, street art and hip-hop exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery. I’d recommend anyone to go and see it.
If you could only listen to one music artist from now on, who would it be?
Are you serious? What kind of question is that? This is absolutely impossible to answer!
If there was one thing you could change about the advertising industry, what would it be?
Can we have slightly bigger budgets, please?
Who or what has most influenced your career?
Probably Don Fellows, my old drama teacher. He kindly suggested I was not the best actor (he was right!) and instead encouraged me to try directing as I always had some productive opinion on the other students' work.
Tell us one thing about yourself that most people won’t know.
From a very young age I’ve been about 80% deaf in my left ear.